Category Archives: Teaching Children

NY Gov Dragging Feet Signing Legislation?

.jpg photo of girl legislation is named for
Erin Merryn

Child Sex Abuse victim advocates want
to know why Cuomo hasn’t signed
Erin’s Law

ALBANY, NY  –  Advocates for child sex abuse victims say Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dragging his feet on signing education legislation that could decrease future child sex abuse cases.

“Erin’s Law” requires at least one hour per school year to teach kids in kindergarten through eighth grade about abuse and how to report it.

A 2015 federal law championed by U.S. Senator Kirstan Gillibrand (D-NY) provides grant funding for the program.

It’s been passed in 37 states, including New York, when the bill cleared both legislative chambers on June 20.

“I don’t know what’s going on in New York.  It’s frustrating because I flew to New York and testified in 2011.  It’s been the most difficult state to get it passed.  Now we have to wait yet another year,” Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor from Illinois, for whom the legislation is named, told The Post.

Under the law, the state Education Department would be required to devise the curriculum, but a spokesman said the department does not comment on pending legislation.

“They made me repeat first grade because of what nobody knew was going on,” Merryn added.

“You’re actually saving money by teaching this because those kids that are being abused are the kids that you’re having to pour so much more funding into.”

“It’s important that [Gov. Cuomo] does this sooner than later, even though we’ve missed this year’s deadline, this is crucial for the children of the state of New York,” she said.

“Erin’s law actually prevents child abuse in a big way,” said child sex abuse survivor Gary Greenberg, who has pushed the bill for years.

“[It] is an even more important law than the Child Victims Act because it will actually go into every public school in the state and teach kids who to report to, and about appropriate touching.  As time goes on he’s signing all these bills, a lot of bills, and no Erin’s law,” he said of Gov. Cuomo.

The law would take effect on the July 1 after the bill is signed.

“We 100 percent agree with the intent of the bill and want to ensure it’s implemented correctly.  The bill language remains under review by counsel’s office,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard.

The state’s office of Children and Family Services said in 2018, the statewide central register hotline received 297,233 calls related to child abuse cases resulting in 199,047 reports flagged for further action.

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Never shake a Baby for any reason, nor raise your voice to one.

SBS/AHT is the leading cause of physical
Child Abuse in the U. S.

OVERVIEW

Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.

Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen.  Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Shaken baby syndrome is preventable.  Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child.  Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.

SYMPTOMS

Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:

  • Extreme fussiness or irritability
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Breathing problems
  • Poor eating
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

You may not see any signs of physical injury to the child’s outer body.  Sometimes, the face is bruised.  Injuries that might not be immediately seen include bleeding in the brain and eyes, spinal cord damage, and fractures of the ribs, skull, legs and other bones.  Many children with shaken baby syndrome show signs and symptoms of prior child abuse.

In mild cases of shaken baby syndrome, a child may appear normal after being shaken, but over time he or she may develop health or behavioral problems.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Seek immediate help if you suspect your child has been injured by violent shaking. Contact your child’s doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room. Getting medical care right away may save your child’s life or prevent serious health problems.

Health care professionals are legally required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to state authorities.

CAUSES

Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads.  If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull.  This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.

Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won’t stop crying.

Shaken baby syndrome isn’t usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, minor falls or even rough play.

RISK FACTORS

The following things may make parents or caregivers more likely to forcefully shake a baby and cause shaken baby syndrome:

  • Unrealistic expectations of babies
  • Young or single parenthood
  • Stress
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Unstable family situations
    Depression
  • A history of mistreatment as a child

Also, men are more likely to cause shaken baby syndrome than are women.

COMPLICATIONS

Even brief shaking of an infant can cause irreversible brain damage.  Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.

Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for conditions such as:

  • Partial or total blindness
  • Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cerebral palsy

PREVENTION

New parent education classes can help parents better understand the dangers of violent shaking and may provide tips to soothe a crying baby and manage stress.

When your crying baby can’t be calmed, you may be tempted to try anything to get the tears to stop — but it’s important to always treat your child gently.  Nothing justifies shaking a child.

