Children IN THIS ISSUE
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Breast Cancer Awareness Month My Little Buddy Defeating Cyber Bullying Teenage Sexuality Ask Dr. Mike: Teens & Phone Apps How George Took Me In Community Calendar Enter to Win! See pages 3 & 14!
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My Little Buddy by Suzanne Provencher, Publisher As some of you may recall, I wrote about losing my little Yorkshire terrier, Madison, last Winter. He was the first dog I had ever owned, and losing him was very difficult for me. But I feel grateful and blessed that he made it to almost 17 years old. This past year, my house was very quiet – but I wasn’t sure the time was right to bring a new dog home. Until this summer. Because I had rescued two older Yorkies after Madison (though Madison outlived them all), I wanted to rescue another dog this time. So I began to visit the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem in search of a small dog.
"Bebe" Before: So much hair, such soulful eyes
The first time I saw “Bebe” – he looked like a little ragamuffin. His sign read that he was part Wire Haired Dachshund, but God only knows what else was in his mix as he looked more like a Yorkie/Chihuahua mix to me. His hair was too long and he looked much older than his 5 years – like a little old man. He had been at the shelter for almost 3 months, which broke my heart. But his eyes were full of soul and they spoke to me. My only hesitation was his age – as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start over from scratch with a new baby puppy
or not. Their lives are so short already and I had already missed 5 years. So I thought about it for a few days – then returned to the shelter the following weekend. Imagine my surprise when I saw his new haircut! I knew that cute little face was in there somewhere! He looks like a little raccoon and sounds like a duck when he barks. It was Saturday – and the shelter was full of people looking to adopt cats and dogs – so I was not able to spend any one on one time with “Bebe” that day. But I returned bright and early on Sunday morning to spend some time with him. We played in the outside yard and then went in to one of the private visiting rooms. He seemed distracted by the noise on the other side of the door. Were we a good match? Was I ready? Was 5 years too old? Would he like me? Oh, if only I could have a “sign”. So I got down on my hands and knees at his level – and he came over and kissed my nose… I got my sign – or so I thought. On this particular weekend, the shelter was having a “sale” on the older pets who had been there awhile. “Bebe” was 75% off his regular rate of $295, which was funny since anyone who knows me knows I love a good bargain! As I sat with the adoption counselor, Jenna, and filled out my paperwork – she told me his “sale” price: $73.75. Because I wanted to support the shelter more – I also bought food, treats, a new harness, toys and a few other new things. When the adoption counselor totaled my purchases, she looked at me and said, “You are not going to believe this. You wanted a sign? Well “Bebe’s” sale price came to $73.75 – and the items you just bought came to $73.75 – to the penny!” I felt a tear slide down my cheek as we both felt goose bumps. I rounded it up to a higher amount and made a donation
to the shelter, too. I may have “lost” his first 5 years, but I was not going to lose one more day. “Bebe” – now my Buddy – came home with me. The next night – I played 7375 in the lottery – and won $49. This helped me buy the other new things and vet care my Buddy would need. I didn’t need any more “signs”. Since “Bebe” seemed like a Buddy After: Nice & neat, young & sweet girl’s name – one he didn’t really identify with all that While I may have rescued Buddy, truth much – I decided to call him Buddy be told, he rescued me, too. I love to Boyd. My Dad’s nickname as a child hear the pitter patter of his little feet was Buddy – and my Nanna’s maiden as he follows me, his new Mama. I name was Boyd – and it suits him love to walk him and play with him well. He knows his name. He has (he loves his new toys and knows been here just over a month and he them by name). I love to feel his settled in the moment he arrived. He warm little body, all safe and content, is a very good boy – very smart – and nestled beside me at night. He is at 7 pounds, he is the perfect addition home. He is a very good boy. He is to my home and heart. my boy. And I am his puppy Mama. We love to walk at Madison’s, I learned that Buddy was surrendered Chelsea’s and Brandon’s favorite spots by his former owner in California in – Dog Beach, Bailey’s Hill and all June – then transported across the around Nahant. He is always beside country to this no-kill shelter. All I me, nestled in nice and close – like he know is that somebody loved this is now as I type these words. I love little dog because he is so smart and my little Buddy! well behaved. There is something to be said for adopting an older animal – and I would do it again in a heartbeat! In fact, I just might! But for now, it’s Buddy’s time…just me and my little Buddy. If you are thinking about adding a dog or cat to your family, I highly encourage you to visit your local shelter. There are so many wonderful dogs and cats just waiting for their forever homes. And the feeling you get when you adopt a pet from a shelter is simply wonderful.
