Conquer Your Stress + Keep Calm and Parent On

Doni Wilson, author of The Stress Remedy.
Topic: Master your body’s synergy and optimize your health.
Issues:
How to analyze the sources of your stress and determine how your body has been affected; understanding synergy; how imbalances create weight gain, cholesterol problems, and more; leaky gut and how it could be compromising your entire system.



Emma Jenner, author of Keep Calm and Parent On.
Topic: Raising children by asking more from then and doing less for them.
Issues:
Manners and respect; boundaries and consequences; scheduling and routines; communication; self-esteem; trusting your instincts; quality time.

Summer Brain Drain? Not Around Here

Now that summer’s here and the kids are home, parents are looking for ways to keep their little ones’ minds sharp over break. Old standbys like activity books, worksheets, and reading are great at keeping those brains busy. But there are also a lot of fun reading are all important to keep learning locked in, there are fun toys you can add into the mix that kids will enjoy playing–and learning—with.

telly teaching clockTelly the Teaching Time Clock (The Learning Journal International)
This little guy is perfect for kids who are learning to tell time—and yes, that’s important even in an era where clocks with hands seem to be going the way of the ichthyosaurus. Actually, with Telly, you can teach the kids both analog and digital, a feature you rarely find on the same teaching clock. There’s also a “quiz mode,” where Telly asks the child to match the digital time shown on his face by moving the hands on his (literal) face. Bonus: Among his many talents, Telly is a real, working clock, making him a nice addition to a child’s bedroom. Comes with three AA batteries. Retails for $28 on http://www.tlji.com/

magnetic spell and learn boardMagnetic Spell and Learn Board (The Learning Journal International)
This is a great way to teach your kids letters, sounds, and spelling. Some of the magnets have short words and pictures of the words on them. They can then “write” out the spelled words with the magnet letters. This type of hands-on learning is a great way to build phonics, vocabulary, spelling skills, and early reading skills. The board and interlocking magnets make putting words together into sentences or poetry a breeze. And the handy storage compartment makes clean-up easy and minimizes missing pieces. Retails for $20 on http://www.tlji.com

turbo land rocketTurbo Land Rocket (Scientific Explorer)
This toy offers a different type of hands-on experience that’s a lot of fun for a one-on-one parent-child adventure or a whole brood of kiddies. As you might assume from the name, you’re going to be building a rocket—a really fast one. The kit comes with almost everything you need (and easy-to-follow directions). The only thing you’re missing is the rocket’s fuel, which consists of vinegar and baking soda. It’s a real blast and you’ll want to do it again and again. Unlike so many science-based kits, you’ll actually be able to. The manufacturer claims the rocket can go more than 200 feet. Ours didn’t go quite that far but it definitely attracted a lot of neighborhood kids. $26 on http://poof-slinky.com

root vueRootVue (HSP Nature Toys)
If you want to see science literally come to life, this indoor garden is for you. It’s kind of like an ant farm, where clear plastic windows gave you a chance to see how ants build tunnels. But instead of insects, you and the kids get a chance to see how root vegetables grow—the leafy tops up, and the roots down. RootVue comes with “eight super-expanding grow mix wafers, three packets of seeds, identification labels, water wicks for self-watering system” It also has a simple water basin and drainage system, so it’s pretty much mess-free, and a 16-page booklet that has easy-to-follow instructions for doing a variety of experiments. Aside from the science part, there’s also a nutritional component: when kids grow their own veggies, they’ll be a lot more likely to eat them. $35 on http://www.hspnaturetoys.com

Why Everything You Know About Genius and Intelligence Is Wrong

Hunter Maats, coauthor of The Straight-A Conspiracy.
Topic: Why everything you know about genius and intelligence is wrong.
Issues:
The truth behind the lie that genius is born, not developed; understanding how the brain works; the connection between emotion and academic performance; the Betty Crocker approach to learning; taking the mystery out of reading; navigating your test prep like a London cabbie; go cyborg on your mistakes

Have a Teenager and Still Be Happy + Straight A Conspiracy


Judith Joy, author of Surviving Your Teenager and Being Happy Anyway.
Topic: Is it possible to be happy and still have a teenager?
Issues:
Beliefs we tell ourselves; the difference between questions and affirmations; taking responsibility for everything in your life; the mind is powerful but feelings are even more so; we learning to make decisions and choices.



Hunter Maats, coauthor of The Straight-A Conspiracy.
Topic: Why everything you know about genius and intelligence is wrong.
Issues:
The truth behind the lie that genius is born, not developed; understanding how the brain works; the connection between emotion and academic performance; the Betty Crocker approach to learning; taking the mystery out of reading; navigating your test prep like a London cabbie; go cyborg on your mistakes.

Gala Bingo launches World Record attempt in fundraiser for Male Cancer Awareness Campaign

This post was written by Jonny Morton as part of a collaborative project.
Leading UK online Bingo brand, GalaBingo.com has teamed up with Male Cancer Awareness Campaign (MCAC) to raise money for testicular cancer, by donating proceeds from their Coronation Street games to the charity from 20th June to 3rd July. The partnership is looking to raise over £10,000 in donations as well as encouraging bingo players to do their bit for the men in their life!
June was Men’s Health Month, but being aware of the unique health concerns that affect boys and men is an everyday issue. The Male Cancer Awareness Campaign aims to educate men and their partners about the importance of early detection, as well as building a culture where embarrassment does not prevent them from addressing problems with intimate parts of their bodies.
MCAC has a history of running fun charity campaigns, from ‘Mr. Testicles’, to ‘Going Commando’, and the latest partnership with Gala Bingo will see the Bingo brand aim to break the Guiness World Record for a game of bingo played with the biggest bingo balls! Even better, the World Record Attempt will take place on the set of Coronation Street, under the watchful eye of a Guinness record adjudicator as well as some famous Ex Corrie stars joining in the fun.
GalaBingo.com players will have the chance to play in the game on the street and enjoy a celebrity filled party by playing in special Coronation Street Bingo and slot games.
Director of GalaBingo.com Alison Digges commented: “We are delighted to be joining up with the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign for our World Record attempt and we hope that the promotional games and the event itself will raise a lot of money and more importantly additional awareness for this very important charity”.
Whether you choose to join in the fun at Gala Bingo, make an independent donation, or just take the time to check yourself, make sure you do your bit to win the battle against cancer.

All You Need is a Shot of Courage

Dear Mr. Dad: I am currently deployed and going to miss the birth of my first. As such, my wife and I decided to hire a doula. We found one and really like her, but unfortunately, she is not vaccinated, nor are her own children. We spoke to my wife’s OB who says there is a very slim chance of anything happening, but there is a chance. How much should we be concerned?

A: A lot. I think it’s a big mistake to go with a doula who doesn’t vaccinate herself or her children.

If your wife has been vaccinated and breastfeeds your baby, her immunity will most likely protect the baby. But we’re talking about a newborn here. Is “most likely protected” or “a slim chance of anything happening” good enough? It wouldn’t be for me–especially when you can reduce the risk to almost zero.
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