Taking THIS While Pregnant Increases Autism Risk By 87%, Says Study

New Study Highlights Increased Risks

Take note.

For a long time, the anti-vaccination movement claimed that vaccines increased the chances of autism in children. Though those claims have been disputed by multiple scientific journals and studies, there’s a new and scarily true threat that links antidepressants to autism.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that taking antidepressants during pregnancy increases the child’s risk of autism by 87 percent. Meaning that mothers who filled prescriptions during the second or third trimesters of their pregnancy increased the risk.

To come to this conclusion, researchers studied 145,456 children from conception to age 10, and included factors like genetic predisposition to autism, depression, socio-economic factors (like poverty), and maternal age of the mother.

But why the risk? The study suggests that, because antidepressants are known to inhibit serotonin, and because serotonin is an important part of pre- and postnatal development, the lack of this necessary hormone doesn’t allow the child’s brain to develop properly.

Lead researcher professor Anick Bérard, from the Université de Montréal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre, says that mothers should consider other treatment options to help with maternal depression, which accounts for 20 percent of an increased risk for autism.

“Given the mounting evidence showing increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome with antidepressant use during pregnancy … depression should be treated with other options (other than antidepressants) during this critical period,” Bérard says.

“Indeed, 80 to 85 percent of depressed pregnant women are mildly to moderately depressed; exercise and psychotherapy have been shown to be efficacious to treat depression in this sub-group. Therefore, we acknowledge that depression is a serious condition but that antidepressants are not always the best solution.”

This is huge news for all women who are planning to become pregnant in the future. Given these new findings, women should be aware of the risks associated with depression and seek out alternative treatment to using antidepressants.

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My 7-Year-Old Son REFUSED To Read — But THIS Changed His Mind

Smart Ideas for Kids Who Don't Like to Read

Thank you to my son for showing me that there are different ways to learn literacy.

I’m an educator and I work with special needs children. My kids don’t have special needs, so I wasn’t prepared when my son was challenged by learning to read.

At the end of first grade, my son was struggling with reading. It had nothing to do with his cognitive abilities; it had more to do with his stubbornness and determination to do everything independently. 

His first grade teacher suggested I hire a reading tutor, which I did. After seeing the tutor twice a week over the summer, he improved in his reading effort but still had a way to go. By the fall and now in second grade, he was at the point where he was reading on his own relatively well.

Still, it was a daily struggle to get him to do his 20 minutes of reading homework. Even bribery wouldn’t work. One day, my seven-year-old came up with an idea of his own.

“I want to write a story about My Little Pony.” he said. “I’ll write it, and I’ll spell the words by myself.”

He was holding a yellow notepad and a big pen as he said this. I thought, why not? Let’s see where this goes.

All of a sudden, I had flashbacks to when I was in the second grade. It was the late 80s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and my mom had a Macintosh plus computer. I’d use her computer to type up the stories I wrote, solely from my imagination.

“Go for it,” I said.

He sat down on the couch and began to write. Occasionally, he would ask me how to spell something like the word “what” or “you’re.” When he asked me how to spell “your,” I knew that was a teachable moment. I began to explain the difference between your and you’re.

“Your is used in the context of somebody’s belongings. Your jacket. Your cat,” I told him.

“So, what’s your with the R-E?” he asked.

“You’re is a combination of the two words ‘you’ and ‘are.’ It’s called a contraction”

“Oh,” he said knowingly.

My boy continued to write his story. After a while he had quite a few pages on that yellow pad, all about My Little Ponies.

“I want to type up my story,” he said. “Can you help me?”

Once again, my mind flashed back to myself at his age using that old Macintosh plus computer. I agreed to help, but life as a single mom is very busy. As much as I wanted to transcribe the story, I had to pause to make dinner. I had to make lunches for the next day. Apparently the story was on a tight deadline, and I soon became frustrated.

He then asked if he could type the story up by himself. Since he was using my computer, I began to get nervous about this prospect. But I fought that anxiety and I let him use my other baby, the iMac.

Though he was typing one key at a time, he didn’t seem to get frustrated. The end goal was that he would print his story out on paper. This alone was exciting enough to keep him going.

“After I’m done with this story, I want to write another one with more complicated words.”

“Okay, cool,” I said. “But let’s read this one aloud first.”

He shrugged and returned to his work. Eventually, he completed his story. He read it aloud to me as we were going to bed.

“Are you going to write another one?” I asked him.

“Maybe tomorrow,” he said nonchalantly.

