Kindergarten Kid Suspended For Making His Hand Into Fake Gun

Mar 6, 2010 by

And now, a little from the you're not going to believe this one.  I thought the South Korean couple letting their real kid die while they raised a virtual one was nuts, but this one is the wiener of the day.  A kindergarten boy in Ionia, MI, has been suspended–for shaping his hand into a gun and pointing it at fellow classmates.  The school claims to have warned the boy multiple times and to have let his parents know of the concerns.  He kept doing it and he sat out of school a few days because he would not stop.   Bang_flag_gun

Now as a parent of seven kids, and as the former spokesman for the Dallas school district for six years, I can see, well, no I can't. 

This is just plain dumb and this is just the kind of story the press loves to pounce on to make administrators look stupid.  And on that point, congrats.  They succeeded. 

Sure, the district has an obligation to preserve the learning atmosphere inside the school.  But there were other things that could have been done, say like having the boy go to the principal's office, working with a counselor, anything but sending him home and making him lose instruction time. 

Okay school district, you've made your statement.  And believe me, it's been heard.  And what a nutty bunch we feel like you are.  There were other ways this could have and should have been handled.  Yes, it is important to enforce the Code of Conduct.  But com'on guys, this is a kindergarten kid we're talking about.

Want to talk about this subject?  Join us on Mondays at 2 p.m. EST on Blog Talk Radio.

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Children’s book about Internet Safety: Little Red Hoodie by @LittleRedHoodie

Feb 28, 2010 by

Adrianna Kruse's adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, called Little Red Hoodie, is a good children's book focused on something very important in today's modern Web 2.0 Family era:  Internet Safety.  If you have young children, this is a reasonably-priced book you can order online and really use to hammer home some important messages about talking to strangers–online.   Little Red Hoodie Cover

Little Red Hoddie's rules to safe Internet use:

Secret: Keep all of your personal information secret.

Ask: Always ask your parents before meeting anyone in person or inviting someone over for a visit.

Feel: If something you see on the Internet makes you feel uncomfortable, tell your parents immediately.

Educate: Continue to educate yourself and others on the hidden dangers of Internet use.

And the best tip of all: When in doubt, log out!

The plot line in the book is quite simple: Little Red Hoodie gets home from school and instead of doing her homework, gets online, where she is IMed by her "Granny" who claims to be sick and needing something to eat so she will feel better.  In spite of LRH at first questioning, "I thought you were at a karate tournament today," Granny says she's too ill to talk on the phone and the little girl's mom is too busy to be worried about tending to her.  Granny insists that LRH come now, and she does. 

When LRH gets to Granny's house, Granny is gone and we're led through the traditional your teeth and hands look bigger routine, only for the Big Bad Wolf to leap from the bed exclaiming, "Because I'm not your Granny!"  What happens next, I'll leave you to find out in the book.  Little Red Hood Wolf

But the underlying message here for children is the fact that in spite of who people say they are online, they really don't know who they're talking with, even when there is a nice Granny photo on a profile screen. 

This is something that all Web 2.0 Families today must consider as we allow our children more and more freedom on the Internet.  Let's face it, there are some really dangerous people out there who are on the Internet.  And even though sex offenders are prohibited from being on a computer, the cases of them being on one anyway are far too numerous to sleep comfortably at night if you're letting your kids open access to the Net. 

A counselor in Dallas was telling me last week of a sex offender who was caught by police after the offender tried to meet what he thought was a young girl.  Upon his release from prison, the guy was told to stay off the Internet.  Well, guess what.  Within a week, he was back in jail again. He had gone back to the same Internet platform.  Hit on another girl, and guess what, when he went to meet her, was met by the same police officer who had arrested him the first time.

Do you know who your children are talking with online?  Do you have the passwords to get into their MySpace or Facebook accounts?  Do you have the passwords to ALL of their accounts, because the tendency is for kids nowadays to have more than one, particularly on MySpace.  Have you seen what others are writing on their walls?  Have you seen what your own kids are posting? 

Mrs. Kruse, who I initially found on Twitter, has done a good thing in writing this book, Little Red Hoodie.  It's worth the money to get one and spend some time reading it with your younger children.  Heck, for fun read it to your tweens when they're basically captive and cannot escape! 

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EA SPORTS Active users, Wiimoms: Good things to remember for working out

Jan 25, 2010 by

The EA SPORTS Active programs have some great tips in them and the More Workouts, which was released in October, really stepped up the game by adding in the warm up and cool down routines in the workouts for every day.  

