Breastfeeding and Intelligence

A recent study in Scotland revealed that breastfeeding does not make babies more intelligent. Scientist say that breastfed babies have advantages including reducing infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea, but enhancing a child’s intelligence does not appear to be among them. Studies show that higher IQs in babies are a result of the mother’s IQ, not because the baby was breastfed.

A person’s IQ is unrelated to their heart and character. Highly educated and intelligent people have been exposed as some of the most wicked people on the face of the earth, and those who can bearly read or write have hearts of gold. I believe that breastfeeding is a personal choice, but whatever method a mother chooses to feed her child she should be comfortable with her choice and strive to rise a healthy, productive human being.

Do You Text Message?

Are you the mother of a teen? Have you invested in a cell phone? If not, you may want to consider it. Text messaging is the in thing among our youth, and it is saving lives. I recently wrote an article, Mom Don’t Embarass Me. In short, the article gives tips to parents who have teens that are trying to find themselves. I suggested that parents give their teen space, but keep a check on their whereabouts and friends. This step could require a cell phones and a family plan. You can reach them 24/7 and they can reach you.

When I purchased my cell phone, text messaging was a feature that I didn’t think I would use. My 27 year old daughter, who must keep up with the lastest trend, text messages often. I decided to learn how to communicate via text as well. I’m glad I did. I’ve read several articles recently, where people have sent a text message and in the end it saved their life. A text message was also a means of sending a love one a last message before a life was lost. I never looked at text messaging as a means of survival or a tool that could be used if I’m ever in a bind, but I’m glad that I’m keeping up with technology. Most importantly, it’s another means of communicating with my child.

A Moral or Immoral Message?

When I read articles on the current teen trends I’m thankful that I have successfully raised my daughter and I don’t have to deal with these issues personally. If your daughter wanted you to purchase this T-shirt for her, what would be your reaction? What kind of message is this sending? Should we encourage our teenage daughters to involve themselves in another person’s relationship? The message clearly states “Stealing your boyfriend”, which tells me that the teen knows that the young man is involved with someone else. How could this be rewarding? There’s an old saying, if he did it to her why wouldn’t he do it to you? Meaing, if a man/young man would leave his wife or girlfriend for you what will stop him from leaving you for another? Most importanly, what happens to her reputation? Is this truly how a young lady would want to be remembered?

During our mother/daughter talks, I had this conversation with my daugher, hoping that she would remember these words during her teenage years and as an adult. Not once did I think I would see this act advertised! What pleasure can one possibly have if what they have accomplished hurts another in achieving it? During our conversation, I asked my daughter how she would feel if someone would interfer in her relationship with her boyfriend? She dated the same young man throughout high school and her first year of college, so I knew those questions would have a profound impact on her.

Could the person who designed this T-shirt really believe that stealing another person’s boyfriend is priceless? I believe in freedom of speech and I’m not judging anyone’s lifestyle, but I do believe that we should really think about the messages that we send our teens and the clothing that we promote for them. You can believe that there will teenage girls who will wear this shirt proudly, and act on it. We wonder why the world is in the state that it is in!

We Remember You: 2,996 Victims

2996: A Tribute To The Victims of 9/11

Today marks the 5th year of the World Trade Center tragedy. I am honoring the life of Nancy Carole Farley, 45, who was a World Trade Center victim on September 11, 2001. Mrs. Farley resided in Jersey City, NJ with her husband Robert. She worked as a Claims Negotiator for Reinsurance Solutions Inc., on the 94th floor at 1 World Trade Center.

Nancy was the youngest of three children and a cat lover. Although she owned three, she feed the neighborhood strays and if necessary she would take them to the Vet. If there was a snowstorm and she saw a cat, she would bring it in,” recalled Linda Selnow, Nancy’s older sister. “She had the most caring heart.”

Nancy was preceded in death by her father, who passed away when she was in high school. Her mother passed away 10 years ago.