Tomorrow came, and as soon as he got home from school my boy was searching for the yellow lined legal pad. The writing and typing continued for over a week.

After some time had passed, I decided to conduct an experiment.

I handed my son an adult fiction book and asked him to read a paragraph. He read the paragraph only requesting help once. What was most impressive was his recognition of the word “compromise.” This was a child who struggled with sight words just six months ago.

Storytelling is an ancient tradition, which unites multiple cultures. Native Americans used oral storytelling to teach morality to their younger citizens. Storytelling can be used in our younger generation to teach literacy.

Making reading exciting to younger learners can be challenging. Psychologist J. Richard Gentryasserts that storytelling is indeed a way to teach children this much needed skill.

“Most parents read stories to their kids. But how many parents write them? It’s not hard. Invite your child to write with you. Grab some paper and something to write with. And then make up a little story, writing it down, page by page as you go,” says Gentry.

Children will learn to read if they’re in the company of others who show a love for literature. As my son reads me his stories, I ask him questions about them and show an interest in their plot development.

According to Dr. Peter Gray Ph.D., a psychologist who studies children’s natural ways of learning, children become literate on their own time as long they’re around people who share their appreciation of the written word with them.

“As long as kids grow up in a literate society, surrounded by people who read, they will learn to read,” Gray states.

By fostering my child’s love of storytelling, I’m showing him that the written word is important.

I’ll continue to encourage my son to write and read his stories aloud because it’s beneficial to both of us. For him, he’s learning to read and write; for me, I find it to be a time where we can bond with one another.

Thank you to my seven-year-old for showing me that there are different ways to learn literacy.

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Printable Caldecott Medal Reading List

How It Really Feels Being The Mom Of A Bullied Kid

What affects our children affects us.

What affects our children, affects us.

I want to tell you how it feels to be the mom of a bullied kid.

I want to tell you how it feels when your heart breaks as your beautiful child looks up at you and asks, “Mom, what’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone like me?”

I want to tell you how it feels when your daughter looks at you with tears in her eyes and says,“He only asked me to dance to make fun of me.”

I want to let you know how many excuses you can try to make up when your child invites 12kids to his birthday party and only two show up, one who obviously was forced by his mom.

I want to tell you how it feels to stand by the door, waiting for the school bus, praying, “Please, God, let him have had a good day,” knowing the answer two steps after he gets off the school bus.

I want to tell you how you cringe every time the phone rings during the school day, how you hope it’s not the school calling with a sick kid, a guidance counselor or a some other problem.

I want to tell you the the horror of walking in on your 13-year-old daughter trying to swallow pills to end her life, because other teens have convinced her that she’s worthless and the world would be better off without her.

I want to tell you about pulling over on the side of the road sobbing so hard you vomit because you had to drive away from the hospital, leaving your child in a psych ward for “observation” after taking those pills.

I want to tell you about sitting up night after night with your teen, holding her hand to both let her know that you’re there, and to be sure she doesn’t get up and do something stupid.

I want to tell you about searching for age-appropriate long-sleeved clothing to hide the scars from cutting.

I want to tell you about how hard it is to get mental health help for your depressed teen.

I want to tell you how lonely it is when your friends disappear, because all your time is taken up caring for your kids who need you now, more than ever.

I want to tell you about the hundreds of fights you have with people telling you to just get over it, that kids will be kids.

I want to tell you how your marriage will suffer.

I want to tell you how hard you try to protect your child from the horrors of bullying.

But what I really want to tell you is to please, please, please teach your children to be kind. Teach them that while they don’t have to be friends with everyone, they should be civil.

Teach them to respect people who are different, and that if they don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Show them by example.

I want to tell you to thank your lucky stars that it’s not your kid, but your kid could be next. I also want you to know that we can help end bullying by teaching our kids to be brave and stand up for one another.

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“Hello” From the MotherSide, Hilarious Adele Parody

“Hello . . . it’s me . . . I would love to grab a glass of wine and maybe a grilled cheese.”

Singer-songwriter Emily Mills hilariously sings about the day to day of motherhood — and stress eating cheetos.  She nails it!

More “Hello” Goodness:

From Ellen:

 

SNL:

 

Lionel Calls Adele to Say Hello:

Enjoy!

What It’s REALLY Like To Poop While Giving Birth

Labor fears . . .

I refer to it as “The Incident.”

I attended the child-birthing classes. I knew how to breathe. I read every book on giving birth ever printed. But I was totally unprepared for what I call “The Incident,” which was a horrifying event that took place in the delivery room.

Let’s back up a little bit.

