10 Things That Made 90s Summers All That (And a Bag of Chips)

It was 1996. School was out for the summer. And there we were, red Squeez-Its in hand, taking a much-deserved break from our latest MC Hammer trampoline choreography. I’d seen a million days like this—though we did throw some No Doubt, Will Smith, and Aqua into the dance mix for good measure—and I’d see what felt like a million more.

But then the 90s ended and things changed. Frosted tips were out, and so were my perfect childhood summers. But if I could bring just 10 things back from those beautiful days, you bet it’d be these.

90s summer fun

1. Rollerblading—Duh. The quintessential form of exercise, mode of transportation, and reason for road rash of the 90s.

2. Trampoline sleepovers—Waking up sweating in your sleeping bag, smashed on every side because the eeny-meeny-miny-mo gods condemned you to the middle spot…again. And—bonus—there were no concerns about four young girls being snatched from the un-fenced side yard.

3. Boy Meets World—Because let’s face it, Girl Meets World just isn’t cutting it and nothing could ever represent the definitively 90s neighborhood vibes better than Eric yelling Feeeeeeeeeney out the back door.

4. Land lines—Yes, the prank calling was best done with the provocative risk of a parent answering, but what I really want back is the idea of not being at everyone else’s beck and call 1440 minutes a day (that’s all of them, by the way) because of the blessed/cursed mass propagation of the cell phone.

5. All-day play dates—That were never called that. It was called life. You left in the morning and, so long as you came home at night, what you did in between was a time warp left to your imagination. So many adventures that could never happen with today’s structured “play” regimen.

6. The community pool—Do these still exist? I mean, the way they used to? With the entire family there, picnicking between high dives and underwater somersaulting contests?

7. The Skip-It—Obviously the ankle cuts were worth it, but “the very best part of aaaaaaall, there’s a <pause> counter on this ball!!” I’ll never forget that jam. And was there a greater accomplishment than outskipping your BFFs? I think not.

90s summer skipit

8. Reasonable pay for family chores—There was over half an acre of grass on our property and if I mowed the entire thing, I earned $9. That would now be a job for professionals with a trailer full of equipment and they’d charge $100. Ugh. What has happened to slave child labor?

9. Caboodles—How else would you carry your Polly Pocket collection, LipSmackers, and Pogs all at the same time??

10. Innocence—And not just mine. But the world’s. Sure, there was OJ. And the Lewinsky stuff. And… Well, maybe it wasn’t all the best, but as a kid, it wasn’t shoved in our faces like today. We were ignorantly blissful for the most part, like kids should get to be.

 

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10 Things That Made 90s Summers All That (And a Bag of Chips)

It was 1996. School was out for the summer. And there we were, red Squeez-Its in hand, taking a much-deserved break from our latest MC Hammer trampoline choreography. I’d seen a million days like this—though we did throw some No Doubt, Will Smith, and Aqua into the dance mix for good measure—and I’d see what felt like a million more.

But then the 90s ended and things changed. Frosted tips were out, and so were my perfect childhood summers. But if I could bring just 10 things back from those beautiful days, you bet it’d be these.

90s summer fun

1. Rollerblading—Duh. The quintessential form of exercise, mode of transportation, and reason for road rash of the 90s.

2. Trampoline sleepovers—Waking up sweating in your sleeping bag, smashed on every side because the eeny-meeny-miny-mo gods condemned you to the middle spot…again. And—bonus—there were no concerns about four young girls being snatched from the un-fenced side yard.

3. Boy Meets World—Because let’s face it, Girl Meets World just isn’t cutting it and nothing could ever represent the definitively 90s neighborhood vibes better than Eric yelling Feeeeeeeeeney out the back door.

4. Land lines—Yes, the prank calling was best done with the provocative risk of a parent answering, but what I really want back is the idea of not being at everyone else’s beck and call 1440 minutes a day (that’s all of them, by the way) because of the blessed/cursed mass propagation of the cell phone.

5. All-day play dates—That were never called that. It was called life. You left in the morning and, so long as you came home at night, what you did in between was a time warp left to your imagination. So many adventures that could never happen with today’s structured “play” regimen.

