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Entries in Amy Hatch (3)

Tuesday
Nov222011

Bullying: What Are the Signs?

This story first appeared on the website of ChambanaMoms.com, an important resource for families in the Champaign-Urbana area. The child who died lived just about 45 miles east of Urbana.

The tragic death by suicide this month of Ashlynn Conner, 10, hit very close to home. The Ridge Farm, Ill. fifth-grader allegedly told her mother she was being bullied at school and the family is saying that harassment from her schoolmates contributed to her death.

Photo by apdk on Flickr.Ashlynn’s parents say their daughter was the victim of schoolyard taunting from a group of girls at school, and that the relentless teasing continued even after she told her teacher about it several times.

While we cannot claim to know exactly what happened between Ashlynn, those girls and her teacher, we do know that sometimes it can be easy to miss the signs of bullying, especially when it comes to the less physical bullying that can happen between girls.

But boys, too, are often the victim of bullies, as we saw when 13-year-old Asher Brown killed himself in 2010 after constantly being teased about being gay.

The scariest part of these stories is that the deaths of these children came as a surprise. That’s why parents absolutely must be alert for signs of bullying.

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Tuesday
Jan182011

Disrespect and the Disney Channel

The following guest column by Amy Hatch first appeared on one of my favorite sites, chambanamoms.com, where Hatch is the co-editor. Her daughter Emmie is 6. -- Tara

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the now-notorious essay in the Wall Street Journal by Amy Chua, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.”

The Magic Kingdom has a snarky underside. Photo by dawnzy58 on Flickr.Chua asserts that her hard-line parenting style is just the antidote the West needs, even when her own husband objects.

I’m not going to critique Chua’s point of view — which we’ll all be able to read about in her just-released book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” — because better thinkers than I have already tackled that.

In fact, one of the responses to Chua’s excerpt is what inspired me. Lisa Belkin of The New York Times’ “Motherlode” blog posits that Chau’s publisher is “…banking on her message finding wide resonance among American moms worn out from trying to do everything right for kids who mimic Disney Channel-style disrespect for parents, spend hours a day on Facebook, pick at their lovingly prepared food and generally won’t get with the program.”

While I don’t necessarily agree that modern mothers are searching for the magic forumla for dealing with their media-saturated brats, I do agree with this: “Kids who mimic Disney Channel-style disrespect for parents.”

Can I get an amen?

There was a brief period when Emmie was allowed to watch some of the tweener shows that pass for programming on the Disney Channel.

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Friday
Sep102010

O Babysitter, Wherefore Art Thou? 

Last week’s post about babysitter rates generated a lot of feedback from readers. But it also prompted several readers to ask for advice on how to find a babysitter in the first place. One of the best tipsheets I’ve read on that subject was written by Amy Hatch, the co-editor of chambanamoms.com, an awesome resource for families in Champaign-Urbana. Thanks to Amy for letting me re-run her column here. --Tara

I was gainfully employed by a Large Multinational Corporation when my daughter was born, and my initial plan was to work from home three days a week after her birth.

I found a sitter after several disastrous interviews and try-outs. One girl made my daughter cry every time she looked at her. Another started at her blankly, while my girl just started back. Finally, Elizabeth came into our lives.

She came into the house and immediately asked if she could hold Emmie. Then she asked me, when the baby started to fuss, if she’d discovered her thumb yet. Elizabeth stuck her finger in Emmie’s open mouth and smiled as my girl clamped down and began to suck.

Leaving Elizabeth behind was hard.

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