I was raised in a religious home by conservative parents who placed great emphasis on etiquette. I couldn’t bring myself to mention shaving my legs in front of my father until I was in college. I’m not one of those girls who will burp or pass gas to get a laugh. The fact that I just typed “pass gas” as opposed to “fart” pretty much sums it up. I’m not a prude; I just have strong feelings about what it means to treat ourselves and others with respect.

Alright, there’s your back story. Now fast-forward to me being hugely pregnant.

I asked my dad if he’d rather be at the hospital while I labored or be the one to babysit our then-four-year-old son. He said he’d like to be there and that he felt helpless enough out in the waiting room. It would be much worse for his nerves if he wasn’t even in the same building.

Knowing I had a spot open in the delivery room, I told him he was welcome to join us for the actual birth. I’d be in enough pain that I wouldn’t care who was there, as long as they were quiet. I told him I was fine with it either way, and to my surprise, he decided to be in the room while I delivered the baby.

Granted, he took the chair on the other side of the equipment from which he couldn’t see me at all, but he was there and could hear everything. Hear— and smell everything.

I was deep in labor, attempting to tune the world out, and I felt it. Something was … happening. Something that wasn’t a baby was making its way out down there. I was pooping. On the delivery table. In front of other people.

This hadn’t happened to me the first time I’d given birth. How could this be happening?! Horrified as the smell hit my nose, I gasped through the contraction to my husband that he should get the nurse because I’d crapped myself. My husband is a little hard of hearing, so I had to repeat, louder, “Get a nurse! I just crapped myself.”

The poor nurse was in right away to clean me up, and no one in my family has spoken of it since. I did lots of Google searches on the topic since “The Incident,” and it turns out it’s a pretty common occurrence. The same muscles that push out a baby also push out waste, so it makes sense that if you have anything in your bowels, it’s getting pushed out, too.

They used to administer enemas to laboring moms for this reason but now I guess they’d rather allow us to be completely mortified by pooping in front of friends and family.

So if you’ve got a bun in the oven, let me be so kind as to warn you: you may deliver a little something extra. Wrap your mind around that now and warn your loved-ones before it’s too late.

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Creepy-Cool! This Is What Giving Birth Feels Like For Your BABY

This is what your baby feels during labor.

Fascinating.

The miracle of birth is something we all go through. Sadly, we can’t remember any of it. A mom may remember her pregnancy, but have you ever wondered what it felt like for us? What was going on in our little baby brains at the time? Did we enjoy the process of our freedom from our mother’s womb?

Rachel Lewis breaks it down for us in this article for The National.

1. Pre-labor

While Mom is busy going about her daily business, the baby decides that it’s time to come out and experience the world. So it starts pressing into the birth canal, dilating the cervix.

Meanwhile, Mom begins feeling the first wave of contractions, each 20 minutes apart. While she’s yelling at Dad to get the car, and for goodness sake forget about posting this on Facebook, she’s also releasing oxytocin. The hormone calms the baby until they’re ready to be born.

2. During labor

As Mom’s contractions become more powerful, the baby might feel its surroundings becoming cramped and oxygen from Mom’s placenta become scarcer. But this is nothing to worry about, as babies can sleep through the contractions.

If Mom decides to use opiate drugs as a pain reliever, she and the baby can both feel drowsy. Un-medicated babies tend to be alert and hungry after birth. Relaxing during labor is imperative for the Mom, because if she’s stressed, the baby will be, too.

3. First stage

As time between Mom’s contractions become shorter, her cervix is slowly dilating even more. Meanwhile, the walls around the baby are slowly getting smaller, but it feels no pain. There’s even less oxygen than before, which is why mom is encouraged to breathe despite the pain.

4. Second stage

Mom is now trying to push the baby out of the birth canal (the best way to do this is while reclining, in a pool, or on all fours). Since the baby’s skull isn’t fixed yet, it can mold into the shape of the birth canal as it’s moving along. Dr. Anne Deans says that babies are physiologically prepared for this. Posterior, transverse, and breech babies take longer to move through the birth canal because they weren’t in an ideal position.

5. Delivery

As the baby finally pushes through the birth canal, it might feel an initial shock. According to Dr. Deans, babies born in calm and dimly lit rooms tend to be calmer. Once the burning sensation has passed, mom can finally hold her little one.

“This will calm your baby down, help to regulate his heart and respiratory rate, keep him warm, and start the hormonal process for breastfeeding,” said Dru Campbell, a senior midwife atHealth Bay Polyclinic in Dubai.

And there it is: the miracle of life! Do you remember it? Would you want to?

 

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Elf Doctor’s Note

Elf Doctor's Note! No moving for 3 days... it's the doctor's order. Comes with Reindeer Flu Pill Labels. Clever idea for your Elf on the Shelf when you need a break from it all.

Is your Elf on the Shelf taking good care of himself?

You need to know that there is an outbreak of Reindeer Flu right now in the North Pole. The only cure for it is REST!

Our elf Peter is wrapped up in some tissue paper and has an Elf Doctor’s Note!  The note says no moving for 3 FULL days… it’s the doctor’s order. Also get some Reindeer Flu Pill Labels. These taste just like Tic Tacs, so not that bad to take!

I have to admit this is a very clever idea when you need a break from it all. I’m sad that some elves are getting sick, but I think Dr. Frost from the North Pole is GREAT to help us out a little! Elves and parents need some rest every now and then.

Elf Doctor's Note! No moving for 3 days... it's the doctor's order. Comes with Reindeer Flu Pill Labels. Clever idea for your Elf on the Shelf when you need a break from it all.

If you haven’t seen the funny things our Elf has done in the past, be sure to check out my Elf on the Shelf section for all kinds of elf ideas, printables and cute surprises! Many printables are totally free for you to enjoy. Become a Living Locurto Exclusive Member to enjoy dozens of the most popular designs.

Get the Printable Elf Doctor’s Note and Reindeer Flu Pill Labels

(more…)

The post Elf Doctor’s Note appeared first on Living Locurto.

How to Manage All Phones & iPads in Your Home |Parenting

How to manage ALL phones, iPads and other online devices in your home. Circle with Disney is perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!! A Great Parent Hack.

I’m so excited to FINALLY reveal what I have been wanting to shout from the rooftops! Finally a way to manage EVERY online device in your home. A technology challenged parent’s dream! Check out Circle with Disney, the only gift I can basically guarantee won’t give you buyer’s remorse. Now you will magically know how to manage all phones in your home. Yes, it’s that cool.

Every family needs this in their home.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video clip and you’ll be sold too.

Best part…

It’s on sale today!

$85.00! (regularly $99)

Circle with Disney - Best way to manage ALL online devices in your home. Perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!!

Are you tired of letting the Internet dictate what your family is exposed to? Not Anymore! With Circle, you are the boss!

Don’t miss today’s Cyber Monday deal!!

Get the $15 OFF Discount (TODAY only) HERE.

4 Awesome things you can EASILY do with Circle:

  1. Set appropriate filters for EACH DEVICE. Use the pre-designed ones or customize your own.

Circle with Disney - Best way to manage ALL online devices in your home. Perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!!

2. Track where your family is spending their time online.

Circle with Disney - Best way to manage ALL online devices in your home. Perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!!

3. Give your devices a BED TIME!

Circle with Disney - Best way to manage ALL online devices in your home. Perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!!

4. PAUSE the internet! Yes. you. can.

Circle with Disney - Best way to manage ALL online devices in your home. Perfect for the technology challenged parent. LOVE This!!

If you are still not convinced, read what these Circle customers are saying about it:

“As the father of four kids from elementary through college age, I am not exaggerating when I say Circle is EXACTLY the device I have been looking for to control the internet in my house. Circle truly is peace of mind in a little white box.” – Wayne Stocks

“Circle has literally changed our lives and how our family spends time on the internet. My worries of what my children could be exposed to online has changed overnight by the use of Circle. I can pause the internet anytime making getting chores or homework done much easier these days.” -Terra Nyce

“Circle makes it easy for me to protect my kids online, monitor usage across all our home’s devices, and create conversations with the entire family. It’s rare that something is simple and effective, but Circle is both.” — Michael Lukaszewski

Get control of the Internet and give your family this gift.

Get the $15 OFF Discount (TODAY only) HERE.

(more…)

The post How to Manage All Phones & iPads in Your Home |Parenting appeared first on Living Locurto.

The One Thing Your Family NEEDS For Christmas {and every other day of the year}

I’m so excited to FINALLY reveal what I wanted to shout from the rooftops! Check out Circle with Disney, the only gift I can basically guarantee won’t give you buyer’s remorse. Yes, it’s that cool.

Every family needs this in their home.

4 {Amazing} Things You Can Do With Circle

Set appropriate filters for EACH DEVICE. Use the pre-designed ones or customize your own

Circle Filters

Track where your family is spending their time online

Circle Insights

Give your devices a BED TIME!

Circle Bedtime

PAUSE the internet! Yes. you. can.