Thank you to all of the Northeast Animal Shelter workers and volunteers for the wonderful work that you do. I appreciate all of your help in bringing my little Buddy home – and for bringing such joy back to my home and heart. If you are thinking about adding a new pet to your family, please visit your local shelter. You’ll be so glad you did. Until next time ~ Suzanne a/k/a Buddy’s Mama
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Letter from the Editor
Facebook,Teenage Sexuality and the Wisdom of Old People by Michael F. Mascolo, PhD
anything wise to say to young people. Old people are “out of touch”.
One of the articles for this issue was inspired by a provocative blog entry written by Ferret Steinmetz (www.theferret.com) called “Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex”. This blog entry has been making the rounds on Facebook. As I say in Teaching Teens about Awesome Sex (in this issue), there is much about Steinmetz’s post that I like. But we disagree on one basic point, and that is, what it means to have “good” sex. For Steinmetz, good sex is about fun. For me, good sex is about intimacy and union. There is a big difference. And it’s something that we must teach our teens.
Didn’t know Kilborn had it in him! But his wisdom here is especially appropriate when it comes to matters of sexuality. Young people are naturally interested and curious about sex. They tend to value pleasure, status, conquest and amusement. It is difficult for young people to imagine how casual sex might affect their relationships as they grow October older. However, because our society has little use for older people, it is easy for is National young people to disregard their sage Breast advice. Yes, young people have always had a penchant to ignore the old folks. But Cancer there are traditions in which the wisdom of age is respected. However, because we Awareness embrace the value of youth over Month experience, there is no reason to trust the experience and wisdom that come with age. Youth is, as they say, wasted on the young.
Another Facebook post caught my eye. It was a film snippet – who would have guessed – of Craig Kilborn, the late night talk show host, talking about how it is that we came to glorify the values of youth. Kilborn notes that during the 60’s, marketing executives began to target products toward youth. As a result, Kilborn says, we began to deify youth. People began to value the qualities of youth rather than experience. According to Kilborn, “the deification of youth evolved and turned into the deification of imbecility. It became fashionable and desirable to be young and to be stupid”. Kilborn is certainly on to something here. The deification of youth brings with it the diminishment of age and wisdom. We no longer believe that older people have
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Knowledge is Power When Defeating Cyber Bullying by Kate Roberts, PhD Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, hurt, embarrass, humiliate and intimidate another person. Targets are the same students who are bullied in person; they are vulnerable, have difficulty reading social cues and they are often alone and socially isolated. Cyber bullying occurs 24/7 via cell phones, instant messaging, mobile devices and social networking websites. According to recent studies, almost half of middle and high school students have experienced or witnessed cyber bullying. With the social app Snapchat, content or images can be erased after 10 seconds, allowing students to send messages without even a trace of evidence. And Snapchat is only one of many social media apps that offer an online audiences for bullies, who tear down helpless victims, many of whom don’t even know it’s happening. Today’s parents are tech trailblazers and the first generation that’s had to contend with this level of cyber harassment. Parents can arm themselves and their children with knowledge when protecting their children against cyber bullies. Here are some tips: 1. Have the “cyber bullying” conversation. Children don’t like to talk about bullying, therefore parents shouldn’t be surprised when they downplay the conversation. The reason for this is they have likely bullied themselves, been bullied or been a bullying bystander and the talk brings up these memories and feelings of shame. Children may be afraid to lose tech privileges if they feel they are honest. Others don’t view cyber bullying as “real bullying” out of their own ignorance, more than defiance. Parents need to have an open conversation and respond without judgment as their children open up about what they know. 2. Explain how what you don’t know does hurt you. Some kids minimize or justify by saying, the “target child didn’t even know that was said”, etc. Explain that it doesn’t matter. Use their life experiences to illustrate how badly they feel when people talk about them negatively. Explain the concept of empathy and how you expect them to act with empathy and that peer bullying is an opportunity for them to practice their empathy skills. Role play and give them scripts to work off of, like “That’s hurtful and if you are going to make fun of him, I’m leaving”, for example.
3. Set cyber safety rules. Whenever they interact online, remind your children that they never really know who is on the other end of cyber communication. It could be the person they think it is, but because they cannot see that person, they should always proceed with caution in their exchanges. With that in mind, enforce the guideline “Don’t do or say anything online that you wouldn’t do or say in person”.
