Parent Advice

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GRATEFUL…Don’t Sweat the small stuff! On this anniversary of 9/11,  We often get wrapped up in small stuff that just does not matter. We stay angry with loved ones and close friends for things that are so unimportant. Tomorrow is not promised to us and God has a plan for each one of us. Tuesday, September 11th 2001 is a day that I will never forget. It was a horrific day in American History, and I can remember that day as if it just happened yesterday. I take comfort in knowing that those innocent people who lost their lives on that day will never be forgotten. I have not visited the 911 museum but it is on my list of things to do next time I am in NYC. All we can do is LIVE, and not get so wrapped up in sweating the small stuff...Life is a gift that should be treasured and never taken for granted.

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9/11 Memorial photo credit:
Kurt had a touching poem in his possession called Just for Today  by Sally Meyer a poem to a child from a mother and it touched me so much I wanted to share with all of you. (Click here to read the poem)
 I can remember when I first moved to Sag Harbor 17 years ago…with a then 8-year-old and a 2-year-old. Kurt was working in NYC and I was alone in a new area with no friends or family, feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I was still working in Brooklyn for the 1st month and I remember the morning of 9/11 I had just dropped Dani off at school and I was going to drive into Brooklyn with Allura to my job. Kurt had called me because he had just received a phone call telling him his father was diagnosed with cancer and he was so distraught, I talked to him and he was able to pull himself together and continue his drive into NYC to work. An hour later he called to say Ness turn on the news…do not drive into the city today. That is when I remember turning on the TV and I felt frozen…many of my friends worked in many of the world trade buildings and a feeling of intense grief came over me. I am grateful all of my friends are doing well, but many parents did not make it home to their children. On this very special day and the anniversary of 9/11, I share this poem with many parents feelings overwhelmed and not taking a minute to just enjoy your child. Although my children are much older 25 and 18, I realize that I often get wrapped up with work and I do not stop to enjoy a conversation with them. Take the time turn off the cell phone, television, computer. When everyone is together we play a game of Sorry...a board game. The cell phones are put away and we just enjoy each other’s company.

I am so grateful and blessed for my wonderful daughters in my life and there is not a day that I do not say thank you for loaning them to me to raise, nurture, guide, love, teach and get to a place where they will hopefully one day become a parent doing what I have done for them.  In life, we often sweat the small stuff and this poem “Just for Today” by Sally Meyer just put things into perspective for me as a parent and I took the time to enjoy every minute of my girls growing up because tomorrow is not promised to us. My girls are now women and I still make time every day to talk to them and when I can spend time with them doing things they enjoy doing. bigstock-Mother-And-Child-1213809




Hamptons Teen: CALL ME OLD-FASHIONED, but I’m Just a DAD
I have become increasingly aware and worried about the relaxed attitude of illicit drug use among teens in the Hamptons and beyond. But what are our teenagers to think? They see a more relaxed and accepting attitude regarding the use of marijuana due to the reduction of legal penalties and the sale of marijuana for recreational use in multiple states. This is in the news and has become a part of their realities.Happy Group Of People
What our teenagers do not realize is the increased documentation about the effects of marijuana on the teenage brain. We know that the development of the brain is very fluid until or between the ages of 21-25 years old. The way in which the brain is wired is open to impact by this and other drugs. I am not a prude nor am I unaware of the opportunities, interest, curiosity and pressure to smoke weed. A lot of us did it when we were young. But this isn’t our father’s (and mother’s) weed no more. Things like the juicy fruit strain are a lot different to what was being smoked back in the day. The THC (active ingredient that produces the high) content is many times more concentrated in today’s marijuana than in the weed our generation smoked. Many ‘brands’ of weed are genetically improved to the form of designer status. I’ve also recently heard that there are different ways that you can smoke weed these days, like through a helix pipe for example. Apparently it’s a cool thing to do. Consenting adults should have the option of doing whatever they want to do but it is imperative to fully inform our teenagers of the risks inherent in smoking pot. If you want to know more on marijuana from a dispensary with the opportunity to see their deals as well, you can Get info here from Rocky Mountain Blaze, who list all their pricing for you to get an idea of. I’m not saying weed is a completely bad thing. As I said, a lot of us used to smoke weed as teens and obviously there are many reported health benefits of smoking weed if it’s done responsibly. It is also doing good things for the economy; there are many new cannabis jobs saturating the employment market and it is raising millions of dollars in tax.
I have the same concerns about smoking cigarettes and underage drinking that I have towards smoking weed and I feel to some extent, these are a more insidious and risky behavior that is impacting our teenagers. I cannot tell you what is the percentage of teenagers smoking and drinking but I feel it is over 50% of the population. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but if you were to ask both of my daughters (18 and 25), I still harp on the need to show restraint and to use some forward thinking concerning their future plans and how use and abuse can derail their goals. Believe me, they get tired of ‘the talk’ but I continue just the same. Am I being successful… I don’t know but I hope so. They lead their own lives, much of the time out of my view but I do what I do anyways because I must! I have no illusions, I can’t protect them all the time, nor should I or will I try. I will tell them the real deal, give them the tools to make good decisions and pray for the best.
EVERYONE has my permission to warn me if they think my child’s behavior is a risk to them and I do not care if they don’t like it. If your kids have come to my house, they may have heard some rendition of ‘the talk’ as a natural inclination of mine to be protective and proactive towards the friends of my children. My kids have probably warned them to expect it sometimes. AGAIN, I don’t care. I will not preach or teach but this is a part of the way we conduct business in our home. I will not stop!
Now don’t get me wrong, I remember being a teenager and doing LOTS OF STUFF. I will not be a hypocrite and tell them to ‘do as I say and not as I do’. But the risks of life long impacts secondary to social media and ‘selfies’ of illicit behavior that can follow them FOREVER…there are no do-overs anymore. Society can be very unforgiving. We did not have to face these risks. Remember, the definition of a teenager is filled with doing DUMB THINGS. But it is this risk taking and feelings of invincibility that makes them so powerful and dynamic. It will be hard to convince them of the dangers because they LIKE danger!
One more trend that I am seeing; the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). The use of Human Growth Hormone and steroids among teenage athletes has increased exponentially. Kids want to look better and perform better and they are getting access to and using these drugs more and more. The lifelong effects of these PED’s and the health impacts are so pronounced and damaging that it is imperative that parents and adults of teenage athletes inform them of the risks. Encourage your school teams to educate their athletes of the dangers and make it part of their athletic curriculum.
From me to you….JUST BEING A DAD



