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April 18, 2015

Editor's Blog

Free-Range Children’s Parents in Trouble Again

04/13/15

Free-Range Children’s Parents in Trouble Again

This morning, I saw in the Washington Post online that the Meitiv couple in Maryland were in trouble with Child Protective Services (CPS) for the third time for letting their children, ages 10 and 6, walk to the park alone. A well-meaning stranger reported the kids being on their own, so the police picked them up and turned them over to CPS. When the children didn’t return home at the designated time – 6 p.m. – the Meitivs began searching and didn’t get a call from CPS until 8 p.m. They were reunited with their children at 10:30 p.m. The Meitivs contend that allowing their children to walk to alone to and from a park, which is a mile away from their house, is not neglect or endangerment. They say they are responsible parents who feel their children are safe...

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

Be Wise Immunize at the Tulsa Zoo on Saturday

04/10/15

Be Wise Immunize at the Tulsa Zoo on Saturday

I heard about the case of measles in Stillwater while I was in Stillwater visiting my mom. We had spent part of the afternoon walking around campus, visiting the Student Union and Theta Pond. It was a nice day, so young families were out with their children, pushing strollers along the sidewalks and watching the ducks. The next day, the report of measles in Stillwater was all over the news. I immediately thought of our afternoon on campus, which in an instant turned from a pleasant memory to anxious fear. I asked my mom if she had had the measles as a child because if she caught the disease, it could be potentially devastating for her. I also thought of the parents with infants too young to be immunized who had been out enjoying the sunny weather and fresh air. Had any of them...

Posted at 08:07 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Poem for You – Happy National Poetry Month

04/02/15

A Poem for You – Happy National Poetry Month

My daughter and her boyfriend texted me a picture of a poster last night. Their college is doing a 12-hour reading of Milton’s Paradise Lost, which reminded me that today is the beginning of National Poetry month. I know, most of you think of it as April Fool’s Day. Well, poems can be foolish. Poems can be everything – poems reflect our deepest emotions, happiest times, darkest hours and brightest illuminations of the soul. Often, they’re a snapshot in words of a moment that makes us say, “Yes, yes, that’s exactly it!” In honor of Poetry Month, I want to share with you one of my favorite poems. I love it for what it is, but I also love it because my daughter Mary LOVED A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories when she was a preschooler....

Posted at 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

Does Time Parents Spend with Kids Really Matter?

03/31/15

Does Time Parents Spend with Kids Really Matter?

Moms and dads spend more time with their children and adolescents than they ever have in the past, but is more time spent with children paying off in terms of better outcomes for children? According to a study published in the April Journal of Marriage and Family, not really. Wait a minute! You mean I’ve been feeling guilty all these years for no reason? I always thought my kids turned out pretty great in spite of the fact that I worked during their elementary and adolescent years, not because of it. (Well, maybe less exposure to me can be a good thing.) Before we go too far, the study did NOT include infants. Research shows that forming a strong bond with a mother or consistent caregiver is critically important in the early years. However, the study shows no...

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

PMA Announces Winners of 2014 Editorial and Design Awards for Parenting Publications

03/26/15

PMA Announces Winners of 2014 Editorial and Design Awards for Parenting Publications

TulsaKids had a strong showing at the Parenting Media Association (PMA) convention in Baltimore in February. Rather than blogging today, I want to recognize the talented writers, photographers and designers that I have the pleasure of working with each month. You may know Abby Rodgers, our web and social media editor – at least you may converse with her electronically via TulsaKids’ Facebook page, or you may enjoy the calendar, either in-print or online; you may receive her e-newsletter or interact with her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Abby received several awards this year. Chuck Foshee is our publisher and graphic designer, but the rest of the winners are freelancers who work hard to bring our readers the best information, images and entertainment they can....

Posted at 07:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Education Rally to Save OK Schools

03/20/15

Education Rally to Save OK Schools

Last week I was listening to some Tulsa teachers. The setting was informal. I had known one of the teachers for many years; the other, I had just met. As I listened to the conversation, I was struck by their dedication to education and concern for their students. Both had been teaching for many years, and, sadly, both were looking for ways to leave the profession. They were grateful for Supt. Hofmeister’s proposal to raise teacher pay in the state. Mississippi and South Dakota are the only states with lower average teacher pay than Oklahoma. It’s no wonder that Oklahoma is short 1,000 teachers. Hofmeister’s plan would give teachers an extra $2,000 in 2015-16, and then increase it incrementally to reach a $5,000 increase over several years. The teachers I was...

Posted at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Soccer for Your Brain or How American Coaches Get it Wrong

03/13/15

Soccer for Your Brain or How American Coaches Get it Wrong

I don’t think I’ve ever used this space to write about a program for kids that you have to pay for. I don’t plan to start. But there’s a soccer camp next week during spring break that I feel parents (and coaches) may want to know about. Maybe it’s the desire to be a gracious host to people who have come to our city from other countries to work with kids that compels me to let you about this particular program. Maybe it’s because I’ve observed youth sports, and I’ve seen kids get yelled at (by parents and coaches), left out of play and treated like military hostages that makes me want to share what is different about the philosophy of coaching children will be exposed to if they attend these workshops. Next week at Turning Point Soccer...

Posted at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

OU SAE Frat Boys – Who Raised You?

03/09/15

OU SAE Frat Boys – Who Raised You?

By now, I’m sure most of you have heard or seen the disturbing racist video that was recorded on a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity party bus at the University of Oklahoma. If you haven’t seen the video, the group of fraternity brothers is singing (be prepared to be shocked), the following lyrics: “There will never be a n***** in SAE. There will never be a n***** in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me There will never be a ni**** in SAE. This is so disturbing, I don’t know where to begin. I can’t stop thinking about it. First, that a group of young people – college students(!) – would in any way think this way, and then act on it is beyond comprehension. And why did no one stand up and say,...

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

The Hypocrisy of School Choice

03/06/15

The Hypocrisy of School Choice

Senate Bill 609, the voucher bill, is working its way to a floor vote by the full senate. The Education Empowerment Scholarship Act ostensibly is about choice, but when the choice is only available to a few, it’s a false choice. Vouchers, or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), will take tax dollars (yours and mine) away from public schools. Rather than helping those who need it the most, ESAs will create more inequity. And, I would argue, vouchers go against one of the most basic values of our democracy, which is to provide a free and fair public education to all children, not just a privileged few. They don’t solve the problem of uplifting children who live in poverty; rather, they exacerbate it. Choice in education is a false choice when only a few have the ability...

Posted at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

Superintendent Hofmeister and High-Stakes Testing

02/25/15

Superintendent Hofmeister and High-Stakes Testing

Many Oklahoma citizens felt that their voices weren’t being heard by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi, so voters showed her the door. It appears that Supt. Hofmeister has listened to parents and educators who have seen what a focus on high-stakes testing is doing to children in the classroom – taking away valuable instruction time, diverting dollars to testing companies and pushing educators to teach to a test that may not be an accurate or appropriate assessment. According to information provided by the State Department of Education today, two bills, Senate Bill 707, by state Sen. John Ford, and House Bill 1272, Rep. Dennis Casey, “direct the State Board of Education to develop recommendations for high school graduation requirements,...

Posted at 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

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About This Blog

Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at editor@tulsakids.com

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