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4. Know what your children are doing online. Setting online safety rules and limiting time spent on tech gadgets naturally minimizes access to and involvement with cyber bullying. Parent rules include: access to all passwords; frequently checking social media accounts and websites visited; having social media apps used in common areas only, not in private; have an early cutoff time for social media use, like 9pm, for example. 5. Empowering Parents. If your child does not use social networking sites or other technology, but you are worried that he or she may be a target of cyber bullying, consider seeking help from outside resources like your child’s peers and your neighbors, and ask them to inform you of cyber bullying that may be occurring. If you discover that your child is being cyber bullied: Save the URLs of the location where the bullying occurred; document it by printing the e-mails or web pages and know in advance who at the school is the administrator overseeing bullying. Dr. Kate Roberts is a psychologist and parent coach on the North Shore. www.drkateroberts.com
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Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex by Ferrett Steinmetz There’s a piece of twaddle going around the internet called “10 Rules For Dating My Daughter”, which is packed with “funny” threats like this: “Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.” All of which boil down to the tedious, “Boys are threatening louts, sex is awful when other people do it, and my daughter is a plastic doll whose destiny I control.” Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play. Because consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface. Yes, all these boys and girls may break your heart, and that in turn will break mine. I’ve held you, sobbing, after your boyfriend cheated on you, and it tore me in two. But you know what would tear me in two even more? To see you in a glass cage, experiencing nothing but cold emptiness at your fingers, as Dear Old Dad ensured that you got to experience nothing until he decided what you should like. You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall, to learn where the bandages are and to bind up your own cuts. I’ll help. I’ll be your consigliore when I can, the advisor, the person you come to when all seems lost. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness. You’re your own person, and some of the things you’re going to love will strike me as insane, ugly or unenjoyable. This is how large and wonderful the world is! Imagine if everyone loved the same thing; we’d all be battling for the same ten
North Shore Children & Families people. The miracle is how easily someone’s cast-offs become someone else’s beloved treasure. And I would be a sad, sad little man if I manipulated you into becoming a cookie-cutter clone of my desires. Love the music I hate, watch the movies I loathe, become a strong woman who knows where her bliss is and knows just what to do to get it. Now, you’re going to get bruised by life, and sometimes bruised consensually. But I won’t tell you sex is bad, or that you’re bad for wanting it, or that other people are bad for wanting it from you if you’re willing to give it. I refuse to perpetuate, even through the plausible deniability of humor, the idea that the people my daughter is attracted to are my enemy. I’m not the guard who locks you in the tower. Ideally, I am my daughter’s safe space, a garden to return to when the world has proved a little too cruel, a place where she can recuperate and reflect upon past mistakes and know that here, there is someone who loves her wholeheartedly and will hug her until the tears dry. That’s what I want for you, sweetie. A bold life filled with big mistakes and bigger triumphs. Now get out there and find all the things you f***ing love, and vice versa. This blog post originally ran on theferrett.com under a slightly different title. Reprinted with permission.
Teaching Teens about “Awesome Sex” In his blog post, Ferrett Steinmetz wants his daughter to have awesome sex. Is that a good or a bad thing? In my view, it depends entirely on what one means by the phrase “awesome sex”. There is a lot that I like about Steinmetz’s blog post. First, Steinmetz is no hypocrite. He enjoys sex; he wants his daughter to experience the same joy that he experiences from sex. Why would we wish to deny something to our sons and daughters that we hold to be dear? Wouldn’t we want our children to enjoy the pleasures of such experiences? Second, as a parent, Steinmetz does not see his role as that of producing carbon copies of himself. He is aware that his daughter is her own separate person, and must therefore find her own way. Steinmetz is committed to helping her to forge her way, and primarily on her own terms, and not his. I am more critical, however, of Steinmetz’s advice regarding sexuality – not because I think that his daughter should be deprived of “awesome sex” – but instead because I disagree with Steinmetz’s conception of what constitutes good sex. Steinmetz is quite clear in his post: Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play. Why is sex good? Because it is fun. And because it’s fun, darling, go out and play. But is this true? Is sex good because it is fun? Is “good sex” – indeed “awesome sex” – sex that produces awesome physical sensations? As a nation, we are terribly confused about sex. Yes, indeed, sex produces pleasurable sensations; it can be fun. But sex is not simply a desire for pleasurable sensations. Sex is about intimacy. It is not simply a contract Continued on page 8
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Teenage Sexuality Teaching Teens About Awesome Sex Continued from page 7
between two people who agree to exchange their private parts for personal pleasure. Sex is a form of intimacy. Sexual desire is not simply the desire for pleasurable sensations – it is the desire for another person. And that is what makes the shared surrender of sexuality vulnerable, tender, jealous, evaluative and intimate. Where is the Good in Good Sex? What is “good sex”? In the early part of the twentieth century, the dominant message was a moral one: Sex was the proper province of the marriage bed. Good sex was morally right sex. Many forms of Christianity adhered to a strict morality about sex. The proper purpose of sex is procreation, and that monogamous sex between a committed man and a woman is the only type of sexual activity that can be both moral and fulfilling. With the rise of the sexual revolution and development of “the pill”, the likelihood of pregnancy upon intercourse was dramatically diminished. With the threat of pregnancy out of the way, the argument that sexuality has a moral dimension became more difficult to make. The decision to engage in sexual activity came to be seen as a matter of personal choice and private morality. The purpose of having sex became the experience of individual or mutual pleasure. As long as we’re not hurting anyone, as long as we consent, what we do behind closed doors is our choice. At this juncture, the problems of sexuality were no longer moral, but merely practical: How do I avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases? How can I increase my pleasure? How can I enhance my partner’s pleasure?
