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Putting together a food storage system takes a good deal of thought and some equipment. Having emergency food in your home can get you through any crisis created by unforeseen events that restrict your access to food and water.

 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that you have at least three days worth of food, along with three gallons of drinking water for each person. However, other groups maintain that you need a more extensive supply to wait out an emergency. As long as you practice food safety and rotate your supply, investing in food storage isn't wasted money because you can eat it before its "use by" date has passed.

 

These steps will help you start putting your food supplies together:

 

    Decide how much food you want to store.

 

    Query your family members about the kinds of food they'd like to keep on hand, remembering that eating healthy during stressful periods will help everyone cope better.

 

    Find a space in your pantry or cabinets to store the food. You may want to separate it into categories based on type. If you plan to store food supplies for more than the three day minimum, you may want to use storage shelves and containers to keep it. Those with open shelves make it easier to find and rotate your food supply.

 

The food to consider is canned, dried, freeze-dried and shelf-stable at room temperatures. Nearly all food is available in these forms. Freeze-dried fruit and vegetables are easy to reconstitute, as are dried eggs, cheese and milk products. Shelf-stable dinner entrees are available in single-serving portions and don’t require refrigeration. Canned foods of all kinds will last slightly longer than its recommended use by date.Photo: modernsurvivalonline.com

 

Food Safety

 

Some kinds of food are vulnerable to insect infestations, especially those made from grains. It’s a good idea to continuously rotate your grain products to avoid wasting it because of bugs or worms that hatch inside the package. If you’re buying pancake or biscuit products, pay close attention to the expiration dates, since some of these products develop toxic compounds once they pass a certain date.

 

Other types of food, particularly those high in fats like nuts will become rancid and inedible. Exposure to light, air and warm temperatures hastens this process. Although many people prefer frozen to canned food, in an emergency it won’t last long enough for you to count on its safety once it thaws, particularly meat and low-acid fruit and vegetables.

 

Home canning is enjoying a resurgence, but before you eat any low-acid home canned food, listen carefully to the sound as you open the lid. It should make a hiss or a pop. If it doesn’t, it may not be safe to eat. Low-acid food and canned meat should always be boiled for 10 minutes before eating it. Any jar that has an off color, smell or has mold growing inside the jar needs to be discarded.

 

Preparation

 

Regardless of whether you use an electric or gas stove, it’s a good idea to have a backpacking stove, charcoal or a gas grill, or even a solar cooker. Solar ovens and cookers will cook your food nearly as quickly as those that use fuel, but they can’t be used at night or on cloudy days. These types of cookers use no fuel other than sunshine. Having a grill and a solar cooker is the ideal way to make sure you can cook regardless of the weather or time of day.

 

Water

 

Water is crucial to surviving a crisis. Have enough on hand, and watch the expiration dates carefully so that you use your supply before the date lapses. If you use tap water to refill the bottles, clean the bottles first with hot, soapy water, rinsing well.

 

Saving Money 

Save money with by taking advantage of grocery sales and specials, as well as coupon offers. Since there’s little urgency associated with stored food for emergencies, you don’t need to pay top dollar for it.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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Photo: modernsurvivalonline.com

 



Most area children have been out of school for just about a month now. It’s mid-July, right in the heart of summer with families, like ours, enjoying backyard barbeques, trips to local community pools and many other outside activities.

 

Not to put a damper on the season, but this is a plea to parents to pay attention and not lose sight of the dangers that summertime brings. This time of year emergency rooms see those who’ve been victims of many preventable summertime accidents.

 

The youngest among us are especially vulnerable to summertime risks, with virtually a myriad of ways children can get hurt or even suffer a fatality.Photo: www.chroniclejournal.com

 

I know it’s difficult to read the headlines about toddlers being left in hot cars, but these incidents continue to happen each year. Most are tragic accidents, with some involving children who’ve decided to sneak into a car for play time, such as Logan Cox, a three-year-old from South Carolina, who died last week from severe heat stroke after climbing into a car with his pet dog and becoming trapped.

 

Each year, we’re also reminded of the hazards involving water, for both non-swimmers and older children who decide to swim in the ocean or in creeks without lifeguards present. The Philadelphia region has been shaken by the drowning of 14-year-old Corinthian “Cory” Hammond off the surf in Ocean City, N.J., June 29. He and his friends were in the water after lifeguard hours.