It is a priviledge to honor Mrs. Farley’s life today. Although I didn’t know her personally, I will always remember this picture and her smile. I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on her life as well. I am also honoring Jeffrey J. Shaw on my blog, The Talk Around Town. Please visit a few of the other 2996 blogs who are honoring World Trade Center victims as well by clicking on the above link.

May Mrs. Farley’s family and friends be blessed.

Britney Spears – Bad Mother or Bad Press

Lets set aside the image that we have of Britney Spears smacking gum while interviewing with Matt Lauder, and the lastest image of her posing on the cover of Harper’s magazine and ask, Is Britney a bad mother or is she receiving bad press? I believe she’s just making mistakes as a young mother. I look back over my experiences as a first time mother, and I know that I made my share. I thought I knew everything, but boy was I clueless. Thank goodness no harm came to my child.

Lets look at Britney’ mistakes as a new mother that have been so high publicized: Driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu with her son, Sean, on her lap. There’s a law that requires children to be in car seats not on a parent’s lap in a moving vehicle. She stated she was “country”, and she used to do the same with her father. Being country is a poor excuse when it comes to a child’s well being, and she must learn that her child’s safety must always come first. I chalked this up as a young and inexperienced mother who’s fear of the paparazzi caused her to make a poor decision. Did she have a car seat in the back of the vehicle? If so, we know that she follows the law for the most part.

Second, losing her balance while she was carrying her son on a cobblestone sidewalk in New York. I guarantee this has happened to thousands of mothers wearing high heels that weren’t walking on coblestone. We’re just not important enough to have a 100 paparazzi surrounding us with flashing cameras at the moment. This incident doesn’t make her a bad mother either, but she may want to consider the type of shoes that she wears when she has her baby in tow. Another learning experience.

Third, Sean ‘s fall from the highchair. It seems that the baby was in the care of the Nanny when the accident happened, not mom or dad’s care. The report stated that the child slipped from the nanny’s hands. How can they hold this poor girl accountable for an accident and she was not around? I’m sure she investigated the nanny thoroughly before hiring her, and she found the nanny to be competent. What mother would leave her child in the custody of someone who was not capable of caring for her child properly? She doesn’t appear to be unintellegient or backwards just young and experienced.

From a mother’s perspective, I wouldn’t be giving this nanny a second chance to drop my child. She would have been fired. I didn’t hear news that Britney fired her. If she didn’t fire her, she must have believed her story and continued to have trust in her. Of course that is her prerogative. Again, children fall everyday and the accidents don’t make us bad parents. They’re looked at for what they are, accidents. Why should the incidents with Britney, which I believe have been blown out of proportion, make her a bad parent?

Will Britney’s real challenge as a mother come when she gives birth to her second child, and little Sean is a toddler? No, she’ll miss some of the real tests because she’ll have a nanny to help prepare meals, give Sean his bath while she attends to the new baby, assist with potty training, etc. etc. Her challenge will be fending off the paparazzi who will be waiting for her next mistake with their cameras in tow. Bad mother or bad press?

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Foreign Baby Names Banned

Authorities in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico are enforcing a new set of rules. They are dictating to parents on what they can name their children. Now the authorities state they have the children at heart. They are trying to prevent children from a lifetime of ridicule and legal troubles. I’ve never known anyone to be arrested or encounter legal problems because of their name, but I have seen a few names where they should have locked the parents up for giving it to their child. I’ve often wondered what people were thinking when they named their children. The celebrities for example: Blanket, Rumer, Tallulah, and Phinnaeus. How much thought did these celebrities put into the selection process? Did they think about the children and what they would have to endure growing up in this world? Oh, these are celebrity’s children they won’t be in the real world.

For those of us who live in the real world, these names would be banned in Chihuahua, Mexico. Authorities in Chihuahua don’t want foreign, odd or creative names used or odd spellings. If parents do use a foreign name, they must use a Spanish surname such as Maria. I’m for Maria, my middle name is Marie. Don’t you love it! I decided to check out a database of Hispanic names. I wanted to see what was so great about Spanish names that authorities would enforce such a rule. Here’s a sample of the names listed in the database under A: Argentina, Africa, Adabelle for girls. Adelio, Achill, and Abdallah for boys. I believe parents should be able to name their children without interference from the authorities or anyone else, but I personally would not choose any of the names listed above for my children. I would not want to place the burden of carrying any of these names on them. For those who have chosen one of these names, no offense. I’m just expressing my opinion. People’s taste are different.

