This column originally appeared on Cranberry Patch on Father's Day 2011. I'm running it again with updated census figures because, well, I love my old man—and that never changes from year to year. Happy Father's Day, everyone!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Patch parenting columnist Nia Stanley believes the magazine used the controversial image of a mom nursing her child to stir an 'attachment parenting' debate—and to attract attention.
No one bats an eye in the grocery store line when they see an attractive blonde woman on the cover of a magazine. But when she’s nursing her 3-year-old son, that’s going to spark some chatter. Time magazine’s controversial cover features Jamie Lynne Grumet standing and her 3-year-old son perched on a chair, nursing from his mother. The image goes along with an article on attachment parenting, a parenting method which basically includes extended breast feeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing— meaning the baby is carried in a sling with a parent. The idea of co-sleeping is not popular, due in part to the number of infants who have been smothered to death by a parent who rolls over on them. "Baby wearing" isn’t for everyone. It’s something I as…
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Patch columnist says the Trayvon Martin case isn't a "hoodie issue" or a "gun issue," but a human issue.
Everyone is weighing in on the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, and I am no exception. The myriad emotions I have felt regarding this tragedy are too numerous to mention, but they include outrage, sadness and mostly fear. I definitely want to dedicate a post to Trayvon Martin. Because Trayvon could be my son. And yours, too, regardless of what race you may be. The way I see it, you have a young man who was walking home from the store when he was approached by a grown man—who had been told not to follow or approach Trayvon. From the sounds of it, he did what we all tell our children to do when they are approached by a stranger. Get out of there. Run. Yell for help. Fight back. Do anything you need to do to get away from them. I’m …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Celebrities have their every move picked apart, but what happens when those actions affect others? Patch columnist Nia Stanley looks at both sides.
Who's younger than 2 months, less than 10 pounds, has been featured on a hit song and already has a better life than most of us? Blue Ivy Carter. Hysterical fans and irate parents of children born at the same time and in the same hospital were there when the first child of power couple Jay Z and Beyonce was welcomed into the world. The Internet went crazy with rumors that the couple prevented other families from visiting with their loved ones because of a super tight security detail, that Jay Z paid to have the Empire State Building lit up with blue lights in honor of Blue Ivy Carter's birth and that the couple rented an entire floor of Lenox Hill Hospital to protect their privacy. This made me wonder why people were even on the floor to …
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Can competing in pageants give young girls a leg up in a competitive world?
Beauty pageant contestants go through a lot. They have to practice with pageant coaches for hours a day. They have to buy gowns that can cost hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. They have to get teeth bleachings, manicures, pedicures and eyebrow waxing. One contestant I saw in a documentary went to a chiropractor for an alignment to improve her posture. The day of the pageant, the contestant must sit still for hours to get her hair and makeup just right. But the prizes make it all worth it, what with cash, cars, trips, and princess canopy beds. You read that right. The pageant contestants I’m referring to are the little stars of Toddlers and Tiaras, a reality show about young children who compete in beauty pageants, and the …
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
When does an athlete's passion for a sport cross the line?
“Don’t look at me!” No, this wasn't an unruly toddler yelling. “You’re a hater and you’re unattractive on the inside.” Did that come from the mouth of a sassy teen? Nope. This was just part of the tirade tennis champ Serena Williams hurled at chair umpire Eva Asderaki on Sunday during the U.S. Open Finals. I had already watched the Ravens unceremoniously roll over my beloved Steelers, and then my friend in my imagination Serena Williams suffered a same fate against Samantha Stosur. What set Williams off was what she deemed to be an unfair call as a result of the yelling she does when she serves the ball during the match. There have been a lot of comments about how inappropriate Williams behaved, and her outburst resulted in a $2,000 fine…
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Broke or not, we still have to set an example.
Jobs can be scarce these days, and yet bills still must be paid. What’s a parent to do when there is a choice to be made between paying the electric bill and purchasing new school clothes? It’s infuriating to me that so many hardworking families are going through such tough times. It shouldn’t have to be one or the other when it comes to paying the bills and keeping food on the table. Unfortunately that’s the reality for some of us. While my family is in no way impoverished, we have hit tough times, just as thousands, if not millions, of others have. Lack of work on my part has caused our household budget to be excruciatingly tight, and the stress has begun to eat away at me. I have worked my entire life. I was a server in college, often …
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Do you know the passwords to your children's social media accounts?
I have a 15-year-old who is going to be a sophomore in high school this year. She is a very mysterious creature. She spends hours behind the closed door of her room, listening to music, being on the computer, texting and talking on the phone with friends. She could be talking about boys, or she could be looking up the details of a Sewickley-area flash mob, for all I know. A friend of mine said she has the passwords to any and all email and social networking accounts for her children. Another friend forbids her children to have Facebook accounts. I held out as long as possible for my daughter to get a cell phone, and it was only because of convenience that I gave her uncle the green light to buy her one as a gift. When I was thinking about …
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Is timeout an effective way to discipline a child?
I follow an eclectic group of people on Twitter, and when we’re not talking about the antics of our favorite reality TV stars, we have meaningful conversations about serious topics. Parenting comes up often. The other day we were talking about the concept of timeout versus spankings. It seemed that few of my ‘tweethearts’ believed that timeout really doesn't work. As a fan of timeout for small children, it seemed that my pleas to at least try it were falling on deaf ears. Don’t these people watch Supernanny? I wondered. They would see that, with patience, timeout can reign in the most unruly, candy-eating, back-talking toddlers. Spanking seems to get a bad hand, no pun intended. Many people see spanking as a gateway to abuse, which is not…
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
After considering the success stories of other teen business owners, should we encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit in our own broods?
I had heard of Catherine Cook before, but seeing her recently on "Inside Edition" reminded me that there are truly forward-thinking youngsters in the world. If you’re not familiar with her, she and her brother founded MyYearbook.com, a social-networking site that allows users to connect with and meet each other online. Its games and other features make it similar to Facebook, but its concept is modeled after the high school yearbook. Catherine came up with the idea when she was 15. She is now 22, a college graduate and a multimillionaire. She and her brothers sold the company for -- I'm assuming the voice of "Austin Powers' " Dr. Evil -- $100 million. That’s right. These kids, who came up with an idea when they were even younger kids, …