6. The community pool—Do these still exist? I mean, the way they used to? With the entire family there, picnicking between high dives and underwater somersaulting contests?

7. The Skip-It—Obviously the ankle cuts were worth it, but “the very best part of aaaaaaall, there’s a <pause> counter on this ball!!” I’ll never forget that jam. And was there a greater accomplishment than outskipping your BFFs? I think not.

90s summer skipit

8. Reasonable pay for family chores—There was over half an acre of grass on our property and if I mowed the entire thing, I earned $9. That would now be a job for professionals with a trailer full of equipment and they’d charge $100. Ugh. What has happened to slave child labor?

9. Caboodles—How else would you carry your Polly Pocket collection, LipSmackers, and Pogs all at the same time??

10. Innocence—And not just mine. But the world’s. Sure, there was OJ. And the Lewinsky stuff. And… Well, maybe it wasn’t all the best, but as a kid, it wasn’t shoved in our faces like today. We were ignorantly blissful for the most part, like kids should get to be.

 

See More on TodaysMama.com!

Scientific Proof That a Beyoncé Concert Could Literally Change Your Life

Cake Mix Cookies The Monster List of Recipes

Planning a Family Vacation – When Should You Begin?

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It’s Mother’s Day, So Leave Me The Hell Alone

The irony of Mother’s Day is that mothering is the exact last thing I want to do on this one special day of the year dedicated to the moms who give their all to these tiny fart nugget children who are also the pride and joy of our very existence in this life. 

Holla at me if you relate to any of the following: 

I’ve bled for these children, fluctuated 50 lbs a piece for these children, fed these children (FROM MY OWN BOOBS WHICH ARE NOW SAD AND FLAPPY BECAUSE OF IT), lost sleep for these children (so much sleep, remember what it felt like to sleep? ), sprouted varicose veins for these children, gotten stitches in my vagina for these children, spent all of my money on these children, attended so many games and practices for these children where they do nothing but swarm around a ball, or sit in the outfield and stare at the sun. Driven all over kingdom come for these children.

happy mothers day sleep

Worn my heart on the outside of my body for the past 9+ years for these children. 

I DRIVE A FREAKING MINIVAN FOR THESE CHILDREN. 

And yet, the last thing I want to do on this blessed day is to actually be around these children. Like, at all. 

It’s nothing personal, my sweet darlings. It’s just that I want a day. One day, just one where I can 100% check out and the house doesn’t burn down and life goes on and we all wake up the next morning and go back to our old routines.

I need one day to enjoy Netflix to my heart’s delight, to sleep in, to lock the door without small hands sticking underneath or anyone asking me to help them wipe. One day without breaking up a fight, just one. I need one day where Dad handles it all. I don’t want flowers necessarily (although, I wouldn’t say no because flowers are beautiful and delicate, just like me), I don’t even need a gift.

I do want my children to understand that this is a special day just for Mom where we have to leave her alone, OR ELSE, and that they all must make her a card professing their love and appreciation, even if that card just has their name written on it with some half-crooked hearts and something that looks like an orc drawn on there which actually turns out to be a rendering of yours truly.

Whatever, it’s fine. I’ll take it. 

Dads or significant others, do your lady a solid on this Mother’s Day if you’ve still got kids at home (and if they’re gone make sure you remind them to call home because duh, still important): 

  1. Have each child write a card or note to her expressing their love and undying devotion and appreciation and make sure you write her one too.
  2. Let her sleep in
  3. Get her favorite treat and leave it like a peace offering at the bedroom door. Don’t open the door unless she specifically calls for you and invites you into her kingdom, for she is the queen of the day. Or whatever. 
  4. Don’t ask her to do anything. Anything at all. If she comes out of her room don’t make eye contact and just stare at the ground unless she speaks to you directly. 
  5. Don’t ask any questions either, you can figure it out for one single day. 
  6. Prepare or fetch any food for her that she desires. Bonus points for having her favorite treat on hand (*COUGH CHOCOLATE COVERED CINNAMON BEARS).
  7. Let her wake up to a clean house. Do the dishes, don’t leave laundry out, just take care of the kids and all the stuff she does every single day. You can do it. Don’t screw this up. 
  8. Don’t forget to call your own mom and tell her you love her too. She’s important, DO NOT FORGET. 

