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When I was in my twenty’s, I worked at a residential treatment center for juvenile delinquents. It was  one of the few programs at the time that housed both boys and girls, ages 12-18. Most just dealt with boys since “girls are just too much trouble.”  Having had counseling training and work experience with the Juvenile Court system during college,  I thought I knew what I would be facing. Wrong.

My years there taught me more about parenting than I ever would have realized. I went in thinking I would be helping a bunch of rebellious kids who had succumbed to peer pressure and gotten into trouble despite the best efforts of their parents. Naive? You bet!  The more parents I met, the more I realized that 95% of what later turned into delinquent behavior by the child, started with inappropriate, absentee or even abusive parenting. And it was not necessarily based on economic, cultural or other what was deemed “typical” demographics.

What started me on this train of thought today? I read Nicholas Kristof’s NYTimes Op-Ed column, “Girls on our Streets” of yesterday. I’m used to his descriptions of overseas prostitution, of trafficking in girls usually between the ages of 12-14, but this column discusses young girl prostitutes in the United States. Even social services call them “throw-aways”, young girls whose parents see “no good” in them or who can’t handle the behavior patterns developed as a result of the girl’s low-self esteem. Low-self esteem developed because of serious parenting issues. See a vicious cycle here?

My first instinct upon reading Kristof’s column was to jump, yet again, on the bandwagon for more resources, guidance, counseling, teaching, etc., etc., for those who are parents in trouble as well as for the child.  While I still believe in that, I decided instead I wanted to actually do a complete turn-about and celebrate parents who are great, who are taking wonderful care of their children, who are making a positive difference.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, when I learned of a delightful opportunity to create an easy online video award for the mother you want to honor as “Mother of the Year”, I couldn’t resist passing it along. From MomsRising’s Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner:

*See your name in lights on a prime time online newscast in this funny, inspirational and, yes, customizable video: http://news.cnnbcvideo.com/index2.html

You can also make this online video feature a friend, your mom, and anyone you know who could use a little lift for the hard work she does just being a mom every day.

TRY IT! It’s fun, and the mom who receives it will love it. And then maybe we can look at putting mom power behind those who could benefit from learning what it takes to be a loving parent. For their child.

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Swine flu media blitz influencing the youngest generation?? I don’t know if the author this particular story, Little Pig is Missing,  was subliminally impacted by the recent massive media coverage of the swine flu… but I do know this story made me smile widely. Written and illustrated by Quinn, an intrepid five year old, I was given this as a gift and recognize it for the treasure it is. Couldn’t resist sharing your story and some of your illustrations – thanks Quinn!

Little Pig is Missing    Written and Illustrated by Quinn

pig-is-missing

Little Pig and Daddy Pig

Little Pig and Daddy Pig are swimming in the jungle water .

 

 

 

 

tiger-and-rhino1

Tiger and Rhino

The Tiger and the rhino came and they were talking to Daddy Pig. The rhino stepped on Tiger’s tail and he ROARED!

 

 

 

 

Little Pig got scared and ran away.   And then he was lost forever….but the parrot brought him home.

Parrot in Little Pig is Missing by Quinn

Parrot saving Little Pig

 

And Little Pig and Daddy Pig swam at slug-o-rama in the sluggy water.

 

                  THE END

 

 

copyright 2009 Quinn C

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I’ve been on the conservation bandwagon since I was in high school and was appointed as the the young rep for the “Mayor’s Conservation Committee”. Not ancient, but long enough ago that I can’t even remember the mayor’s name…oops. Meanwhile, just learned that the “greenbizdaily” twitter folks signed up to follow my little ol’ twitter log, and since I’ve just started tweeting, I have to wonder how they found me.

Suppose it’s like anything on the web these, the mention of any topic in your profile, in a blog post, etc., can be searched, found and in this case followed. Fortunately, I am glad they found me and now I them (yes, I’m now following greenbizdaily too). Looking at their tweets, I encourage you, if at all interested in things “green” to look them over and sign-up. Just in the few minutes of browsing, I found several good suggestions of things to do around the home to save energy, for example.

New to twittering? I did do an earlier blog post, Twitter, Tweet, Twit, that provides some good links to explanations and “how to’s”. I wonder, just as I get into tweeting, what media vehicle is coming up fast behind me, catching me unawares as folks switch from tweeting to ???

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As I watched Maria’s story on the Today Show this morning, I couldn’t help but remember other stories where bystanders did just that, stand by and watch someone get hurt without helping. In Maria’s case the “bystanders” were professionals, transit workers who did call whomever for help, but who did nothing else as she was grabbed and forced back down the NY subway steps to be raped on the platform.

