1. I don't really want to mention the horrifying tragedy of Amanda Todd's story, but I will because teen suicide and cyber-bullying has to stop. These difficult issues have taken the mom media by storm lately, prompting discussion on how we can all help--are legislative changes required or will more basic community changes make a difference? All I know is that the first step for parents with age appropriate children to take is to talk to them about this. We need to be better equipped to handle bullying, cyber-bullying and mental health issues with our kids and their peers. Talk to your kids, make sure you understand how social media works and participate in it. Watch this clip from CTV News with one of our parenting experts, Alyson Schafer, who helps us navigate this difficult news with our children.
2. In other tragic news, a Texas mom, Elizabeth Escalona, was sentenced last Friday to 99 years in prison. She repeatedly beat her two year old daughter to the point where she was hospitalized, and glued her hands to the wall as punishment. Understandably, the judge referred to the mother as a 'monster' and the child is in the care of the state. I just hope they can find the poor little girl a nice foster home. It doesn't seem fair.
3. Here in Ontario, we have some good news to share with moms and moms-to-be. That is, we finally have a milk bank and it's called The Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank. A joint initiative with SickKids Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrook Hospital, donated milk is collected from lactating women, pasteurized and distributed by prescription to medically fragile babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units across Ontario. This is good news for preterm or low birth weight babies because providing donor breast milk can protect them against life-threatening illnesses and potentially against serious infections and other complications related to preterm birth.
4. Moving away from parenting for a moment, I can't comment on the week without mentioning Felix. My two teenage sons and my husband were fixated on the Felix Baumgartner jump from space this weekend. I think the guy is completely nuts and I was surprised at how relieved I was when he landed safely. Not that I didn't want to see him make it, I was just surprised at how nervous I felt while watching him. It would have been awful for the entire world to witness his demise. Then I thought about how relieved the marketers at Red Bull must have felt. Was this science? Was it just a regular daredevil act (makes walking across the falls look a bit lame, doesn't it?) or was it a huge marketing campaign? Of course, the answer is that it's all three. I'm glad he is alive. I'm also glad I'm not in the business of betting on people's lives.
5. Finally, in case you haven't had the pleasure of reading all the tweets and Facebook posts about my family road trip last weekend, you can read a quick summary in my blog post #HyundaiSFroadtrip. It was fun, it was a long drive and it was a very wet day to spend outside watching a college football game, but we had a blast.
I hope you had a good week.
A Facebook post from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151108737498527&set=pb.245559443526.-2207520000.1349995284&type=1&theater">G Force Gym - Home of the Vancouver All Stars</a>: "Today we feel the loss of our former VAS family member Amanda... I ask that we all watch her video and share her story so that her loss is not in vain. Allow this to be her legacy... Allow us all to look around & find the next Amanda before another precious spunky teenager is lost. We have a responsibility today... Is there a kid in your school that made a mistake and is being shunned? Your challenge is to be a LEADER ... Be the Game Changers you are and sit with them today... reach out... smile... let them know that they are NOT alone in this harsh world. It's always EASY to do the EASY thing; we teach you to NOT do what is easy and instead, do what is right!! You will be surprised, how many people will follow YOU when you stick up for what is Right and honorable AND, forgiving those that have made mistakes in their YOUTH is the RIGHT thing to do!! Please share Amands's Story... SHARE IT & LIVE IT!"