I recognize that I don’t speak for all moms, but for all moms who are on the same page as me…all we want is one dang day. 

Tomorrow, it’s back to business as usual. 

Happy Mother’s Day! Now leave me the hell alone. 

 

 

 

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3 Must-Do Experiences During Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort

Pixar Fest is the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks! Celebrate all things Pixar for a limited time. Pixar Fest begins April 13, 2018 and runs through September 3, 2018.  With the release of “Incredibles 2” in June 2018, even more exciting floats and fun will be added to Pixar Fest. With so much to be enjoyed, we wanted to highlight 3 of our favorite MUST-DO’s while visitng Disneyland Resorts during Pixar Fest.

 

Pixar Play Parade

For the first time ever, the Pixar Play Parade will make its way through Disneyland Park. Just as Pixar began with the cutest lamp ever, the Play Parade will do the same! You’ll enjoy whimsical and laughable favorites from your favorite Pixar films.  Keven, the friendly bird from “Up”, makes an appearance. You won’t be able to miss this 12 foot beauty!

NEW STORY ELEMENTS ADDED TO “PIXAR PLAY PARADE” FOR PIXAR FEST (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – “Pixar Play Parade” returns April 13, 2018, to the Disneyland Resort, this time to Disneyland Park as a part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration. The delightful parade will bring even more fan-favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements. Joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” As this concept art illustrates, Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin. Carl Fredricksen and Dug will follow behind, amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above. (Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort)

 

“Paint the Night” Parade

1 million brilliant lights return after 2 years! This time, experience the dazzling lights in Disney California Adventure. This parade gets an extra boost of awesome in June 2018 when it will add new floats inspired by “The Incredibles” and “The Incredibles 2”.

‘PAINT THE NIGHT’ PARADE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – The popular nighttime parade returns to the Disneyland Resort for Pixar Fest, this time making its way through Disney California Adventure Park. Mack from “Cars” appears in “Paint the Night” parade, along with many beloved Disney and Pixar pals. This after-dark spectacular shimmers with more than 1 million brilliant lights, high-energy music and cutting edge special effects. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

‘PAINT THE NIGHT’ PARADE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – The popular nighttime parade returns to the Disneyland Resort for Pixar Fest, this time making its way through Disney California Adventure Park. Mike Wazowski from the film “Monsters, Inc.” appears in “Paint the Night” parade, along with many beloved Disney and Pixar pals. This after-dark spectacular shimmers with more than 1 million brilliant lights, high-energy music and cutting edge special effects. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

 

“Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” Fireworks Show and More!

This brand new multimedia show immerses guests into the story of friendship feature your favorite Pixar characters.  Your eyes will light up as you watch the shops on Main Street, USA and Sleeping Beauty Castle dance with colors and designs. (Make sure you keep your eye near the tip top of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle…you may just see Buzz Lightyear!)

TOGETHER FOREVER FIREWORKS – Debuting with Pixar Fest on April 13, 2018, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland Park. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)


TOGETHER FOREVER FIREWORKS – Debuting with Pixar Fest on April 13, 2018, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland Park. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

 

Be sure to check out Pixar Fest’s yummiest NEW foods. Only available through September 3, 2018!

8 NEW Pixar Fest Foods at Disneyland You Can’t Miss!

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5 Things Parents Should Know About End-Of-Year Testing

By Hilary Scharton, Vice President of K-12 Product Strategy for Canvas by Instructure


Every spring, schools across the nation give students millions of standardized tests.  Students sit for hours, filling in answer bubbles with their number two pencils for an exam that may span days.  They’re told the tests are “important”, they need to “do their best”, and that they have “one chance” to show what they’ve learned.  For any child–much less one with test anxiety, ADHD, or learning disabilities–it can be a painful process.