Maria took the case to court and this week lost in trial. Yes, the transit workers did what was in the “manual”, but no, I have to agree with Maria, they didn’t do all they could have to help, at least from the description presented via her story. She wasn’t looking for the attendant in the booth to actually leave and help, but if they could have at least used the loud speaker  to let the guy known he was spotted and help was on the way!

It was heartbreaking to listen to her story. At one point she had made it to the top of the steps, saw the attendent and thought help and the end of her terror was in sight. Unless we’ve experienced this ourselves, how can we even imagine how it felt to have hope leave as quickly as it came, as you are once again dragged down and assaulted?

There was another show on recently (can’t remember which one) that did an experiment, showing an Hispanic man being “beaten” and as the camera’s rolled we watched who did or didn’t help. Most didn’t help, but a few did (including a petite woman!), so maybe there is a ray of hope in all that “can’t believe they didn’t help” reaction.

I wish I could expect that the NY Transit Authority takes another look at their procedures, even though they won this case. And not only NY, but any and all public entities throughout the country. We can at least attempt to improve that, everyone’s personal conscious as to what they would do is up to them. Thanks Maria, for sharing your story, it took guts and did indeed make an impact.

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Dawn

I watched the sun rise this morning, a beautiful shimmer in the distance, growing ever brighter in the chilly air. Not one to get up that early usually, it was a rare treat to see dark transform to light by simply sitting, sipping tea and enjoying the peace of the moment.
 
Of course symbolism couldn’t escape thoughts as I reflected on the idea that dawn brings forth a new day, a chance to start “all over again”, of remembering the “I am going to” promises of previous days. My own do-overs came to mind, not new but not accomplished, things that impact state of mind, health, future goals. If only I could carry the contemplative charge of energy throughout the day rather than watch it dissipate as those “same old, same old” issues come into play, things that zap the will to do better. I realize they are excuses and ask why do I let them win?!
 
I know I’m not alone, many friends talk of this cycle, different issues but same impact – distractions letting the intended road detour. I wonder if that’s a human condition, somehow our genes causing a pause in change so that we don’t jump into uncharted and potentially unsafe waters too quickly. Or is it something that happened while we were children that put fear onto a path that actually is not so scary after-all. Is  it our subconscious putting down stumbling blocks because it’s not really what we want for the future, no matter what we think in the now?
 
I look out and see the sun has risen, the fog is lifting, my eyes are finally open. The mundane filters in — gulp breakfast, get dressed, take out the trash, wondering if there is enough gas in the car… wait – the peace of the dawn is spilling over, making me pause and smile and lift my head to capture the warmth before chaos has a chance to resume control.

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In my earlier blog post about the fires in Australia, I posted pictures of the fire that were symbols of both the vastness of the fire with its resulting devastation and the kindness of man to animal (including that wonderful picture of the fireman giving water to a Koala).

Today I received an update, a slide show of photographs of Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden. In the small Victorian village of Marysville, Australia, Bruno Torfs created an enchanted world of wood carvings that a visitor could wonder through and experience while in the forest. Bruno and his family are safe, but apparently many of his woodcarvings were damaged or destroyed. Take the “tour” and see what was that can be again.

Again, if you are interested in helping to the victims of the fire in general, you can also contribute through:

Wildlife Victoria

Red Cross Emergency Services – Victorian Bushfires Appeal

 

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Not the same meaning as in back in the day, well, except maybe “twit”, Twitter and Tweet refer to yet another social networking tool. From the Twitter site itself:

“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.  People write short updates, often called “tweets”  of 140 characters or fewer.  These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.”

Hmmm… have you ever watched someone twittering, or even using text messaging while driving? I have, and believe me, I hesitate to drive with them again. I’ve watched cars cross traffic lanes, not stop, even come at me and saw them typing away with one or two fingers while occasionally glancing at the road.

Safety aside, do you think people, other than those or should I say some of those who love you, really want to hear what you are doing every minute? I’ve seen women in restrooms twittering as they told their waiting friend that they were, while, let’s just say, while they were using the facilities.

The most interesting twittering experience was during a recent conference, Fem2.0,  where we followed the twitter link, shown in real time on a big screen behind the speakers. We (the audience)  read the approvals, the questions or even the “get on with it” comments being sent throughout. As a speaker, that would really keep you in tune with your audience and if you were savvy enough, be able to respond immediately. That’s cool.

Twitter, Tweet, Twit. Wonder what the next new communication method to take over the world will be – or maybe already is?! I’ve seen a variety, but not heard any of front runner as of yet. Do you?

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