If you’re having trouble managing your emotions or the stress of parenthood, seek help.  Your child’s doctor may offer a referral to a counselor or other mental health provider.

If other people help take care of your child — whether a hired caregiver, sibling or grandparent — make sure they know the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.

Source:  Mayo Clinic Staff
https://www.mayoclinic.org

The Empty Chair At The Table

.jpg photo of Arlington National Cemetery where so many are buried that gave their lives for this country
Arlington National Cemetery, where so many are buried that gave their lives for Our Country.

We will never forget

.jpg photo of red poppies to honor those who died trying to protect our country
In the U.S., people wear the red poppy on Memorial Day to honor those who died trying to protect Our Country.

This is for all those that answered the Call of Duty for Our Great Country, America the Beautiful, the Home of the Brave and the Free, who gave all and didn’t get the chance to bring up their children, or grow old with their spouses, or have careers.

The flag shouldn’t stay at half-staff all day

.jpg photo of our flag as we honor the many that gave their lives trying to defend our country
Today we honor the many people that have given their lives defending Our Country.

Federal guidelines say the flag should be displayed at half-staff only until noon, then go up to full-staff until sundown.

A Strong Successful Family

.jpg photo of a good, happy family graphic
Good caring parents teach by example, always remembering that genuine praise, guidance, and understanding are the mark of a good parent.

Building & Maintaining A Good Family

Building a Good Family

There are basic qualities and values needed to have and maintain a good family.   These qualities and values are:

  • Love
  • Honor, always truth and loyalty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Kindness
  • Communication
  • Consideration
  • Duty
  • Responsibility

The Future of this world

Children are the future of this world.  As a good parent it is your responsibility to teach your children from birth, the above qualities and values, as these are handed down from generation-to-generation, and prepares them to be good family members, good friends, good neighbors, good employees, good leaders, and good citizens.

Good caring parents teach by example, always remembering that genuine praise, guidance, and understanding are the mark of a good parent.  As your child grows, regular family quality time strengthens trust and mutual respect, forging a stronger family bond, where communication grows easier, and good memories are more easily made.

Maintaining A Good Family

The five “L’s” of a good, strong, family:

  1. Love is at the heart of the family.  All humans have the need to love and to be loved; the family is normally the place where love is expressed.  Love is the close personal blending of physical and mental togetherness.  It includes privacy, intimacy, sharing, belonging, and caring.  The atmosphere of real love is one of honesty, understanding, patience, and forgiveness.  Such love does not happen automatically; it requires constant daily effort by each family member.  Loving families share activities and express a great deal of gratitude for one another. Love takes time, affection, and a positive attitude.
  2. Learning – Families are where we learn values, skills, and behavior.  Strong families manage and control their learning experiences.  They establish a pattern of home life.  They select appropriate television programs.  They guide their children into the world outside the home.  They do not let social forces rule their family life.  They involve themselves in neighborhood, school, government, church, and business in ways that support their family values.  Strong families teach by example and learn through experience as they explain and execute their values.
  3. Loyalty – Strong families have a sense of loyalty and devotion toward family members.  The family sticks together.  They stand by each other during times of trouble.  They stand up for each other when attacked by someone outside the family.  Loyalty builds through sickness and health, want and good fortune, failure and success, and all the things the family faces.  The family is a place of shelter for individual family members.  In times of personal success or defeat, the family becomes a cheering section or a mourning bench.  They also learn a sense of give and take in the family, which helps prepare them for the necessary negotiations in other relationships.
  4. Laughter is good family medicine.  Humor is an escape valve for family tension. Through laughter we learn to see ourselves honestly and objectively.  Building a strong family is serious business, but if taken too seriously, family life can become very tense.  Laughter balances our efforts and gives us a realistic view of things.  To be helpful, family laughter must be positive in nature.  Laughing together builds up a family.  Laughing at each other divides a family.  Families that learn to use laughter in a positive way can release tensions, gain a clearer view, and bond relationships.
  5. Leadership is essential.  Family members, usually the adults, must assume responsibility for leading the family.  If no one accepts this vital role, the family will weaken.  Each family needs its own special set of rules and guidelines.  These rules are based on the family members’ greatest understanding of one another. The guidelines pass along from the adults to the children by example, with firmness and fairness.  Strong families can work together to establish their way of life, allowing children to have a voice in decision making and enforcing rules. However, in the initial stages and in times of crisis, adult family members must get the family to work together.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