The pendulum has swung away from the authoritarian morality of the Church toward an amoral and pragmatic conception of sexuality as an uncomplicated private pleasure. However, both of these extremes fail to capture the nature of sexuality as form of intimacy between two people. Good sex involves pleasure, but is not primarily about pleasure. Good sex is about intimacy and union with the other. What is sexual desire a desire for? Sexual desire cannot simply be a desire for certain physical sensations. If it were, then there would be no need for a sexual partner. Sexual desire is a desire for union with another person. In sexual desire, we desire union not simply with a lifeless body or piece of meat; instead, we desire union with another person’s body as illuminated through the light of his or her subjective consciousness. Sexual desire longs for the other person, but does so through his or her body. In so doing, it includes as part of its longing the other person as a conscious, evaluating, desiring, feeling agent. Imagine sex with a beautiful but indifferent and unresponsive body; desire immediately dissipates.
Sexual activity is an intimate act. It requires exposure, vulnerability and surrender. It involves exchanges of the deepest and most private aspects of one’s person and personhood. It involves a vulnerable offering that one hopes the other will both desire and accept. If sexual desire is a desire for union with an embodied person, it can never be morally neutral. The moral dimension of sexuality includes but extends beyond simply respecting one’s partner’s right to say “no”. Sexual desire is jealous. Jealousy occurs when a third person violates physical and emotional intimacy shared between partners in an erotic relationship. Sexual jealousy says: “I wanted you to want me exclusively, and now our intimacy is no longer special”. The emotional fallout of promiscuity and casual sex often comes as a surprise to young people. I often ask the students in my college class on “Love, Sex and Relationships” the following question: “Imagine you find the person you want to marry. That person tells you, ‘You are the 28th person with whom I have had oral sex.’ How do you feel?” The answers are always illuminating. Students immediately begin to see that engaging in casual sex cheapens the intimacy that sexual desire seeks to attain. So, what does it mean to teach good sex? Good sex is not simply more skillful sex, more pleasurable sex or even safer sex (all of which may be good things). Good sex is that which fulfills what sexual desire is a desire for: intimate union with another person. Sex is Not a Game Sexual awakening is a part of the experience of being a teen. If you have a teen, it will not be especially helpful to ignore your child’s budding sexuality. Teaching teens about sexuality involves much more than teaching them how to have safe and consensual sex. It involves teaching them that sex is primarily about establishing intimacy and union with another person. To understand this idea is to become aware of the sexual stakes. Sex is not a game. This is why “go out and play” is such dangerous advice.
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How George Took Me In by Justin Travers George died yesterday. Or did he pass? I never know which to use. Pass is softer, but he died. Either way, I am sad. I was just getting to know George. He was a recently retired professor from an Ivy League school. He joined our church. It wasn’t long before he was an integral part of the church – part of its center. He served on the Vestry committee. He was there when a decision was needed about what to do about the broken window and the minister was out of town. He was a presence at meetings and workshops. People liked him. As Kris told me the day after he died, “He was an inspiration to me.” I didn’t know George very well. I had just begun to get to know him. I liked his honesty, his willingness to talk openly about anything, his intelligence, and, most of all, his compassion. But I was just
getting to know who he was. And then the abrupt permanence of his leaving. He was gone. Why was I so sad? Yes, I was saddened by the loss. I was saddened to think of the pain he suffered before he died. And I could only imagine what his wife of 40 plus years was going through. But that wasn’t all there was. Certainly his death got me to thinking. Yes, when someone passes before his time, we are forced to think about our own mortality and all of that. We need to live the moment, to find ways to make sure that we are doing meaningful things with the limited time that we have. That’s what our wonderful minister said. He is right, of course. But that’s not why there was a hole. I found out about George on, well, Facebook. A member of the Continued on page 13
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Ask Dr. Mike
Your Free, Family-Friendly Resource Ask Dr. Mike – at www.northshorefamilies.com! Ask Dr. Mike is an interactive feature where you can ask our Editor, Michael F. Mascolo, Ph.D., a parenting, education, family or development question you may have. Do you need to know why your child behaves as he/she does? Do you need a way to bring your family unit back together in more meaningful ways? Are you struggling as a parent with your own development questions? Well, Ask Dr. Mike! It’s free and family friendly – and designed for you. Email your questions to Dr.Mike@northshorefamilies.com. The Challenge: Teens and their Phone Apps Dear Dr. Mike: I broke down and gave my 13-year-old daughter a smart phone for her birthday. She wanted one, and even though I was a bit leery, I wanted to be able to contact her. But now she is always on the phone, texting and using apps. I looked at some of the pictures on her apps, and I find them disturbing. Should I take her phone away? Should I take away the internet from her phone? I feel like I need to know what she’s looking at, but I also feel like I’m invading her privacy when I check her history. Help! – from C.S. in Newburyport
Dear C.S.: You are not alone. If it’s any consolation to you, virtually all parents of teens are facing this problem. And it’s a difficult one. Yes, one possible solution would be to disable the internet on her phone. A 13-year-old doesn’t necessarily need the internet on her phone. However, that solution only pushes the problem back a bit. It will resurface soon enough. And you’ll have to address it anyway. Let me start by stating my sense of the whole issue of privacy. My attitude toward this might be seen as a bit extreme by some. Nonetheless, I am committed to it. My belief about privacy and children is that…well…there is none. Well, that’s not quite true. There is privacy – but only if it is earned. Privacy with children is born of trust; and children must earn the privilege to be trusted by being left alone. This is true of cell phones, computers, dresser drawers, friends, dates and what have you. If your child can earn your trust, then she will have shown you to your satisfaction that she will not abuse the privilege of her phone. Until that happens, in my view, parents have the right to ensure that their children are safe. If I had to choose between safety and privacy, safety wins every time. And so, sorry kid – no privacy until you’ve earned it. (And even then, trust…but verify.)
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1. Set clear limits. There are some apps and sites that are simply unacceptable. You know what I’m talking about. Identify those limits and discuss them with your child. If your child violates those limits, take the phone away and have her earn the phone back by showing that she can be trusted in some other, related area. Then, little by little, she gets the phone back. 2. Get to know the applications (apps) that teenagers use. Learn to use them. Learn everything you can about them. And then, once you learn, you’ll find that your knowledge is obsolete. So you’ll have to learn all the new apps that came out when you weren’t looking. Here are some apps that might be on your child’s phone (or computer): Facebook: You know what that is. (www.facebook.com) Youtube: You know this one too. (www.youtube.com) Twitter: You probably know this one. People with a twitter account can tweet 110 characters of text and broadcast it to all their friends. (www.twitter.com) So, children must earn our trust. But to do that, they must have the opportunity to earn our trust. How can this be done? Here is one way not to do it: Take away the phone. Prohibit your child from downloading any apps. If she does so, punish her. What will this do? This will show your child that you are not to be trusted – that you are someone to fear, to get around. Do this and your child will sneak around to get what she wants.
Tumblr: A blog app. “Hipsters” (people who take photos with filters – like Instagram) use it. (www.tumblr.com)
So what’s the solution? The only one that has ever really worked. We must use our relationships with our children in order to influence them. Here’s how:
Snapchat: A dangerous app. Allows users to take pictures, record videos, add captions and drawings, and send them to persons on their
Vine: Allows user to take 6 second videos and send it to others. Plenty of “funny” videos that appeal to teens, but also plenty of inappropriate stuff here as well.
Continued on page 12
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Pinterest: Site that allows users to select photos or “pin-ups” and place them in a gallery. Mostly harmless stuff here, but not all harmless.
Ask Dr. Mike Continued from page 11
friend list. However, the pictures and videos “self-destruct” after a few seconds. And so, you can’t monitor them. This one’s got to go. Instagram: Allows users to post personal photos and photos from the internet to friends. Allows users to filter photos with artistic effects. Can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare. Kik: Texting app. Allows users to text, send photos and Youtube videos to friends. Teens like Kik because of its ease of use. It has more functions than most other texting apps. Whisper: Allows users to post anonymous secrets affixed to photographs. Users can contact each other and send photos and messages. Much sexting goes on with this app. Foursquare: A placefinder. Allows users to find local businesses, attractions, etc. Oovoo: Like Skype. Skype: Like Ooovoo. Reddit: Users submit links and text which other users vote “up” or “down”. Users rank the content. The site tends to be popular with boys who use the app as a search engine. Teens can talk to anyone who is using the app. 4Chan: Like Reddit. Allows users to pin images on bulletin boards. Users can comment on images.
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Wanelo: Wanelo stands for “Want, need, love”. Teenagers – mostly girls – use the app to find products that are bought, tagged and shared by users. When a product receives enough “tags”, a “store” page is created. Stores allow users to get updates on products. Users can buy things on this app! Beware! Pheed: iPhone app that allows users to share digital content (audio, video, live-streaming, etc.) using 420 characters or less. Users use their own channel to broadcast digital content either privately or publically. Users can charge for access to their content. 3. Review and discuss the apps your teen uses together. Find out what apps your child wants to use. Don’t prohibit them. Instead, go through the apps together. Yes, it may be embarrassing for you, but it will be more embarrassing for your teen! Discuss what makes some content acceptable and other content less acceptable. Show your child how to use the apps responsibly. Schedule time to review your child’s history with him or her. Discuss. And then discuss some more. The more open you are with your teen, the more open he or she will be with you. 4. Set limits. If your child violates the limits after the many teaching and learning moments you’ve spent together, return to item #1. The most important thing that you can do to protect your child from social media is to be an involved parent. Don’t be afraid to monitor what your teens are doing. Discuss the perks and perils of your child’s app use from their perspective as well as from yours. Show them that you have to earn their trust, and show them that they can trust you.
How George Took Me In Continued from page 9
congregation, Linda, who was out of state at the time, wrote about her sadness at the loss of George. I knew George was in the hospital, but I didn’t know it was serious. So her Facebook post came as quite a shock. But it wasn’t just what she said about George. Something else. She said, “The only place I want to be is with you all at our church.” The personal meaning that this had for me didn’t hit me until I saw Linda in church the next day. She had cut her trip short to come to church. She looked awfully sad. But then I realized something. Linda experienced the church – this group of friends and strangers – as a real source of comfort and community. And that’s what made me realize, well, that Linda’s experience was foreign to me. I had never had such an experience. Not in a church; not at work; not at school; not in my family – my family of origin, that is. Especially not in my family of origin.
Facebook post made me want to go to church the next day. It made me want to hug her, to tell her that she was not alone, to share her grief, to comfort her. I was able to hug her. I wish I could have done more.
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But now things were beginning to become clear. It was becoming clear that George had affected me beyond the pleasing times we spent at dinner; beyond the warm conversation that we had in his home; beyond the stories he told me about his life journey with his wonderful wife. The lesson was this: George touched our community. George had touched Linda. Linda had reached out. And in her reaching out, I felt connected to her, perhaps needed. Or perhaps feeling that I needed her. And in making me feel this way, I felt a sense of connection to her, to George and to the entire community. I had the experience of belonging that I had never been able to feel before.
Yes, if you don’t feel connected in your home life, it can last a lifetime.
And so, without his knowing it, through his passing, yes – his passing, George had put his avuncular arm around me and brought me into his heart, and into the loving warmth of a caring community.
But yet here was some hope. Linda’s
I think I know George now.
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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. OCTOBER IS THE MONTH FOR: Breast Cancer Awareness – please get your mammograms regularly and remind your family & friends to do the same. October is also the month for Adopting Shelter Dogs, Computer Learning, Cookies, Domestic Violence Awareness,
Lupus Awareness, National Diabetes Month, Pizza,Vegetarians, Popcorn Popping, Sarcasm & Seafood NOW ENROLLING: Contact our independent schools in this issue to arrange a tour! It’s never too early to start planning for your child’s education or get on waiting lists! Check out the ads in this issue for fall Open Houses! FREE TRIAL CLASS: Try a free trial class at SoccerTots (Danvers & Beverly)! For kids 18 mos. – 6 years old. See ad on page 6 & save $10! www.aztectots.com
North Shore Children & Families invites you to enter our Facebook Contest:
Halloween Costume Contest! PICK ME! “Like” our Facebook page and post your Halloween costume photos by Nov. 10 at www.facebook.com/NorthShoreFamilies! We will select one adult winner (share a photo of yourself, your child or your pet in costume!) and one child winner (in costume) – and publish our top 3 photos in each category in a future issue and/or on our website, www.northshorefamilies.com!
Adult Prize: 2 tickets to Boston Ballet’s, The Nutcracker Child Prize: 2 tickets to A Christmas Story – The Musical All prizes are awarded courtesy of North Shore Children & Families, and in partnership with select sponsors. Your Facebook post/entry gives NSC&F permission to use your photo or your child’s or pet’s photo, first name and city/town in a future issue. You must be 18 years of age to enter, or post with your parent’s permission.
POST YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME PHOTOS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND “LIKE” IT BY NOV. 10 FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GREAT PRIZES!