 

Accidents clearly happen any time of the year, but certain warmer weather activities can be more dangerous, especially if caution is thrown to the wind. Some of these are simple, everyday events enjoyed casually in public places and private backyards.

 

Sticking close to home, pediatricians urge parents to make sure children wear helmets when riding bikes, skateboards and scooters because head injuries can be catastrophic. Cars and driveways also present another opportunity for risk. Despite the increased availability of backup cameras in cars, SUVS and minivans, playing children can easily be overlooked and possibly killed in back-over incidents in driveways. Finally, other simple summertime traditions, including barbecues and firework displays, also present opportunities for children to be burned or injured if parents and trained professionals aren’t keeping a watchful eye.

 

Summer is my family’s favorite time of year. The seemingly short season is a time for bonding, adventures and making memories, but it’s important to remain focused as parents. All-ages parties can be distracting for adults, who obviously like to socialize, too. So while you’re enjoying a conversation make sure that your child is being watched, especially if near water or other potential hazards.

 

“We can all take steps to attempt to avoid injuries,” says Mitchell Drake, MD, an emergency medicine doctor at Paoli Hospital. Drake says he encourages preventative measures whenever possible to ensure a healthy community.

 

“Wear bike helmets. Ensure children are supervised around water, and prepare for hot days by bringing plenty of cool water for kids to drink,” he says. “Be proactive, and be prepared.”

 

Drake, who along with his colleagues in the emergency room, says he sees a lot of sport-related injuries, heat-related illnesses and orthopedic trauma in the summer months. In addition to drownings or near drownings, he says that children sustaining diving injuries can experience severe hand and neck trauma.

 

“I recommend parents learn basic CPR. For sporting events, know if and where an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is located,” says Drake.

 

Although not always top of mind, stings from bees and wasps can be dangerous for those who are highly allergic, adds Drake. These individuals should “have EpiPens readily available in case they need it, not left at home.”

 

PBS has made available some summertime safety tips on its web site at http://www.pbs.org/parents/summer/summer-safety-tips-for-kids

 

 

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Photo: www.chroniclejournal.com



Parents of children who learn differently may wonder what options exist for their children to participate in team sports or other athletic activities. Children on the autism spectrum, especially, may not thrive in the typical team sports setting because of obstacles they face communicating with others, namely their peers. Yet, Robert Fox has been able to see many such children experience success through his Tae Kwon Do classes at Lupo Tae Kwon Do at United Sports Training Center (USTC) in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Fox, who didn’t begin practicing Tae Kwon Do himself until he was in his thirties, says that his school teaches five tenets, with self-control being one of the most important.  Photo: www.unitedsportstkd.net

“So much of what we do is designed to improve that for kids who struggle there,” says Fox.  “In the end, our goal is to help parents to help their kids to become a better version of themselves.”

Fox goes on to add that the benefits of Tae Kwon Do, or really any martial arts program, are far reaching. Fox’s program at USTC provides conditioning for students, giving them many opportunities to further their goals by advancing onto new belts. Fox also adds that this process  is a means for any child, not just those with learning differences, to build confidence, form friendships and increase self-control.

As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, Fox says he understands wholeheartedly the pain that such children and their parents face upon realizing they have trouble with team sports. A large number of Fox’s students have individualized education programs (IEPs) for issues ranging from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and auditory processing disorders to vestibular and balance issues.

“It can be heartbreaking, but in martial arts, a child is able to build his or her confidence no matter where they begin. It is a journey of personal growth,” he says.

Fox shares the story of one such student’s improvement, who started classes at Lupo TKD when he was just four-years-old. The child initially needed private lessons because of his inability to handle the extra sensory stimulation a group setting provides.

“For the past year, he has been taking group classes…he has become a role model for the other kids.”

Lupo TKD at United Sports opened in February of 2011. Fox says that black belts from the school are recognized in more than 200 countries worldwide, an important point because many martial arts schools offer certificates that are only recognized by their local schools or smaller networks.  