.jpg photo of Distinguished Eagle Scout Mike Rowe
Eagle Scout Mike Rowe, who was also awarded the Distinguiushed Eagle Scout over 5 years ago.

Mike Rowe Unloads on All-Inclusive ‘Scouts’ in Tucker Interview

In an interview this week with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Eagle Scout Mike Rowe (who may have done a few notable things since) expressed concern over the recent changes in the Scouts, arguing that he hopes the organization would be “an antidote for the safe space environment that’s out there.”

Rowe made the remark when asked by Carlson about how “the scouts are no longer the Boy Scouts, but simply the Scouts” and how he felt about it.

“Well it’s funny you should ask, Tucker, because no less than 10,000 people have asked me that very question over the last month on my Facebook page,” Rowe said. “Distinguished Eagle Scout, if you’re keeping score.  Five or six years ago, I was awarded that, and it was very touching.”

Rowe indicated that he was adopting a wait-and-see attitude with the new initiative, which would let girls into the Scouts, but felt there were some ominous signs.

“Look, I’m watching what’s happening very carefully,” he said.  “I’ve sent 50 to 55,000 thousand letters out over the last 10 years to other Eagle Scouts, and I think the country needs the Scouts, I think the country needs the Future Farmers of America, and Skills USA, and 4H, desperately, now more than ever.

“So, it does concern me to see all the confusion swirling around the organization.  But like so many wounds, I’m afraid many of these are self-inflicted, and I also think some of the confusion that’s going on is legitimate.

“I read their official statement — while girls are being welcomed in, I didn’t read anything about integrated camping trips, or troop meetings.  I think it really is a play to compete more directly with the Girl Scouts.  And I understand why the Girl Scouts are upset, but since when is competition a bad thing?

“So I think character development and leadership development have never been more important than they are today, so my hope is that the Boy Scouts assume the opportunity that’s presenting itself and become an antidote for the safe space environment that’s out there and push back a little bit.  I mean, not to sound like the angry guy on your neighbor’s porch yelling at the kids on the lawn, but when I was in the Scouts in ’74 and ’75, it wasn’t a safe space there in the basement of our church. You’d go home with a bloody nose sometimes, or a black eye.  We had a boxing ring.

“You know, it was a vibrant place where you really could test yourself and fail in a way, that on the one hand, made you safe enough to attempt, but on the other hand didn’t try to check every box and please every single person,” Rowe added.  “It’s a tough time.  I’m sympathetic for the leaders, but I’m afraid you’ve got to draw the line somewhere and be very, very clear about what you stand for as well as against.”

When asked whether he thought something was ending, Rowe was ambivalent.

“I don’t know.  Again, you either evolve, or you die.  But at the same time, I think people are confused, because the Scouts simply haven’t come out and said categorically what they’re for, right?” Rowe said.

“So I just think this conversation touches every single hot point right now going on in popular culture, from tolerance to acceptance, which by the way, I’m not sure what the difference between those two things is anymore, but there used to be a big difference.”

Rowe added that “my hope for these youth-based organizations that help preach character is that they look for people who want to be challenged, and not curry favor so much with those who want a nice, reassuring pat on the head.”

After Carlson noted “that’s how the Episcopal Church died,” Rowe merely responded with, “Yeah, wow!”

Alas, one fears that the Scouts are moving in that safe space direction (the very idea of a boxing ring for Scouts sounds almost insane in this day and age, which should give you a good idea of where we’ve gone as a society).  However, they won’t go there — and nor will society — without a bit of pushback.  And, as you can tell, Rowe is going to be one of those pushing back.