Circle Pause Feature

Last week {before I knew about Circle} I downloaded 7 different parental control apps on my iPhone to find the right fit for my family. I started making notes about install difficulties, bugs, things I liked and didn’t like about the user interfaces. And now there’s Circle – and honestly, it does exactly what I want it to – and my whole side by side review of apps is over. {and I’m breathing a big sigh of relief}

The best part? When I showed my 13-year-old what was coming his way, he actually said he thought it was cool. He’s excited to track his time . . . and to show me that he doesn’t spend as much time as I think he does. Game ON.

Parental Controls App Circle With Disney

Check out what other Circle customers are saying:

As the father of four kids from elementary through college age, I am not exaggerating when I say Circle is EXACTLY the device I have been looking for to control the internet in my house. Circle truly is peace of mind in a little white box. —Wayne Stocks

I have to tell you this has been HUGE for our family. We have teens and being able to see what they are doing on every device is a game changer. —Rebecca Phillips

Circle has literally changed our lives and how our family spends time on the internet. My worries of what my children could be exposed to online has changed overnight by the use of Circle. I can pause the internet anytime making getting chores or homework done much easier these days. —Terra Nyce

Circle makes it easy for me to protect my kids online, monitor usage across all our home’s devices, and create conversations with the entire family. It’s rare that something is simple and effective, but Circle is both. — Michael Lukaszewski

Circle With Disney Logo

* This post contains affiliate links. All of the opinions are my own. I’ve been vetting various parental controls apps for a couple of weeks and this is truly the best one I’ve tried!

5 Ways To Get Your Kid To STOP Quitting Every Time Something Is Hard

By Mark Papadas

Quitting is a learned behavior; it does not come naturally. Think about it: How many children do you know who gave up trying to walk? Or talk? Or feed themselves? Who is more persistent than a kid who really wants something? A child’s first instinct is to try over and over and over until they succeed.

Unfortunately, most kids today have been “taught” to act in opposition of this most instinctive human trait by us — the so-called “grown ups” in their lives.

A person — kid or adult — quits when the physical and/or emotional pain of continuing is greater than the pleasure derived. It is that simple.

So the trick in persevering and succeeding — help your child tap back into that innate instinct they had to stick with things, and not see failure as an end, but as a challenge they can take on.

While these skills, strategies, and character traits come naturally in some people and not in others, they can be learned and mastered. Below are five tips to keep your kids from becoming quitters when they encounter adversity.

1. Find the “why” when quitting comes into play

  1. Find the “why” when quitting comes into play

Ask yourself this question: if it is not important to me, how much thought, effort, and emotion would I put into something? Now put this into play with your kids. What are they quitting and why do they want to quit? Whose decision was it to begin with: yours or theirs? In other words, whose “why” is it? As I state in my book 10 Secrets to Empower Kids and Awaken the Child in You, your kids are not miniature versions of you. They may or may not enjoy the same things you do.

  1. Focus on the potential positive outcome

What the mind focuses on, it manifests. In other words, we tend to get what we think about. So, the question is, are you and your kids focused on the desired outcome or the current lack of success while pursuing it? If they stay focused on the end result, it is easier for your kids to get back up and keep going after a perceived failure.

  1. Associate past failures with the successes they eventually led to.

The great thing about the human mind is that we get to decide what things mean to us when they happen, and how we are going to react. Let me ask you this question: How do your kids view an attempt at something that didn’t end they way they wanted? As a failure or a success? If they associate each unsuccessful attempt as a success in eliminating ways to NOT do something, they feel better about failure and don’t treat it as something to be avoided.  After all, the world’s most successful people are usually the ones who failed most often and kept going.

  1. Pay attention to the language you use around the topic of failure.

Words have meaning, but you and your kids have the power to redefine your personal meaning of words like failure to make them empowering rather than hurtful. This goes hand-in-hand with association. Changing your language will have a huge impact on your emotional state.

  1. Lead by example

Nothing erodes a parent’s credibility more than being a hypocrite. You cannot ask them to be or do something you are not prepared to be or do yourself. We all know that “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work when it comes to parenting.

Mark Papadas is a nationally recognized children’s empowerment expert. He has been blessed to work in the self-development field for over 20 years, with and for such leaders as Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and Anthony Robbins. He was recently recognized with a 2015 Focus on Impact Achievement Award. Mark is the author of the acclaimed book 10 Secrets to Empower Kids and Awaken the Child in Youas well as President of The I AM 4 Kids Foundation.

Connect with Mark through his FREE Parenting & Coaching Newsletter.

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