GET TICKETS NOW: Bill Hanney presents North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly; tickets on sale now for: La Cage Aux Folles (through Oct. 6); Miss Saigon (Nov. 5-17). www.nsmt.org Concerts, Comedy & Dance at North Shore Music Theatre: Barbra & Frank,The Concert that Never Was, Oct. 12; Harvey Robbins’ DooWopp Hall of Fame of America, Oct. 20. www.nsmt.org A Christmas Story,The Musical – at Citi Performing Arts Center, Boston; Nov. 20Dec. 8. Celebrate the holidays – fun for the whole family! $125-$45/ticket at www.citicenter.org. TUESDAYS (OCT. 1 – NOV. 19): Rhythm & Rhyme, 3pm, free for preschoolers & Kindergarteners w/caregiver at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. Pre-registration is required. WEDNESDAYS (OCT. 2 – NOV. 20): Mythological Mayhem, 3pm, free for grades 1-3 (meets 10/2, 16, 30 & 11/13) & grades 4-6 (meets 10/9, 23, 11/6 & 20), at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. Features mythology-themed books, games, crafts & more. Pre-registration is required. THURSDAYS (OCT. 3 – NOV. 21): Terrific 2s & 3s, 11am, free for 2 & 3 year olds w/caregiver, at HamiltonWenham Library, So. Hamilton. Pre-registration is required. FRIDAYS (OCT. 4 – NOV. 22): Baby Bookworms, at 10:30 & 11am; free for newborn to 18 mos. w/caregiver. At Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. Pre-registration is required. OCTOBER 1: Open School at HarborlightStoneridge Montessori School, 243 Essex St., Beverly; 9-10:30am. www.h-sms.org OCTOBER 1 – 30: Pumpkin Decorating Contest at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. For more info. & contest rules, see http://hwkidsroom.blogspot.com. OCTOBER 2: North of Boston Secondary School Fair, 6:30-8pm, at Austin Preparatory School, Reading. Meet over 60 private secondary schools; for parents w/students in 6th-8th grades. www.austinprepschool.org OCTOBER 5: World Teachers’ Day; Do Something Nice Day; International Frugal Fun Day
Boston Ballet School Friend Day, 8am-2pm, free for ages 3-adult; at Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, Marblehead. Come with a friend or make new friends when you try a FREE class at Boston Ballet School’s North Shore Studio. Beginners welcome! See www.bostonballet.org for free class schedule & more info. See Why Shore Is At Its Finest, at Shore Country Day School, Beverly, 10am-11:30am. See ad on page 7! www.discovershore.org The Phoenix School’s Global Cardboard Challenge, Salem, 9amnoon, $10/team of 2-6 members. Fun for all ages, The Challenge is a worldwide celebration of creativity & imagination where everyone is challenged to design & create using cardboard & recycled materials. Inspired by the short film Caine’s Arcade, about a young boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade, students & adults are challenged to create & build arcade games with cardboard, recycled materials & imagination. http://phoenixschoolcardboardchallenge.webs.com OCTOBER 8: Brookwood School 4 to 14 Speaker Series Event: New York Times bestselling author Paul Tough, 7pm, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. $10/adult; limited seating. For tickets & more info., visit www.brookwood.edu. See ad on page 4! OCTOBER 10: Open House at Next Generation Children’s Centers, with North Shore locations in Andover & Beverly; 7am-7pm. See ad on page 11! www.ngccenters.com OCTOBER 12: Info. Session on Becoming A Foster Parent, by The Home for Little Wanderers, 11am-1pm, for ages 25+; at 780 American Legion Hwy., Roslindale. www.thehome.org Dads & Donuts Storytime, 11am, at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton; free for ages 2+ w/caregiver. OCTOBER 13 & 14: Fall Harvest Festival in Downtown Newburyport, Market Square; fun for all ages featuring music, art, fine crafts & food. www.newburyportchamber.org OCTOBER 14: Columbus Day Happy Birthday, Dr. Mike!
OCTOBER 16 (NOON): AD DEADLINE: If you need to advertise in our NOVEMBER issue, and if you need our ad production assistance, please confirm your ad size and submit your ad materials by NOON TODAY! You can see our display ad rates, sizes, available discounts & more at www.northshorefamilies.com or contact email@example.com. Landmark High School Informational Visit, Prides Crossing; free for parents & high school students, but please register. www.landmarkschool.org OCTOBER 17: Landmark School Informational Visit, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 8:45am; free for parents only, but please register. Learn about our Elementary-Middle School (grades 2-8). www.landmarkschool.org College Financial Aid Workshop, 7-8:30pm, free for teens & parents at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. http://informedteenshwlibrary.blogspot.com. OCTOBER 18 (NOON): AD DEADLINE: FINAL Advertising Space Reservation DEADLINE at NOON for ALL COMPLETED ADS (that do NOT require ad production assistance) in our NOVEMBER issue! To advertise, contact firstname.lastname@example.org! If you need our ad production assistance, please confirm your ad size and submit your ad materials by noon, Wed., Oct. 16! You can see our regular display ad rates, sizes, available discounts & more at www.northshorefamilies.com. OCTOBER 19: Open House at Tower School, Marblehead; 9:30-11:30am. See ad on page 11! www.towerschool.org Open House at Cape Ann Waldorf School, Beverly, 10am-noon. See ad on page 10! www.capeannwaldorf.org Programs for Kids & Teens at North Shore Community College begin! See ad on page 12! www.community.northshore.edu Newburyport’s Great Pumpkin Lighting & Stroll, 6-9pm, free for all ages, Market Square, Newburyport. Bring a carved pumpkin; candle provided. www.newburyportchamber.org Harry Potter Extravaganza, 1pm, at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton. Features themed crafts, games & more. Costumes encouraged, free for all ages. http://hwkidsroom.blogspot.com
OCTOBER 19 & 20: Boo at the Zoo, 11am-3pm; free with zoo admission; at Stone Zoo, Stoneham. OCTOBER 20: ‘GBH Kids Word Girl, 1-3pm, at Cohen Hillel Academy, Marblehead. For ages 3-6 & Word Girl fans, w/caregiver. Meet ‘GBH Kids Word Girl, watch a brand new episode & more! See ad on page 13! www.cohenhillel.org OCTOBER 22 (NOON): Community Calendar listings’ DEADLINE at NOON for our NOVEMBER issue! Please submit your listings for NOVEMBER events directly through our website (see beg. of this Calendar for details). Families First Lecture: Bullying, 6:30-7:30pm, at St. Joseph School, Haverhill; free for parents. www.sjshav.com OCTOBER 23: The Importance of the Early Years, at Shore Country Day School, Beverly, 8:30-9:30am. See ad on page 7! www.discovershore.org STEAM Exhibition, 5-6pm, at The Phoenix School, Salem. Free for all ages; exhibition focuses on Halloween games the older students have made, our all-school STEAM work, as well as our beginning global connections. Lives of Civil War Soldiers & Civilians, 3pm, at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton; free for ages 10+. www.hwlibrary.org OCTOBER 26: Make A Difference Day: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Halloween Stories & Craft, 11am, at Hamilton-Wenham Library, So. Hamilton; free for ages 2+ w/caregiver. OCTOBER 27: Open House at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly, 2-4pm. See ad on page 9! www.gus.org OCTOBER 29: Open School at Waring School, Beverly. Stop by anytime between 9am-2pm; no appt. necessary. See ad on page 10! www.waringschool.org OCTOBER 31: DEADLINE to Enter for a Chance to Win 2 tickets to A Christmas Story – The Musical! See page 3! Happy Halloween! NOVEMBER 1 – 30: Story Writing Contest, at HamiltonWenham Library, So. Hamilton; open to children in grades 1-6. For more info. & contest rules, stop by the Children’s Room or visit http://hwkidsroom.blogspot.com.
North Shore Children & Families NOVEMBER 2: Sustainability Fair at Brookwood School, Manchester – Gardens: Habitats Around Us, 10am-2pm; free, all are welcome. This educational marketplace features local farms, smallbatch food purveyors, sustainable crafts, science, technology innovations, student displays & our Sustainable Cafe. See ad on back cover! www.brookwood.edu NOVEMBER 3: Fall Open House at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, 11am-2pm. See ad on page 6! www.austinprepschool.org NOVEMBER 7: Open School at HarborlightStoneridge Montessori School, Beverly; 9-10:30am and 7-8:30pm. See ad on page 5! www.h-sms.org NOVEMBER 10: Deadline to enter our Halloween Costume Contest on our Facebook page, [North Shore Children & Families (North of Boston)], at www.facebook.com/NorthShoreFamilies - see more info. & prizes on page 14!
NOVEMBER 13: Open House at Tower School, Marblehead; 6:30-8pm. See ad on page 11! www.towerschool.org NOVEMBER 14: Deadline to Register for Fall Entrance Exam at Austin Preparatory School, Reading. Exam is 11/16, 8:30am. See ad on page 6! www.austinprepschool.org Open House at Tower School, Marblehead; 9-11am. See ad on page 11! www.towerschool.org Landmark School Informational Visit, Manchester-by-the-Sea; free for parents only, but please register. Learn about our Elementary-Middle School (grades 2-8). www.landmarkschool.org NOVEMBER 15: Landmark High School Informational Visit, Prides Crossing; free for parents & high school students, but please register. www.landmarkschool.org NOVEMBER 17: Admission Open House, 1-3pm, at The Pike School, Andover. See ad on page 8! www.pikeschool.org
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.
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