Should we let our students take these tests?  In 2015, over 650,000 students1 nationwide opted out of standardized tests. In some parts of the country, up to 20% of students did not participate.  What can a test tell us about how our kids are doing? Here are five things parents should know about end-of-year testing:

 

Tests don’t measure what we think they do

We expect tests to tell us how much students have learned.  However, significant evidence shows tests aren’t great at figuring out what you know or what your potential is.

Consider the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  For many of us, it was a rite of passage that evaluated your entire school career and gave colleges a way to predict whether or not you’d be a successful student.  However, the best prediction you can make from an SAT is how much money your parents earn.2 Your score will go up 30 points for every $10,000 in your parents’ yearly income.  

In addition, scoring well on the SAT has almost no correlation with success in college.  The best predictor is high school grades.

 

Tests are designed to be efficient and compare groups

Most tests are designed to make efficient comparisons between groups, not tell us about individuals.  Group comparisons are valuable because they give us data about curriculum efficacy and how to allocate funding.

However, if we want efficient group measures, there are limitations.  These tests won’t cover every topic students learned and will need to be easy to give and grade.   

That means test authors have to use questions like multiple guess choice and leave out questions that might get at more important skills like critical thinking or creativity.  If you’re only doing multiple choice, you’re rewarding passive and superficial learning like memorizing facts or formulas.  When the last time was your job let you pick the right answer from a list?

 

Test prep is often antithetical to learning

In states where testing is king, it often comes with an emphasis on “accountability.”  The idea behind the accountability movement is that we, as taxpayers, should be able to ensure we’re getting the highest educational value for our tax dollar.  If that’s our ultimate goal, it makes sense to set up rewards (and penalties) so teachers and districts get the best performance possible from their students.

In these states, we see more time devoted to teaching test-taking skills.  Teachers and students learn which kinds of questions and topics are covered and dedicate class time to practice.  That’s not intended to game the system, but to give students tips about how to be a good test taker. (Ever learn that if you don’t know the right answer, pick B?  How often have you used that knowledge since you left school?)

The positive is that it usually works.  Students score a little better on the state exam.  However, research shows that states that focus on accountability perform much worse on nationwide and international tests than states that place less emphasis on accountability.  It turns out the time your teacher spent in class talking about answer B and #2 pencils would have been better spent teaching you more academic content.

 

Different tests tell us about individual learning

So if our current tests aren’t telling us what we need to know about individual students, what can we do?  In short, we need to do more testing, which sounds crazy.  We need to make sure we’re doing different kinds of testing so we get good group data AND good individual data.  We can best measure individual growth with authentic tests that are integrated into learning. Assessment is authentic when it asks students to apply their knowledge to real-world, meaningful problems.  

Imagine you’re back in geometry class and need to learn about volume.  Would you rather have your teacher tell you the formula and give you a worksheet to practice (how we’d learn if standardized test grades were the goal) or could you learn more if your teacher gave you a project to come up with a better juice box that minimized shipping costs and maximized profits?  

Likely the latter would not only make you more interested in learning about volume (“When will I ever use this?”), but you’d also have the opportunity to work on other important skills.  Project-oriented, goals-driven group learning is an engaging way to teach students how to apply what they’ve learned, while also giving them practice working cooperatively, being creative, and dealing with messy problems that might not have one “right” answer.  It gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge and a glimpse into what adults do in the workplace.

Teachers do this kind of assessment almost reflexively, whether students are raising their hands to answer a question, working in small groups, or doing independent research.  One of the difficulties with this kind of assessment, however, is that the rich experiential data in classrooms is often lost. Fortunately, schools more often have access to technology that will help teachers do assessment, quickly see results, and then make important decisions about what students know.  

 

How can I make sure my child is doing well?

Be involved.  Districts are great at letting parents know when and how students will participate in standardized tests, but the only way to know about what’s happening in the classroom is to talk with your child’s teacher.  

Teachers are experts–they know how important assessment is and how to do it well.  Don’t be afraid to ask how your child will be graded on what they learn, what success looks like, or how much time will be spent preparing for standardized tests.  

If you live in a state that emphasizes accountability, let your local representatives know that you care about more than test scores.  Ask for teacher and school ratings to connect to other metrics like college acceptance, AP completion/pass rates, or student engagement.  We, as parents, know what’s best for our individual children and must feel empowered to ask for it.

  1. http://www.fairtest.org/more-500000-refused-tests-2015
  2. http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/TotalGroup-2013.pdf

 

About the Author

Hilary Scharton loves education and has worked in it, in some form or another, for her entire career. She currently serves as the Vice President of K-12 Product Strategy for Canvas by Instructure, the open online learning management system (LMS) that makes teaching and learning easier. In her role, she sets the strategic vision for how Canvas makes its products even more awesome for students and teachers across the globe, while focusing on leveraging technology to support improved instruction and equitable access for all students.  

 

See More on TodaysMama.com!

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Can Goat’s Milk Help Toddlers with Sensitive Tummies?

As a mum, you naturally want the best for your child when it comes to care and nutrition. So, it can be devastating when you find that, despite your best intentions, your baby is not coping with certain food stuffs or has a bad reaction after feeding.

Of course, breast milk provides all the natural vitamins and minerals that your little one needs to develop their body and mind and provide immunity. But it is not always possible for mums to provide (all of) the milk needed, which is when many mums supplement or replace feeds with formula. But what if your child reacts badly to cow’s milk formula?

 

How do you know if your toddler needs to change to goat’s milk?

For some toddlers, cow’s milk can prove hard to digest and can cause mild to moderate symptoms such as colic, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, chronic congestion, recurrent ear infections, and eczema when they first start drinking it.

If you recognise some of these symptoms, you may want to consider switching to goat’s milk formula which may assist with relieving many of these common concerns.

Baby drinking goat's milk

 

Some of the main benefits of goat’s milk

As well as often being gentler on your toddler’s stomach and easy to digest, goat’s milk also offers the following benefits:

  • Naturally high in Prebiotic Oli’s, these prebiotics are proven to assist the growth of beneficial bacteria and reduce the incidence of pathogens like E. coli
  • High in phospholipids, a fat that assists with brain development
  • Naturally high in many essential vitamins and minerals including
    • Vitamin A for vision and sight
    • Magnesium for development and growth
    • Vitamin C for development and growth
    • Calcium for teeth and bones

But what about the taste?

Some mums may be concerned about switching to goat’s milk as they associate goat’s milk with the strong smell and taste of goat’s cheese. However, most goat’s milk formula has a clean, and natural taste. It also smells very natural unlike many cow milk formulas Experts recommend transitioning your little one gradually over a period of a week rather than in one go, so they can get used to the new product and you can monitor any changes. Here are some tips for transitioning your toddler to goat’s milk.

Mum holding baby drinking goat's milk

 

Why choose Oli6?

Oli6® is a dairy goat formula that has been developed in direct response from talking to Australian mums who are looking for products that are as natural as possible to help their little ones’ growth and development. Oli6 toddler formula has a high percentage of goat milk solids, which makes it naturally rich in many essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as other beneficial substances like prebiotic oligosaccharides, or Oli’s for short, which assist with gut health and digestion.

As well as providing formula that meets all of Australia’s stringent health and food safety guidelines, you can take advantage of security of supply and a wide range of resources for parents who are considering switching to goat’s milk formula. Handy trial sachets, advice on how and when to introduce the new formula, and much more can all be found on the website to help you make the switch and know that everything you are providing for your toddler is designed to help his or her welfare.

Oli6 goat's milk logo

Want to find out more about the benefits of goat’s milk for your toddler’s tummy? Then take a look at the Oli6, where you can find a lot of information about the various formula products on offer.

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Good News! Going Pure for Baby Just Got Easier

This post is sponsored by Pampers.

This post is sponsored by Pampers at Sam’s Club. Is there anything better than brand new baby skin? I remember holding my son those first few days, even months, and just staring in amazement at its incredible smoothness. It was unbelievably soft, completely unblemished,and just…pure.

I almost laugh now as I think back to that newborn stage because my now very active boy finds more and more ways to bruise and scrape that perfect little body every day. And though I know I can’t protect him from every external injury, I do everything I can to provide the best when it comes to what I can control, like diapers and wipes.

No mama is going to raise her hand and admit she loves the idea of using chemicals and other unnatural materials on their babies’ precious skin, and that’s where the new Pampers Pure diapers and wipes come into play. Both the diapers and wipes are completely free of parabens, alcohol, disperse dyes, chlorine bleaching, and fragrances. Plus, they’re enhanced with real cotton (grown right here in the U.S.) for the ultimate in softness and made with recycled materials and responsible energy sources.

And as if those things weren’t enough, they’ve made the diapers adorable with modern and unique printed designs. Total cherry on top of the 12-hour leak protection, flexible stretch, and convenient wetness indicators that Pampers already promises those sweet baby cheeks.

One of the things I love about the Pampers Pure Aqua Wipes is that I feel perfectly safe using them on my son’s hands and face, which is a constant necessity these days. And with his busy little fingers wanting to play with everything I have my hands on, I have no worries if he gets ahold of them and they inevitably find their way to his mouth.

As if the deal couldn’t get better, Pampers Pure Protection Diapers and Pure Aqua Wipes are available at Sam’s Club in packages that are 14% bigger than at other retailers, which means serious savings on top of everything else.

Ultimately, all any of us wants is to do what’s best for our kids, and I think the new Pampers Pure Collection is proving they feel just the same way.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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A Harvard Doc Says My Son Doesn’t Have ADHD

Jerome Kagan, one of Harvard University’s dominant psychologists is making quite the rounds on the internet. In a 2012 interview, he shared a very controversial opinion regarding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — he believes it doesn’t exist. If you’d like to read his entire interview here, feel free, but let me spoil it for you: He believes we are over-medicating our children and ADHD, an invented disorder, could be dealt with through tutoring and paying more attention to our children.

Should I have started with the disclaimer that my oldest son is diagnosed with ADHD?  Probably. I think it matters because my point of view in raising a child with ADHD verses a psychologist who merely studies them may garner different results.

With that said, I do agree with quite a bit the good doctor stated in his interview. For instance, when asked about the difference in numbers between mentally ill children (aka kids with some sort of mental disorder attached to them) now and in the 1960s, Dr. Kagan replied:

“We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared.”

However, he then goes on to say he believes ADHD to be an invented mental disorder.

“That’s correct; it is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”

Here’s where we disagree a bit. I completely believe our human race, as a whole, to be over medicated. I believe there have been man-made inventions which are preferred for instant reward. Headache? Pain reliever. Sore muscles? Muscle relaxer. Heart Burn? Antacid. You get the idea.  I also agree these “issues” are symptoms to something greater; more often than not, we don’t want to take time in discovering the cause of our symptoms–we just want the problem fixed. Now.

 

SEE MORE: Parenting ADHD: 6 Things I Wish I  Had Known

 

Essentially Dr. Kagan is saying this is exactly what happens with ADHD. He believes that doctors and pharmaceutical companies drive prescriptions. And they may.

But…

My doctor didn’t drive me to medicate my son.

In fact, my doctor preferred to try everything else before meds. Once on medication, he strongly advocated for the lowest possible dose.

Additionally, we spent many times in the office where our doc made sure it was very clear to my son that his meds would not solve all of his issues in school.

This doesn’t sound like a doctor being courted by a pharmaceutical company. And my monthly budget certainly didn’t want to add meds to the shopping list.

Are there families and children that are victim to greedy doctors and drug companies? Sadly, I believe there are. But for Dr. Kagan to make such a blanket statement regarding any and all children with this diagnosis is, well, dangerous.

Luckily he is just one doctor. One believer. One man. Forgive me if adding Harvard to the end of his name doesn’t impress me much.

Let me introduce you to Dr. Amen. The first thing I loved about Dr. Amen is he deals with disorders in children within his extended family (nephew) and his own daughters. I beg of you to watch the video below from its starting point to minute 37:15–about 5 minutes.

This man has been in the trenches and watched, lived with and loved children who have “abnormal” brain function 24 hours a day. This is a man whose opinion I value.

