Category: Parental Rights/ Parenting

Parental Love, Transforming Love

George Eliot’s Silas Marner offers a snapshot of England in transition between agrarianism and industry, one that intimates the impending decline of aristocracy while also remaining firmly in a world where station matters. But the novel’s most enduring lessons flow from the way Eliot treats love—and the way it can change our character. The story centers on a lonely weaver adopting a young girl and being transformed by his love for her. Contemporary readers will find in its pages a sharp contrast to our individualism and relative freedom of movement. They may also find themselves questioning the relative importance our society places on children.

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‘My Little Pony’ introduces ‘LGBTQ couple’ in children’s cartoon

The “My Little Pony” franchise is selling more than plastic toys to little girls.

A cartoon series based on the Hasbro company’s popular figurines aired an episode in which a same-sex female pony couple take charge of a school-aged pony named Scootaloo. Previously released in Europe, “The Last Crusade” was broadcast Saturday on the Discovery Channel.

In an interview with Buzzfeed News, writer-producer Michael Vogel said he and co-writer Nicole Dubuc were delighted to introduce a same-sex couple, “Aunt Holiday” and “Auntie Lofty,” to the children’s show.

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Family, Schools Tackle Missed Days Together

When a young student misses too many days of school, it’s not because they don’t want to learn. And it’s not often because their parents don’t care about education.

There’s almost always something else going on, and that something else almost always has poverty as its root cause. Thus, hectoring the kids, or shaming and punishing the parents, won’t do much besides push the family further away from the school community.
Chronic absenteeism, when a student misses more than 10 percent of the school year, has been a sticky problem in Maine, and elsewhere, for some time — in the 2016-17 school year, 16 percent of students were chronically absent. Regular absences hurt students of all age — they keep young students from reaching reading level, and are a good indicator that a student will eventually drop out.

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How Working Parents Can Make Family Meals Happen

As a working mother or father, it’s one of the questions you dread most. And it comes every day, right around 3:00 PM: “So, umm…..what are we doing about dinner?”

Whether the question comes in a text from your partner or whether it pops into your head during the marketing meeting, you reflexively cringe, because dinnertime is one of the danger zones of working parenthood, where the strains of your dual role feel the most acute.

Why? Because what presents as a straightforward, practical problem — meal prep — is actually a psychological, emotional, and even physical one, too, and it hits working parents when we’re the most vulnerable. Exhausted at the end of a long workday and overwhelmed by everything else we have to do, it’s easy to turn to restaurant meals and convenience-food options — which, let’s face it, won’t do your health any favors.

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How Families with Two Dads Raise Their Kids

Some states, including Texas, South Dakota and Alabama, have tried to defy the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that made marriage equality the law of the land. Their “religious freedom” bills allow taxpayer-funded agencies to deny qualified LGBTQ adults to foster and adopt children.

LGBTQ protection in education appears limited as well. When pressed on the question, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is refusing to tell lawmakers whether she believes the federal government should include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in anti-discrimination policies.

That reminds me of how former Kentucky family court judge W. Mitchell Nance refused to hold hearings on same-sex couples’ adoptions in 2017 “as a matter of conscience.” He resigned after his state’s Judicial Conduct Commission found him guilty of misconduct.

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Religious education given Ofsted boost

There’s hope the teaching of religious education (RE) in schools will improve thanks to changes made in the way regulator Ofsted inspects.

Campaigners for better RE say the new school inspection framework will put more pressure on schools to prioritise the subject.

It’s understood two-day long inspections will now put greater emphasis on the broad curriculum while a small number of subjects will also be chosen as a focus for examination. These subjects could include religious education.

Ben Wood from the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) told Premier this is a good change of direction.

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Casualties of surrogacy

The media and Hollywood celebrities, like Kim Kardashian and Jimmy Fallon, present surrogacy as a wonderful and beautiful thing. Even Ben Shapiro said “surrogacy can be useful and wonderful in some cases” when he spoke at this year’s March for Life. But I’m happy to discuss what you won’t hear about in the media: the health risks to women, and to the children to whom they give birth, of commercial contracted pregnancies.

On October 8, 2015, an American surrogate mother named Brooke Brown died from complications related to pregnancy. Brooke was a commercial gestational surrogate, not the biological mother. She was being paid to carry twins for a couple from Spain, where surrogacy is illegal. This had been an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy; Brooke was just a day away from a scheduled caesarian section. But then she suffered a complication, called placental abruption (the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus), that proved fatal. The twins died, too.

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Is the family meal time around the table disappearing?

What is your mealtime routine? Do you sit down at the table together? Are all members of your family called together and forced to stay at the table until everyone has finished eating? Do you then clear the table and wash up together? If so, your family’s dining habits are becoming less common.

According to this article in the Atlantic, a recent survey of more than 1,000 American adults showed that the table is becoming a less popular place to eat. A little less than half said they eat at the table when eating at home, and instead the couch and the bedroom are becoming more popular to eat dinner. (The couch I can understand, but the bedroom??? That is a surefire way to get crumbs in the bed. Or even worse, gravy.) 30 per cent of respondents cited the couch as their primary place to eat at home while nearly a fifth took their dinner to the bedroom. Thus, the table is roughly as popular as the bedroom and the couch as the place to eat at-home meals in America.

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More than half of fathers receive criticism on parenting style: Study

Father’s Day is right around the corner — when paternal figures are honored and celebrated. But a new survey published by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that more than half of fathers believe they are judged harshly as parents. Overall, 52% reported receiving negative feedback about their parenting style, while 90% felt that they were actually doing a good job.

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