Tag Archives: Children




In Uncategorized on March 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

I woke up this morning to this lovely short film in my inbox. A sweet friend, who has devoted her professional life to therapeutic foster care issues, sent it along with the words, “Shelley: for those days you wonder ‘why’.”

I’m unsure of how the makers of this film so completely understand the path of a foster child, but I suspect at least one of them has shared the path of this little girl. This film is especially poignant for me, because my children came to me one at a time, which will resonate once you’ve seen the film. Please view and share. My heart is full of tears and love for these artists.


How to change the world: Miss Lemonade


What happens when a little girl decides to set up a lemonade stand for peace outside the Westboro Baptist Church headquarters in Kansas? Members of the community step out in droves to show support, even as the hate group tries to quash it.

Five-year-old Jayden, the daughter of Jon Sink, founder of the philanthropic arts group FRESHCASSETTE – Creative Compassion, decided to set up a stand selling pink lemonade at The Equality House on Friday afternoon. The Equality House is a rainbow-colored building directly across the street from Westboro’s Topeka compound. The house, which was painted the colors of the pride flag in March, was bought by Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged nonprofit set up in 2004 and aimed at spreading goodwill and equality around the globe.

Jayden, who is from Kansas City, decided to set up her stand at the Equality House after her parents explained to her the significance of its construct. After being told that the church across the street had a message of hate, she set a goal of raising money to go towards a message of love and peace.

So she painted a banner for the event reading, “Pink Lemonade for Peace: $1 Suggested Donation.” She put the stand in the grass and waited. But the waiting didn’t take long. Supporters came in by the droves and $1 turned into hundreds of dollars.

During the day, Westboro sent representatives outside to try and find a way to stop the event. They apparently attempted to call the local police and stooped to yelling profanities when that didn’t work, like calling a group of soldiers who rode out on their motorcycles to suport the event “bastards.”

Westboro’s hate couldn’t stop Jayden. She not only raised $400 during the day on Friday, but she has also collected over $1000 with an online campaign set up through Crowd Rise. Some people donated as little as $10 and as much as $230. One person gave $26, dedicating it to every person killed six months ago in the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

“As we all know, the Westboro Baptist Church puts a lot of hate into the world,” Jackson told HuffPost in an email Friday. “Since we cannot stop them, the next best thing is to smother it with love. That is what 5-year-old Jayden accomplished today! Jayden set up a lemonade stand in front of the church. Not only did she quench the thirst of a lot of loving supporters, the money she raised was donated to Planting Peace so she could help Planting Peace promote a more peaceful world.”

“Jayden represents the natural humanity we are born with,” Davis Hammet, Director of Operations at Planting Peace, added. “We come into this world compassionate, caring beings and only become hateful if we are taught to be.”

Click here if you are interested in donating to Jayden’s Pink Lemonade Stand for Peace.

westboro baptist church lemonade

ADHD Medication Revisited- Part 1



Are you sure you want to chance those chemicals?

Are you sure you want to chance those chemicals?

There are lots of rumours, lots of gossip going ’round regarding ADHD medication. Some of them, a few at least, are correct. Some of them are worthless and wrong. Some could be dangerous.

The one I hate is the idea that medication is intrinsically wrong. I’ve heard people say that they would never take “chemicals” just because their brain worked differently. This is often followed by a dramatic “involuntary” shudder to indicate the extent of their displeasure with that idea.

I’m a little more open minded, I guess. I like to consider that there is more to this world than just drama and opinions. I do have my own opinions, but I choose to give them as such and accept that they might not fit in with the opinions of others.

But, for what it’s worth …

Lets consider the elemental chemical Oxygen. If you don’t “take” oxygen, your brain will work differently. In fact, you must indulge in this chemical for your brain to work at all.

Okay, kind of simplistic though …

True. That is kind of simplistic. Lets add a different chemical, the elemental chemical Hydrogen. Do you do Hydrogen? I do, I’m addicted. Well, I admit I cut it with Oxygen, that turns it into a liquid I am rather addicted to. It’s called water. If I haven’t gotten my Hydrogen fix my brain is really wonky. I personally consume 3 to 5 litres of this evil chemical concoction on a daily basis. (Don’t start drinking that much all of a sudden, you need to work your way up to that amount gradually)

Well, that’s still foolish, of course we all need water

Quite true, we do. And before you say it, I’ll admit that it is equally true that we don’t need stimulant medications to survive. But the thing I’m pointing out here is that everything we put in our bodies is, in actuality, chemically based. Food, water, the atmosphere we breathe.

Have I mentioned M. vaccae recently?

Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium present in soil that you ingest through breathing while working in the garden or walking in the woods or even possibly just lying out on the lawn, acts on the same part of your brain that Prozac acts on. It has been shown to increase serotonin levels and decrease anxiety. It has also been shown to improve learning and performance of activities that require thoughtful presence.

Just like oxygen and water and food and every other thing in this world, living or dead, M. vaccae is comprised of chemicals (not those nasty things again!!!).