In watching many of his lectures, my biggest realization has been this: My ADHD son is not mentally ill. I will not refer to him as having a mental disorder or brain disorder.  What he does have is a brain that works differently than majority of humans.  Does this mean he’s abnormal? It does not. This means that instead of having blue eyes, he has brown. Instead of having freckles, he doesn’t have any. It means he functions differently from you and me.  Does everyone love studying frogs in the rain forest? Nope. Does loving to do that make them abnormal? Heck no. And maybe this is what Dr. Kagan is trying to say…but his wording simply doesn’t sit right with me. Rather than saying ADHD is an invention, let’s understand that ADHD is describing the way in which my son’s brain functions.

One more thing I will agree with Dr. Kagan about is that our current state of society and expectations makes it hard with someone (like my son) to function in the expected manner. Tutoring and more one-on-one time would help tremendously. It would resolve some of the “issues” those with this invented disorder have, but certainly not everything.

 

SEE MORE: Don’t Give Up On Me Because I’m ADHD: A Letter From My Son

 

If we were in the 1800s, my son would most likely have been milking cows and doing hard labor starting at 4am. After chores were done, he’d be in a classroom with 20 less kids than today, for a shorter amount of time. His diet would be significantly different and then he’d be back outside until dark doing more chores or playing until his legs dropped dead. So yes, Dr. Kagan, our society is different now. Our lifestyles have changed in a way that is not friendly to those who need to keep busy and function in an “abnormal manner”. But guess what? The ADHD diagnosis allows my son to get the extra tutoring at school you say he so desperately needs; without this “made-up invention” he can’t get exceptions in school with his 504.  Instead he’d be stuck in a classroom of 32 kids drowning.

If you want to get to the root cause of over-diagnosing ADHD, I’m all for it. The first order of business isn’t to look at the kids who are struggling, but to look at the environment they are struggling in. This very well could be one of those moments where the problem isn’t them — it’s us.  Let’s find ways to understand those who struggle, how they work, and what we can do to help them be successful.

Until our entire society can change together instantaneously, please be understanding and respectful to those who actually have brains which function differently than the average person. These are the ones who need to be labeled ADHD;  they need extra help, even if that extra help includes labeling them with what Dr. Kagan would call a “made-up invention” so they can get medication, or therapy recommendations, or exceptions in school…and the list goes on.

I am okay with medical professionals labeling the way my son’s brain function as ADHD. It’s not made up. Dr. Amen’s lectures and thousands of brain scans have made it very clear that my son’s brain is special, unique and needs a little bit of help to fit in to our societal boxes.  I just hope everyone else out there who runs in to a kid (or mom, or co-worker, or spouse) with ADHD can fully understand this and love these wonderfully special people we call ADHD.

 

See More on TodaysMama.com!

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Dear Anxiety, You Are Paralyzing.

The post A Harvard Doc Says My Son Doesn’t Have ADHD appeared first on TodaysMama.

Science Says: Don’t Tell Your Kids What To Do!

To structure or not to structure…that is the ever-pressing question for parents prepping for those seemingly endless summer months. Do you let the kids roam wild and free or keep them busy with a schedule of swim lessons and summer school?

There are pros and cons to either side of the argument, for sure. Those in the pro-freedom school of thought tout more imaginative play and less pressure for the entire family, while pro-schedulers see a chance to keep kids out of trouble and opportunities for meeting goals outside of the classroom.

Well, a study done at the University of Colorado Boulder may sway the structure lovers to free up the calendar a bit this summer.

parenting kids schedules

Researchers gathered data from parents of children ages 6-7 regarding their daily, annual, and typical schedules, specifically their structured and less-structured activities. For an activity to be categorized as less-structured, the child had to be in charge of what to do and how to do it, as opposed to more structured undertakings like formal sports practice or music lessons.

What they found was that the children involved in more structured activities performed worse on a test that revealed how well they used their executive functioning, “the cognitive control processes that regulate thought and action in support of goal-directed behavior.” In other words, the children’s abilities to perform tasks that would lead them to accomplish a goal were hampered by the very activities that were pushing them towards one.

The study even went so far as to say that two children who performed the same tasks in a day, where one was directed and the other wasn’t, the latter would actually learn more having been given the opportunity to decide for themselves what to work for and actually choose to accomplish it.

Pretty impressive, right? The real question is, does the same theory work on husbands…

 

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The post Science Says: Don’t Tell Your Kids What To Do! appeared first on TodaysMama.

Facebook Says They “May” Collect Data From Your Calls and Texts. Here’s How To Turn It Off

3 Facebook Settings You Need To Review TODAY

There’s been a lot of noise over the past few weeks about Facebook, the Russians, and YOUR personal privacy. {Read up HERE}

If you’re sticking around, it’s time for a little house cleaning. 

Let’s start with Facebook’s access to your calls, texts, and contacts:

Chances are that when you set up Facebook Messenger you may have clicked a button that would allow you to “text anyone in your phone”. By activating that feature, you gave access to Facebook to “continuously upload info about your contacts like phone numbers and nicknames, and your call and text history”.  (via Facebook Newsroom)

Facebook defended itself by explaining that:

“People have to expressly agree to use” the opt-in feature for importing their contacts on Messenger or Facebook Lite to allow Facebook to collect the cell phone data, but Sunday’s statement is the first time the social media company actually spelled out that practice in clear terms for users. (via Time Magazine)

Here’s how to turn it off in Facebook Messenger:

Android:

  1. From Home, tap your profile picture in the top right corner
  2. Tap People
  3. Synced Contacts to turn this setting on or off

iPhone or iPad:

  1. From Home, tap your profile picture in the top left corner
  2. Tap People
  3. Tap Synced Contacts to turn this setting on or off

 

Time To Review The Apps That Have Access To Your Facebook Profile (And Your Friends!)

Ever taken a quiz to find out which Disney Princess you are? (Or any other crazy personality test etc.)

Here’s where you can see all of those Apps and Services that you may have inadvertently opened the door to!

Go to your personal profile page on Facebook:

  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner of your page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Apps
  4. Review the list of apps and websites you’ve given access to your Facebook profile. 
  5. To see what access each app has or to edit the settings on a specific app click on the light grey pencil icon to the right of the app
  6. To delete apps or revoke access tap or click on the light grey “x” to the right of the app

 

Next Up: Let’s Look At Your “Ads” Settings

Why does this one matter? Here’s where Facebook shows you SOME of the data they’ve tied to you and how they target ads to you.

  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner of your personal profile page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Ads

You’ll see:

Click on each section. See how Facebook has been targeting and tracking you so far. The data they had tied to my personal profile was highly inaccurate. They had tied grocery stores to me outside of my state, retail stores that I would never shop at, and interests that were completely off base (listing interests like “Gambling” and “Alcohol” for the Mormon girl who’s never had a drink). 

Review each section and clean it up. You can delete the information they have tied to you, hide ad topics, and limit how your ads are served to you.

Big surprise? I deleted most everything and limited access as much as possible. You may not mind the data that Facebook has tied to you and how they are serving your ads — but you’d still benefit by doing a good review of this page and the info they have stored there.

What Next?

If you want to dig a little deeper, review your personal “About Page” and the details you’ve listed there. Take a look at the places you’ve “Checked In” on Facebook. Review all of the Movies, TV Shows, Books, Likes, Events You’ve Attended etc. Save that one for an afternoon when you’ve got time to kill!

This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways that Facebook manipulates your experience within the platform. We haven’t even touched on how it’s built to be addictive, how studies show that it’s not unhappy people that are using social media but that it’s social media that’s MAKING PEOPLE UNHAPPY, and all the ways we’ve given our privacy away to these platforms.

We’re working on some great resources for families that we’ll be releasing in the coming months. In the meantime, leave us a comment and tell us what we’ve missed and how you are “cleaning house” when it comes to technology.

 

Must Watch: This Is Exactly How Much Your Personal Information Is Worth To Facebook

 

 

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The post Facebook Says They “May” Collect Data From Your Calls and Texts. Here’s How To Turn It Off appeared first on TodaysMama.