College Credit

I was recently asked about which option is best for homeschool students who want to earn college credit.  There are several ways to pursue this and I think the method really depends on the kid.  AP has the advantage of boosting transcripts if you are in a typical credit-based program,   college courses can expose the student to new people, but there can be impacts financial aid in the future if the student is not good at following through.  CLEP  provides a way of testing out of courses.   Here are a couple resources for families to review…

4 Tips For Getting Your Kid Mental Health Services | Red-Hot Parenting

70 % of children and adolescents who need mental health services do not receive them.  Parenting wrote a short piece about how to increase the chances your child will not be part of that statistic.


4 Tips For Getting Your Kid Mental Health Services | Red-Hot Parenting.

Spring Cleaning: 12 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved |

Spring Cleaning: 12 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved

via Spring Cleaning: 12 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved | lists 12 ways to make the dreaded spring chore more fun.  Teaching children to help is good for them and give you more time to play as a family.  Win/win!

Children should be allowed to get bored

Thanks to Nancy J. Smyth @njsmyth for bringing this article to my attention.  In addition to creativity, boredom in small doses also helps children develop impulse control.

Full story at BBC News Education 

Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative, an education expert says.

Dr Teresa Belton told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination

She quizzed author Meera Syal and artist Grayson Perry about how boredom had aided their creativity as children.

Syal said boredom made her write, while Perry said it was a “creative state”.


Ranting on Websites May Just Make You Angrier

“The Internet brings out impulsivity problems more than anything else,” said lead author Ryan Martin, an associate professor of human development and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

via Ranting on Websites May Just Make You Angrier.

Not the normal topic I post about, but I see such horrible impulsivity in kids these days.  I spent the weekend with four adolescents who are in a locked psychiatric facility based almost entirely on their inability to stop and think before they act.  While there is no clear causal link between the internet and a lack of impulse control, research has shown a definite link between internet addiction and ADHD symptoms (Yoo, Cho, Ha, Yune, Kim, Hwang, Lyoo, 2004). Greater amounts of computer gaming, lower social competence, and greater impulsivity have been shown to be  risk factors for depression, anxiety, social phobias, and lower school performance (Gentile, Choo, Liau, Sim, Li, Fung, & Khoo, 2011).  

In Navigating the internet safely: Recommendations for residential programs targeting at-risk adolescents, Pridgen writes:

The internet has altered the landscape of human interaction in a way that may accentuate deficits in the capacity for self-sustaining, reciprocal peer relationships. Adolescents suffering from emotional and behavioral disorders may be especially prone to this influence, as evidenced by our observation of the growing clinical trend of adolescents admitted to inpatient and residential psychiatric units who present with a history of risky cyber-behaviors (2010). 

So while  the internet may not be causing the problem, it may be exacerbating problems that already exist.  

So, why am I writing about this on a Parenting Blog?  Well, I came across some interesting research.  In a study on Impulsivity and inhibitory control, Schachar & Logan found that the development of inhibitory control seems to stop ant around second grade.  If we as parents and educators are not attentive to teaching our young children self control at an early age, we may not get the chance to catch them up.  This makes the work I do with adolescents very challenging, but it speaks to the critical nature of engaged parents.  I’ve used the Stop and Think program with school kids and with my own child.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with a young child with impulsivity and frankly anyone who works with or has a young child.



Gentile, D. A., Choo, H., Liau, A., Sim, T., Li, D., Fung, D., & Khoo, A. (2011). Pathological video game use among youths: A two-year longitudinal study.Pediatrics, 127(2), e319-e329. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1353

Pridgen, B. (2010). Navigating the internet safely: Recommendations for residential programs targeting at-risk adolescents. Harvard Review of Psychiatry,18(2), 131-138. doi: 10.3109/10673221003684000

Schachar, R., & Logan, G. D. (1990). Impulsivity and inhibitory control in normal development and childhood psychopathology. Developmental Psychology,26(5), 710-720. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.26.5.710

Yoo, H. J., Cho, S. C., Ha, J., Yune, S. K., Kim, S. J., Hwang, J., . . . Lyoo, I. K. (2004). Attention deficit hyperactivity symptoms and internet addiction.Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 58(5), 487-494. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2004.01290.x


Developing Resilience: 10 things-to-tell-yourself-when-life-knocks-you-down


I’ve been reading a lot lately about what protective factors can help us when we face trauma.  Whether its the personal  trauma of abuse, or the society  wide trauma of Sandy Hook or 9/11.  Two factors more than any other predict a lack of PTSD symptoms:  1) Finding meaning in the event, 2) Finding something that gives us strength in the event.

Boy Scouts of America Survey

My son is a cub scout.  He just earned his Tiger Cub rank.  When we signed him up to join scouting we did not realize that scouting was an organization that discriminated against our gay and lesbian neighbors.  We thought about pulling him out, but  learned that scouting was in the midst of revising their policy, and wanted to be a part of the conversation.  Currently the National Organization is considering changing their policy to allow the local chartering organizations decide if they want to discriminate or not.
This policy is wrong minded in that it does not go far enough.  It continues to allow for discrimination.  Recently Boy Scouts of America contacted me as a parent and asked me this question,

“What is your greatest concern if the policy is changed to allow charter organizations to make their own decisions to admit openly gay Scouts and leaders? (Please be specific.)”
Here is my response.   Please share with your friends if you agree that Scouting’s policy is wrong.

My primary concern is that local chartering organizations would be prejudiced against gay and lesbian people.  The notion that a kid could begin scouting as a tiger (6 years-old)  – continue through varsity and then be denied eagle scout because he discovers at 17 that he is gay is so abhorrent to me that I can support this organization.  Our troop is sponsored through  our local diocese.  If an organization like the church, that is so anti-gay can be so associated with child rape — I can only think that scouting in its current form is not where I want my child.  The notion that men and women who are attracted  to the same sex are somehow more likely to be pedophiles is so absurd that I don’t know where to begin my comments.  My son’s den leader, by the way, is a women who I ‘m pretty sure is attracted to men.  She has never once been sexually inappropriate with my six-year-old son son .  Why should I think that a gay father would be a sexual predator?  One of my very best friends from childhood is gay.  He is attracted to men, not to children.    One of my dearest friends from college is gay.  She is attracted to women, not to children.  Should we fear that every straight man is attracted to young girls, that every straight woman is attracted to young boys?  The notion is absurd.  If scouting does not change its current position – and in fact go further to reject the ridiculous prejudice based on sexual orientation out right,  it will not have the support of my family.  It will I fear be a dying organization and boys will suffer.  Scouting offers young men so much.  It should not offer them these obscene views of their fellow citizens, their neighbors, their families.