When I was in school, I knew a girl by the name of Candy Kane. She was tortured; kids can be cruel. Here’s a few other names that make me shake my head in disebelief: Apple, CoCo, Whizdom, Avon, Dianionique, and Puma. I see legal trouble surfacing when some student starts torturing and humiliating these poor children, and parents start yelling harassment! Do you think these children will take on an “alias” at some point in their life? Who knows they may end up loving their name.

I don’t believe that anyone should have the authority to dictate what a parent should name their child, but I do believe that some thought should be put into a child’s given name. It is something they will have to live with for the rest of their life. For the Mexician authorities, I wonder if the parents will have legal recourse if they choose one of the names that they have selected and the child is ridiculed. Will the parents be able to sue the authorities? After all, they enforced the rule.

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The Death of a Child

As a parent, you often wonder if your child is safe, especially during their teenage years and when they decide to move away from home. My worst nightmare would be receiving a call that my daughter had been in an automobile accident or injured somehow coming from a party or club. A message awaited me one morning at my office informing me that a co-worker and friend had lost her 25 year old son. To say that I was shocked would be a understatement. My heart broke for her. I wondered what had happened, but most of all I wondered how a mother would ever recover from the lost of her child. I still haven’t come up with an answer to this question. My daughter and this young man grow up together. We lived in the same neighborhood for years, and I’ve worked with his mother for 20 years. What would I say to her? We had just discussed our kids in the hallway at work several weeks before. She was planning to retire in several months, and I was expressing my envy. I thought of the pain and confusion she must be feeling. How do you make funeral arrangements for your only child? How do you say good-bye to someone that you gave birth to, nurtured, disciplined, loved unconditionally, and vowed to never allow any harm to come to them? How do you say good-bye to someone that you would literally die for? The answer to these questions have not come. I knew that I had to go to her, but what would I say. I had no answers.

The obituary appeared in the paper. The viewing would be Thursday night and the funeral Friday. My initial plan was to go the funeral. As time grow near, I decided that I could not sit and watch this mother’s pain from the loss of her son. I would have to go to the viewing. I left the office early heading home to prepare for the evening. My mind was racing a hundred miles a minute. I wondered if my daughter was okay. I lost count of the number of times, I had her called that week. I just wanted to know that she was safe. She understood, she never complained about my calls. She took the time to chat and tell me what was happening with her life. As I drove to the funeral home, I tried to prepare my condolence speech. I’m an experienced and eloquent speaker I told myself, I can do this. I pulled up at the funeral home, and saw that there was only 1 car in the parking lot. I realized that I had driven to the wrong funeral home. At that point, I also realized that I was an emotional wreck. I prayed for clarity, strength, and the right words for my meeting with Cindy. I arrived this time at the correct funeral home. I had planned to arrive early, but to my surprise the line was already coming out the door. I took a deep breath, and took my place in line. I felt my blood pressure rising, as I read the obituary and looked at pictures of her son around the room. A kind gentleman standing behind me noticed my discomfort, and placed his hand on my shoulders. He talked to me until it is was my time to approach Cindy.We embraced for what seemed an eternity. The words poured from me as I gave my condolences from my daughter and me. I turned the focus to the good times that the kids had growing up, playing by the pond and fishing. Our common love of Longerberger Baskets, my manager who would be there for her tomorrow, and others at the office who wanted me to give their condolences etc. It was effortless, it was coming from the heart. I could see and feel that she was grateful that I had come to support her. I had brought a smile to her face inspite of her pain if only for a moment. I felt so good after leaving her that I stayed and chatted with other co-workers and friends to help ease their discomfort while waiting to talk to her. Once again, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior all things are possible. I pray that this mother will find strength in God, and she will at least be able to move forward with her life. To all that have lost a child, may you be comforted and blessed.

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