The program has more than 100 students, with about 10 percent being on the autism spectrum. Fox also runs a second location at Montgomery County Sports Performance Center in Harleysville. The Little Tigers class is for children ages 4 through 6, and another program is designed for children ages 7 through 11.

Lupo TKD also hosts a “family class,” what Fox considers the school’s best feature.

“This is where parents and kids of all ages can enjoy class together for a shared family experience,” he adds.  

USTC, located at 1426 Marshallton-Thorndale Road in Downingtown, holds an outdoor movie night the last Friday of every month in the summer.  Lupo TKD will be there from 6:30 to 8 p.m., doing demonstrations and handing out coupons for free classes.  For more information, contact Robert Fox at robert.fox@lupotkd.com or via the Web at Unitedsportstkd.netd.net.

According to Autism Speaks—an autism advocacy organization in the United States which sponsors autism research—autism affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. The organization also states that autism prevalence figures are growing, and there is no medical detection or cure for autism.

 

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Photo: www.unitedsportstkd.net



It was that time of year again this past weekend at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The heroes, the costumes, the comic books, and a neverending blend of nostalgia and pop culture that permeated the surroundings of the 14th annual Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.

 

Once again, visitors were able to meet their favorite television and movie stars while exploring a bevy of t-shirt options featuring their favorite superheroes or sci-fi characters, as well as sit in as well as take pictures of  iconic cars from the small screen as well as silver screen. In addition to the Back to the Future DeLorean, TV’s classic Batmobile from the 1960’s Batman television series, K.I.T.T., the classic car driven by David Hasselhoff from the 1980’s Knight Rider, also made an appearance at Wizard World. Joe Fiduccia from Northeast Pennsylvania personally customized the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am to look like an exact replica (and yes, he talks too!). Joe’s vehicle is also available for booking, and you can check out his Notchback KITT Facebook page here!

 

Fans are also given the opportunity for photo booth pictures with their favorite stars as well as panel discussions, which are always a highlight of the experience. Some of this year’s notable guests included Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd, Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio, Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan from The Walking Dead, favorite son David Boreanaz from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan from Dr. Who,  WWE SuperStar John Cena, Academy Award Winner Whoopi Goldberg, Firefly alum and Castle actor Nathan Fillion, and actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 

Philly2Philly’s Diane Cooney will have a writeup of several panel discussions that took place as well as a photo gallery. In the meantime, however, check out some of our photos from the fun and exciting weekend. You can check out the rest on our Facebook page. Wizard World will return to Philadelphia next year on May 7-10, 2015!

Wizard World 2014: Philadelphia


Wizard World 2014: Philadelphia

Wizard World 2014: Philadelphia

Wizard World 2014: Philadelphia

Wizard World 2014: Philadelphia

Check out the rest of our Wizard World photos on our Facebook page!

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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A few weeks ago I had one of those first-time conversations with my eight-year-old daughter, who’s looking forward to her upcoming birthday in July.

She asked: “Mommy, can I get a cell phone when I turn nine?”

“No,” I responded.

“How about when I’m 10?”

“No,” I said again.www.kidsperks.com

I was surprised we were having this conversation, as I was driving with her buckled in the seat behind me. It seemed like only yesterday that she was fastened in a car seat with a five-point harness. In fact, I had only recently let her venture out on her first sleepover. Should I have anticipated that she’d be asking for a cell phone next?

“Well, how old were you when you got your first cell phone?” she inquired.

As I was laughing, I quickly realized this conversation was likely happening in many families. With little or no precedent to follow, how do parents decide the right time to let their child have a cell phone? Many of today’s parents didn’t have their first cell phone until they were in their 20s, the age I was when I first carried around a mobile device.

Without a doubt, there are many advantages for young people to be connected. Cell phones allow children to text or e-mail their families and friends regularly. Many parents agree that giving their child a mobile phone is a step toward ensuring their safety when either parent or child is not at home. We know parents whose children send them a text message when arriving at a friend’s house after school, providing some peace of mind when they and their children need to be apart.

But what about the implications of having a cell phone? Obviously, there’s a very real financial component. Cell phones aren’t cheap, and many smart phones cost more than $100, a price tag not including the monthly bill and associated data charges.

Secondly, with more well-deserved attention being focused on bullying through social media, parents may be naturally hesitant to have their children accessible to their peers during the hours away from school. Cell phones can also be a big distraction, especially for young drivers behind the wheel. What’s a parent to do?

For me, the decision is easy to make today. My eight-year-old will not receive a cell phone this year or next. For some reason, 12 seems like a more reasonable age, when she has the maturity to be responsible for such a gadget. For the most part, her time away from us amounts to sports practices, birthday parties and Girl Scout meetings. None of these activities—in her father’s and my estimation—requires her to carry a cell phone.

When it comes down to it, this is certainly a decision each family needs to make on its own. Every child and teen is different, and some exhibit more capabilities for responsible behavior than others. This is why parenting expert Deborah Gilboa, MD (Dr. G), says there really is no right age for a child to get a cell phone. She does, however, make the distinction between whether the phone is something the child wants or if it’s the parent who prefers to be more connected to a child.

“If the phone is for them, use it to teach some responsibility. Your child should earn part of the money to pay for the phone and sign a contract with you for how it may and may not be used,” she says.

Dr. G believes that the first cell phone a child receives shouldn’t be a so-called “smart phone,” with apps to social media sites. Yet if parents choose to let their children online through other methods, she feels following social media sites’ age guidelines an important first step.

“Allowing kids to dip their toes in social media can be a great learning experience. Just don’t lie to get them online,” says Dr. G. Most sites like Facebook and Instagram require users to be 13.

When children do have the freedom and reach the age to be fully connected, it’s always wise for parents to keep apprised of this activity for all of the reasons mentioned above. Technology has many benefits for these young members of society, but parents should always pay attention to their children’s mobile device and other online activities.

To help with this task, programs and apps are available for parents trying to keep their children safe while using technology. Some apps have GPS trackers and can even help prevent cyber bullying. You can use your favorite Internet search engine to research “apps to keep kids safe online,” to access some of these resources.

 

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Photo: www.kidsperks.com



I came to the conclusion recently that my children simply have too much. A Saturday afternoon where I helped them clean their rooms and clear some clutter gave me a lot of perspective. In the process, I recognized something becoming increasingly apparent. The more stuff my children have, the less they seem to respect those material possessions.

My three children may be able to identify a tiny piece of plastic (which could be separate from the original set of toys to which it belongs) with the same precision a paleontologist uses when examining a rare bone. They can even tell me exactly when and where they received these flimsy pieces, evoking memories for all of us. I’m thrilled they recall the happy, little details that make up their young lives. I also realize the blessings our family has, as many don’t have the ability to give their children essential needs, let alone the extras.Photo: www.npnparents.org

The problem is, my children don’t actively care for these items or seem to respect their value.

Shame on them or shame on me?

Similar to other parents, I love my children very much. Yet over the years, my husband and I have taken that love and joy we get from seeing their happy faces light up with a new toy or gift to a sort of routine, perhaps extreme.  Love, although we both know this, should never be equated with material things. Like a few other well-meaning parents we know, we have given our children mounds of craft items, Legos, and other small toys they often stash under their beds. I try to ignore the basement, as it too is a haven for all things that seem to constitute kid clutter.

So if I had to do it all over again, here’s what I would recommend to my younger mom self about to embark on the parental journey for the first time:

-Set rules from the beginning with regard to toys and other children’s belongings. Decide where they will be played with and stored, and do your best to stick to the plan.

-Talk to your spouse or parenting partner about which occasions children will receive gifts and toys. Are they just for birthdays and yearly religious holidays, or are they going to be given freely throughout the year for any occasion? Will you bring presents to them after vacations or business trips?

 

-If your child breaks a precious toy, don’t rush to replace it. Let her experience that loss. With time, she will learn that these items require care and attention.

-As children get older, teach them to give back. Have them help you donate their used toys to younger children, preschools, churches or to other charitable organizations. They may even learn something about business from selling them at a yard sale. Give them the money received for these items, and maybe even open them a bank account.

 

-If your child continually asks or something, have her explain why it’s so important to have that item, and make her wait a reasonable time for it (future birthday, holiday or school accomplishment). Delayed gratification has numerous benefits, while teaching children who are developmentally ready (usually around six or seven) to value and appreciate a good thing after waiting.

 

In parents’ busy lives, it’s often easier to acquiesce and make our children happy immediately. Yet studies have continually shown the benefits of delaying gratification. In a culture that almost demands immediacy, this may remain a challenge. So many of us want what we want now, and I’m finding my family isn’t much different. I can’t change the past mistakes we’ve made with respect to over indulging our children. All the while, I can model behavior and communicate clearly with my children the importance of saving, sharing and donating. They’re starting to get the hang of it so much so that when I ask them to go through their old toys and make a sell or donate pile, they’re excited to help. The answer to whether they’ll become philanthropists or entrepreneurs may be another exercise in waiting—this time for their parents!

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Photo: www.npnparents.org



I remember a time when people put an effort into their marriage and commitments to one another. Divorce was unheard of many years ago. People weren’t quick to marry and just as quickly to divorce the minute a struggle presented itself to a married couple. Even more so, today many couples, married or not, have a child.

I am the last person to suggest that couples should stay together and be miserable simply for the fact that there are children involved, but I was recently having a discussion with a woman I had met at an event. While we chatted over wine, I had mentioned I had done some work helping fathers seek equal rights when it came to parenting. She seemed shocked and a little appalled. She actually asked if this was true. Were more fathers actually fighting for equal rights?  For the first time in a long time, I was speechless. It made me think, since when did it become ok to treat fathers like sperm donors and paychecks, and not ok to help them fight for equal rights? Since when was it ok to have a mother dictate the amount of time a father gets with their child?  When did it become difficult for a father to fight for fathers' rights?  Then the ultimate question came to my head; since when did a father have to fight for those rights in the first place?  Why isn’t he given those same rights from the birth of the child just like a mother is given?Photo: ancpr.com

I have been on both sides of children involved in the court system. I have seen the ugly and the good. My husband, for example, is a dedicated father to two children who loves and supports the both of them. He had to jump through rings of fire and back in order to get joint custody and a fair child support arrangement. His story is similar to many fathers out there: fighting for a right to be in the children’s lives and not getting the equal chance.  

I too am a mother, and I understand the bond that mothers share by carrying that child for nine months and the pain and agony of delivering that same child. I have heard many mothers speak about the bond they share with the child by being able to be pregnant and how fathers don’t go through what they go through in order to bring a child into this world. Here is a reality check ladies: it’s not their choice that they do not get to carry and deliver. It was life’s decision for females to have the strength and design for child creating and birthing. Why make such statements as if the man chooses for us to have the children? Did we forget it is physically impossible for them to do so?  Why hold it against them? Seems kind of silly to me and a poor argument. Let’s also not forget the fact that without fathers, there would be no children.  Remember that saying it takes two to tango? A father has just an equal right to a child as the mother.  

I’m sure many woman are gritting their teeth in anger or disbelief with the last sentence. If you are, ask yourself this question. Are you holding resentment towards your child’s father?  Maybe he was the one who ended the relationship? Maybe he was not a good husband or life partner? Did you ever think that he may not have been the best in the relationship department, but maybe he is an A-plus of a father?  Stop using your resentment to punish him. How does that affect the child? By using resentment and by keeping a good father away from their child, you are not protecting that child, you are hurting them.    

Our society needs to realize that fathers are not just every other weekend babysitters and paychecks. They are influential and essential to the upbringing of children. Yes, unfortunately you have those fathers who do not express an interest in sharing the responsibilities of raising a child, but must all fathers be punished for so few? If that’s the case then all single mothers must be deemed as drama-filled, money hungry individuals.

That moment that you decided to give life to a human being, you made a pact with life to put your needs aside and do what was in the best interest of this life. You agreed to mold and grow this new life with every best interest in mind. This did not mean to exclude the other half that contributed to the coming of this life. Fathers are fifty percent contributors making them equal to women in the making of this life. So we as women need to get off our high horse and come back down to reality. Give the fathers the rights they deserve and stop holding up the court system with the constant need to take a father for every penny he has.  

To those fathers who are fighting the battle every day to have a relationship they deserved from the very beginning, I stand before you, as a mother and wife and a woman and I applaud you for your dedication and commitment in being a father. There was a time where women did not have equal rights and it was through our own perseverance and dedication that we finally received the rights we tirelessly fought for. You too will get the rights you unfortunately have to fight for.  A right that, by Mother Nature, you shouldn’t have to fight for. That little being you fight for will one day realize and appreciate the fight.  

Ladies, how about we put down the shields and swords and sign the peace treaty for every father. It’s bound to happen and you can either be a positive contributing factor to this movement or a negative factor fueling the fire. It is your choice. Many questions are asked in this article, and I hope those who are truly sitting and asking themselves the questions find the right answers.

Karen Stebbins is a mom of four and wife of a loving husband who shares her love of sports (or else she wouldnt have said yes). Karen is an experienced paralegal and freelance writer on a variety of topics. Sports is her passion and her love of the game is undeniable.

 

 

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You may have seen reports in the news media recently, highlighting the efforts of celebrity moms like Jennifer Garner and Beyoncé, who are rallying together to ban the word “bossy.”

They argue the word can limit the capabilities of girls, making leadership characteristics appear negative. Since then, LeanIn.org has partnered with the Girl Scouts of America on the “Ban Bossy” public service campaign. You can read more at http://www.banbossy.com.

Although I never really considered the implications of using the word, I’m in agreement and happy this conversation has been started. As I thought about it, the only time I’ve really ever heard “bossy” associated with a male was when my four-year-old called my dad “bossy” last week during a disagreement involving play dough.  I challenged myself to pay more attention, realizing the word is almost exclusively associated with females, whether in pre-school or in their adult years.Photo: ahchealthenews.com

Thinking back to when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten and I attended my first parent-teacher conference of her grade school career, I was told that she can be, at times, “bossy.”  I was quietly elated, only expressing my excitement upon returning home and relaying the story to family members. I was grateful my daughter had found her way in school and wasn’t being pushed around. What could be wrong with that?

I may have even felt a certain vindication that I had done something right. After all, this was the daughter who head-butted us when she didn’t get her way at 11-months of age. At five, she was on her way to becoming a self-assured little girl. She became known as the creator of all-girls clubs on the playground during recess. At a time when I didn’t know other parents’ names at birthday parties and school events, I would introduce myself as her mom.  On one such occasion another mom replied:  “Oh, yes, she’s the one who’s started the clubs.” At this young age, she had already made herself heard and known in her little world.

Although proud, I still talked to my daughter about the consequences of being overly aggressive, explaining that being a leader is good, but being fair and inclusive is also pretty important. I suggested that she start admitting boys to her recess club, and she agreed that made sense.

Erasing an adjective, as metaphorically as the cause may be, raises awareness but requires more from parents.  The “bossy” conversation needs some context, while we also highlight characteristics—not just words—that leaders should possess.

After all, as little girls grow, we don’t want those leadership skills to go awry. Could leadership behaviors we know to be very valuable turn into bullying? I believe parents can provide a lot of guidance here, fostering their young daughters to become leaders who also stand up for others, possibly even bringing dissimilar groups together. Being a leader is not mutually exclusive of being—simply as it may seem—nice.

Whatever words are used, there are actions that may be more reflective of that negative connotation that bossy brings. Young girls should be taught to pursue their goals with fervor. Yet, let’s face it, people who are unrelenting in any quest for self-gain may alienate others. Any well-thought, long-term strategy for success should be based on building relationships, forming bonds with others and achieving trust. Compromise is part of that equation. Let’s encourage young girls to be forthright, confident and also receptive to others’ feelings and opinions.

I’m grateful the celebrity moms started this conversation, even if they didn’t quite tell the entire story. Girls should be applauded for exhibiting leadership qualities without undermining the necessity of other skills—adaptability, empathy and objectivity. Real leaders listen to others, learn to assess the best ways of handling situations and manage these behaviors compassionately.

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Local nonprofits join together for MUSIC video

highlighting good work taking place in Camden

The Goodness Project will feature locals through its own “HAPPY” video production

 

CAMDEN, N.J. (March 21, 2014) – Inspired by the popular music video for Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated song "Happy,” staffers and volunteers from 12 local nonprofits will be featured in their own music video to express their own happiness about working in Camden as part of The Goodness Project, whose aim is to promote all the “good” works that nonprofits are doing in the often-maligned city of Camden.

 

"The video is not about what we are doing as much as it is about who we help,” said Lauren White, development director for the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, who is serving as one of the organizers for the Goodness Project.The video will be released just before the Easter holiday – on Good Friday. We hope it goes viral to shine a light on the good work happening in Camden.”

 

Under the direction of three-time Emmy® nominated producer Steve Acito, who resides in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and owns Bluewire Media, the video production will take place on Thursday, April 3rd, in Camden at various nonprofits whose work ranges from caring for families affected by cancer, to inspiring youth, to feeding the hungry and more.

 

Acito is teaming up with Steadicam operator David Schwartz of Haddonfield and are both donating their talents to help film the project. Schwartz has more than 28 years of production experience including the 2004 feature film The Woodsman and the NBC television series Do No Harm. Drexel University's Film & Video Department is also donating several staff members and some additional equipment to assist in the production process.   

 

Among the participating nonprofits are: Boys & Girls Club Camden, Cathedral Kitchen, Camden’s Children’s Garden, Camden Sophisticated Sisters, Camden CYCLE Program, Cramer Hill Little League, Guadalupe Family Services, Hopeworks, Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, The Salvation Army, Settlement Music School, Taps Drumline, and Urban Promise

 

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The Delaware Valley Stroke Council (DVSC) held its 18th annual Stars for Stroke Gala on March 15th at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia and raised $150,000 to continue its community advocacy and stroke awareness programs. This black tie affair also honored stroke survivors, caregivers, doctors and those dedicated to reducing the incidence and impact of stroke, which is the third leading cause of death and number one cause of adult disability.

 

Most notably, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council honored Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania’s second congressional district with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his career-long dedication to neuroscience research. In 2011, Congressman Fattah commissioned the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative; an innovative, non-incremental policy effort seeking to achieve groundbreaking progress in understanding the human brain and neurological conditions like stroke.

 

In addition to honoring Congressman Fattah, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council recognized Dr. John Roussis, physician liaison for JeffSTAT Medical Transportation Services with a Volunteer of the Year Award for his unwavering dedication to the DVSC.  Roger and Peggy Myers received a Stroke Survivor and Caregiver of the Year Award for their relentless perseverance against all odds. The Delaware Valley Stroke Council’s own Medical Advisory Board, which consists of a 30 member team and includes many of the area’s finest stroke care physicians, was presented a Special Recognition Award for providing expertise on stroke and the latest healthcare trends.

 

Founded in 1995 by Toby Mazer, whose late husband, Dr. Howard Mazer, was a stroke survivor of nearly two decades, the DVSC works to provide advocacy for area stroke survivors and raise awareness of stroke symptoms. “Someone dies from a stroke nearly every 3 minutes in the U.S., but sadly, very few people know the symptoms of stroke,” Mazer said. “To help individuals identify stroke, we developed the F.A.S.T. acronym, meaning the face must be observed for a droopy smile, raised arms checked for a downward drift and speech monitored for slurring. If any of these conditions persist, then time is of the essence to call 911 because the person is suffering a stroke.”

 

Along with raising awareness of stroke symptoms, the DVSC helps individuals access high quality stroke care. “Our mission is to help stroke survivors and caregivers navigate the complex healthcare system so they can fully focus their efforts on recovering,” Mazer said. “Additionally, we partner with hospitals and rehabilitation centers to ensure that state-of-the-art stroke care is available to everyone in the region.”

 

To volunteer with the Delaware Valley Stroke Council and learn more about additional upcoming events, visit http://www.phillystroke.org/.

 

Congressman Chaka Fattah, Helene Katz, administrative assistant for Delaware Valley Stroke Council, Cameron Fattah, Renee Chenault-Fattah, Chandler Fattah, Honey Zozofsky, executive director for Delaware Valley Stroke Council. Credit: HughE Dillon.


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 Toby Mazer, founder of the Delaware Valley Stroke Council with Volunteer of the Year recipient John Roussis Credit: HughE Dillon.


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 Dr. Guy Fried presenting Congressman Fattah with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Credit: HughE Dillon.  


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Maria Jabbour and Dr. Pascal Jabb

 

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No gala in Philadelphia is complte without a Mummers appearance 


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