But this is natural stuff, right?

So what about taking medication provided by pharmacists? What’s my opinion on that? Find out on the original site of this post

  • Adhd (westoaksurgentcare.wordpress.com)

How to avoid bedtime struggles


How to Avoid Bedtime Struggles



How to Avoid Bedtime StrugglesMother of two young kids, Molly Skyar, interviews her mother, Dr. Susan Rutherford, a clinical psychologist, about best strategies for enforcing bedtime with young kids and how your parenting decisions today may affect your child as an adult.

Molly: I received this question from another mom who was wondering if I knew of any good strategies to help her enforce bedtimes. She feels that no matter what time she starts, something always comes up and her kids go to bed too late. They’re hungry, or they have to go the bathroom… She knows she has to be more structured or have a better routine, but she’s a self-described “softie” so it’s hard for her to do.

Dr. Rutherford: I think this mom’s idea about having a firmer, stricter routine is a really good starting point. Those children are obviously manipulating their mom and she, for whatever reason, is not able to set limits.

Suppose the children’s bedtime is 7:30pm. And they bathe before they go to sleep. They are going to have dinner first, so shortly after dinner I would start bath time (if this is part of the routine – or whatever else is part of the routine) and then read a story.

Molly: Or maybe she could do the bath before dinner if it’s making the process stretch out too long.

Dr. Rutherford: That’s right. That’s a good idea. And then she’s going to read her children a story and make sure they go to the bathroom, et cetera. She’s right that she needs to have a routine.

Children actually love routines. They brush their teeth, go to the potty, read a book, maybe talk about their day a little bit with mommy… and then it’s night-night time. Having a routine helps them transition over to this stage of the day.

Children who leave their bedrooms at night saying they’re “hungry”… Well, most of the time it’s a manipulation tactic. Most of the time when kids get up at night, I think that the kid is having trouble with that transition from wakefulness to sleep and is wanting attention from the parent. If a child emerges after being put to bed, you can escort him or her back to bed saying, “You know that we don’t get out of bed after we’ve read stories.” You shouldn’t do this with anger, but we should be firm in our resolve.

A parent can reinforce this resolve by assuring the child that the next time they will talk together will be in the morning when everyone wakes up and we have breakfast. Remind the child that if we don’t go to bed now, everyone is going to be cranky and tired tomorrow, and we don’t want that.

If the child is one of the kids that is always coming out asking for water, think about that ahead of time and prepare to leave a cup of water or a water bottle next to the bed.

As a parent, your life will run more smoothly if you can think ahead and anticipate what the child might need or want at bedtime. It’s reasonable for a child to want their transitional object like a blanket or stuffed animal, for example, so make sure that is in the room before you say goodnight.

Molly: One thing that we do at my house is that, as we leave the kitchen to go upstairs to bed, we say, “That’s it, the kitchen is closed. If there’s anything else you want, now is the time because we’re not getting up after you brush your teeth and go to bed. There’s no more eating tonight.”

Dr. Rutherford: Perfect. That’s a perfect way to do it.

Molly: But we’ve had to be really strict about it. The first three nights, my five-year-old daughter really tested us; she even went so far as to claim she was “starving” after she had eaten a large dinner. And then we had to say, “We already put you to bed tonight. If you get up again, you’re going to lose your privilege for watching your television show tomorrow.”

Dr. Rutherford: You really had to do some behavioral modification intervention.

Molly: We also did a chart. Every night that she didn’t get up, she got to put a sticker on the chart in the morning. I think this is the thing that actually worked the best.

Dr. Rutherford: You offered a reward for staying in bed. That’s employing positive reinforcement as a motivation for behavioral change. Positive reinforcement is a good way to set patterns for a child. Behavior is all about patterns. If a child gets up once, saying he’s not feeling well, that’s not a big deal. When he or she starts doing it regularly, as a pattern, that’s when you absolutely must intervene. The sooner, the better.

Molly: Are there any possible long-term effects of not dealing with this?

Dr. Rutherford: There can be short-term effects and long-term effects. The short-term effects become long-term effects. For instance, if this isn’t dealt with when it first starts, it can go on for years and the child may have real difficulty in moving from the awake state to a sleep state. An example of this might be when the kid is old enough and goes on an overnight to a friend’s house, she might have a lot of trouble falling asleep and will keep her friend up because she hasn’t really learned how to transition from wakefulness to sleep.

As the child becomes an adult, these kinds of issues can easily continue. They often take the form of having trouble falling asleep and may manifest in eating at bedtime, needing the television to fall asleep, or maybe even alcohol or pills — all because that adult never learned how to move from wakefulness to sleep in a timely manner as a child.

Molly Skyar and Dr. Rutherford are behind the blog “Conversations With My Mother”, a blog about raising kids and how our parenting decisions now can have long term effects. Dr. Rutherford is a Clinical Psychologist in practice for over 30 years. She has her undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Masters from New York University (NYU), and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver.