May 31 2012

The Secret to a Long, Happy Marriage?

Flower Power

by: Mummy Buzz

If couples start to look like each other after a while, then Mel and Joey Schwanke are virtually twins. Together for 65 years, they claim to have the secret to a lasting marriage. Wait for it: matching outfits. 

The 81-year-old Nebraskan told The Huffington Post that she and her husband have dressed alike for 35 years in order to "enhance" their relationship. Sounds half-baked, but it's obviously working so don't knock it.

"We're of the old school where you get married once and that's it," says Schwanke. "We've been together 24 hours a day at work and at home.

Apparently wife Joey picks out the outfits, which typically consist of florals, for the couple who run a flower business in Fremont. That's a grand total of 146 custom-made matching ensembles, which coordinates Joey's dress with Mel's tie.

Schwanke claims the real secret to her marriage's lasting power is love and respect.

"To this day, if he does something for me I thank him, she says. "If we run into each other, we say excuse me. We fully respect each other and consider each other with every decision we make."

Move over or Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who've been together almost 15 years despite recent rumours of strife which Pinkett Smith claims were "ridiculous." 

"What's helped us is being supportive, no matter what the situation is," said Will in a recent interview. "I'm so lucky to have someone like Jada. She's really an incredible woman, wife and mother ... she absolutely is unfazed by the weight and the pressures of life. She is so calm and cool and easy in any situation. She can bear anything, and I just love that about her."

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy my husband of 13 years and me a couple of Hawaiian tops... It can't hurt, right?

Been with your partner for an eternity? What's your secret?

May 30 2012

How to BullyPROOF Your Child

Classroom Confidential

by: Mummy Buzz

Kudos to the Ceeb. All week long, just as Ontario considers passing anti-bullying legislation, the show Connect with Mark Kelley is dishing all things bully and bullying. 

Earlier this year, a speaker's corner was set up in a Gatineau, Quebec school. Over the course of a week, more than 150 students spilled their hearts out on the subject. The testimonies in #bullyPROOF are both illuminating and raw. Watch and learn and share.

So the million-dollar question: what's the best way to react to bullying? According to a 2007 study by York University psychology professor, Debra Pepler, the majority of kids do nothing. And boys and girls handle it differently. While females were most likely to ask for help, males tried humour, physical aggression, even revenge.

So much for sticks and stones? Pepler, co-director of the national anti-bullying organization PREVNet, says to avoid emotional responses, which only exacerbates the bullying. A rational response tends to 'de-escalate' the provocation.

"The children who can stand up and be assertive are able to control themselves, and they have a bit more ability to cope," says Pepler. "Unless adults support children and youth, students are likely to do nothing and gain a sense of helplessness."

If you missed the first few shows, don't despair. On Thursday, May 31: A look inside the bully's mind, and on Friday, June 1: Everyone seems to have an answer to the problem — so why haven’t we found a solution?

The week-long special concludes with the one-hour documentary, Classroom Confidential, which airs Saturday, June 2 on CBC News Network and on Sunday, June 3 on CBC TV at 7 pm ET.
 
Has the face of bullying changed? Is it more insidious than it was when you were growing up? A rite of passage of the What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger variety, or a Scarred For Life experience? 
May 30 2012

Jail Time for School-Skipping Teen

She Deserves a Medal

by: Mummy Buzz

For parents of teenagers, it might be all too tempting to threaten jail time for skipping classes. But for a Texan student, the veiled threat actually came true. 

Honour student Diane was ordered to spend a night in jail after playing hooky for too many classes. The 17 year old, who attends Willis High School, was juggling both a full-time and part-time job in order to help support her younger siblings following her parents' divorce. They no longer live near her, so Tran works at a family-owned wedding venue on weekends.

"She goes from job to job from school," said classmate, Devin Hill. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

But in Texas the law is the law. If a student misses ten or more classes in six months, the school has the right to refer the student to a juvenile court. Hence, Tran's arrest and subsequent night in jail. She was also fined $100 for her truancy.

Needless to say, the story's gone viral, with sits like HelpDianeTran.com raising over $2,000 to help Tran. A petition at Change.org has collected more than 8,000 signatures asking the judge to revoke the teen's fine.

"This remarkable young woman doesn't deserve jail," wrote Letitia Gutierrez on Change.org. "She deserves a medal."

Do you think the punishment is excessive, given Tran's family situation? Should exceptions be made to truancy laws?

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