In reading this article, 10 Fitness Habits You Never Knew Were Bad, I think there are many good points for all of us who use the Wii workout programs that we wouldn't otherwise hear because we're not going to a gym and getting a real live trainer.  For instance, point number 1:

Not eating breakfast – consider that by the time you wake, at least six hours has passed since your last meal — and you’re also probably dehydrated. Top that off with a cup of coffee and now you’ve just spiked your energy levels. With no foundation to carry you until lunch, you end up gorging anything when you do have lunch. Your body is starving for nutrition and nutrition gives you the energy you need to workout (effectively).  The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, cleverly identifies breakfast as having the capacity to "literally break your fast after sleeping all night." If you’re not a breakfast person, become one. Start small. Prepare oatmeal on the weekends, refrigerate and use in a protein shake during the week. Add some healthy, low-fat yogurt and you now have a nutrient dense morning meal that will carry you until lunch. Muffins, Danish or croissants contain zero nutritional value. Tip: keep a jar of peanut butter at work and eat with an apple or mix some in with yogurt.

I did a 400+ calorie workout today.  I've never been one to really take the whole stretching before and after bit seriously.  But I have been the past week or so and this article really emphasizes why that is so very important.

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Our hike up Runyon Canyon in LA for EA SPORTS Active, and a tip on Vit Drink Activate

Jan 9, 2010 by

We had a 1 hour and 56 minute hike today with the EA SPORTS Active Challengers today up the trendy Runyon Canyon here in Los Angeles. 

There were times when I thought my lungs were going to explode and I was going to faint, but like my Dad told me years ago, his sons all have this determination that keeps us going, even when we feel like our lungs are going to explode and we’re going to faint. 

And so, we began our climb.  It was gradual at the beginning, and then we got to a near vertical climb.  And that’s when Kathryn Peck from EA SPORTS came back down the trail and said, “Donny, this is taking your workouts to a new level.  This is good for you, let’s keep going.” And I got encouragement from some of my fellow challengers, chief among them Monica Brady, Julie Maloney, Roger Enyart, Mike Sorrentino, who kinda stayed behind at points in time to help make sure I wasn’t going to faint or fall over with a heart attack.

Atop the peak of Runyon Canyon, I stopped to do a quick video piece.  I thought that was the highest point, but we still went a little higher.  Really, this was not the highest point, but I think this was the point where I felt the worst. 

When we got to the bottom, we found freebies from Amanda from the new vitamin drink, Activate.  How funny that Active and Activate are so closely named.  Activate is a sports vitamin drink.  At the top of the bottle is a protected vitamin packet that you twist and it drops into the drink. They do this because vitamins in liquid apparently don’t keep too long.

I liked my drink, lemon lime.  Some of the ladies from the group thought it had a bad after taste, but I truly liked it and when I get back home to Dallas, I will look for more of it.  It had only 5 calories, and the flavor I had had a mixture of 2 bananas, 29 apples and 33 berries.  Again, it only had 5 calories in it.

So here’s the video on the hike, and the video featuring Amanda from Activate:

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Nancy O’Dell on; This you’ve gotta see

Jan 9, 2010 by

At the end of the evening last night at the party Nancy O'Dell held with EA SPORTS Active for a March of Dimes fund-raiser, I asked Nancy if she'd repeat the line from the Wabash Cannonball, "Here's to Daddy Claxton!"  Well, I got more than I expected.   Keith-zubchevich-piaget-and-vanity-fair-celebrate-teri-hatchers-new-book-burnt-toast-PHl0Wu

Like I said in the post last night, I really enjoyed getting to know her and her family.  Her hubs, Keith Zubchevich, and I got to talk a good while about the importance of being an active dad and including kids in his daily experiences. 

One fun observation that I'd never thought about, Keith said, "Ever notice that the McDonald's arches are strategically positioned so that kids can spot them?  I mean, if you look out the window, and adult is  Images-1
looking flat and can't typically see the signs.  But little kids sitting in the back are looking up through the window and they spot every one of them.  Do you think that's by accident? Not a chance." 

He had been talking about their return trip from Vegas with the kids and how their daughter Ashby had wanted McDonald's when they landed because she was hungry.  What a great Cool Dads observation.

And now, the video of all videos about @DaddyClaxton

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