Student Athletes Heat and Wind Chill NYSPHSAA Policy

I am posting this information for both students and parents because my objective always is to help student athletes prevent avoidable injuries and keep them safe. My daughter is an athlete that participates in 3 sports throughout the school year and is often faced with EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS. PARENTS it is VERY IMPORTANT that athletes say hydrated in extreme hot weather, the coaches will constantly reinforce this message, but it is advisable that this message start at home.

The information below is listed on the NYSPHSAA website.

  1. Modified Heat Alert – When the heat index reaches 88 (equivalent to T.H.I. of 73), practice sessions or contests in all sports must include:
    a. Forced, frequent water breaks (every 10-15 minutes).
    b. Loose clothing, light colored shorts and tee shirts (mesh recommended) for practice sessions.
    c. Frequent rest breaks in shaded areas.
    d. For football and lacrosse, mandatory water breaks every 15 minutes during which all players must remove helmets. Those players not participating in contact activities during practice, games or scrimmages shall not wear helmets. Players looking to get the latest equipment for their next match may want to check out things like lacrosse sticks available online from sites like String King.

NOTE: During all contests, the rules are to be modified to permit additional time outs for rest and forced water breaks.

  1. Full Heat Alert – When the heat index reaches 95 (equivalent to T.H.I. of 78), no physical activity in any sport is permitted. Team meetings are permitted.HEAT POLICY

for more information on New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Heat and wind chill policies click on links below:

Remember it takes a village to raise a child….Parents lets work together to keep our kids injury free and safe.
In addition you can check for your local temperature and “REAL FEEL” temperature.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month…Greetings Hamptons MouthPiece readers…as many of you may be aware I am a strong advocate against any kind of bullying…I HATE it and I feel that my calling is to be a mouthpiece for the victims of bullying. I witnessed a small insight of the life of a victim 3 years ago with my own child. We were able to handle the situation and help her through it by showing her that we had her back and addressed the situation. She felt empowered and has been able to acknowledge when she is being bullied and to access the situation. Girls and Boys are faced with completely different types of bullying and as such should be treated differently. Children will seldom or NEVER come home and tell their parents I am being bullied because:

1. They do not think you will understand
2. Parents make things worst
3. They often do not realize they are being bullied
4. They are feeling embarrassed
5. They believe they can handle the situation on their ownbigstock-outcast-sad-girl-at-university-16236611

I wanted to share with you my readers myths about bullying and maybe your child is dealing with bullying or you no someone who is. This topic is so important to me because I was bullied in Middle School and it affected my life, I was not able to stand up for myself and I was bullied, abused and mistreated. I allowed myself to be a victim for a very long time and one day I decided that was no longer going to be a victim. My mother helped me find my inner strength because she is one of the strongest women I know.

12 Bullying Myths

  • Is bullying a normal rite of passage – or just plain cruel? Is hitting back ever the right answer? Do good parents always know when their child is being bullied?
  • What do parents really need to know about bullying? It’s not necessarily what you think.
  • Not a day goes by without another gut-wrenching tale of bullying making headlines. Schoolyards erupt in violence. Social-media sites turn into cyber lynch mobs. According to this list of 51 critical cyber bullying statistics, 36.5% of US citizens feel they have been cyber bullied in their life time and 17.4% say it has happened in the last 30 days. Kids commit suicide after enduring months of abuse. Despite all the media attention, parents often remain in the dark about what actions to take when it happens to their children – or when their children bully others.
  • What can parents really do? What are the signs to watch for?The warning signs are withdrawal, angry, not wanting to go to school, grades are dropping, they are often not hanging out with any friends. How do you distinguish garden-variety personality conflicts between kids (which may include some mean behavior) from actual bullying?

1. You’ll know when your child is being bullied…Your child will NEVER tell you..If you suspect bullying, keep talking with your child and go to the school for help and input. Talk with your child’s teacher, a school administrator, or a school counselor to notify them of any problems, ask if they’ve noticed any incidents, and work with them to deal with the problem sooner rather than later.

2. Bullying always includes physical aggression: Bullying is when one child regularly harasses another child. This could be verbal bullying like name-calling, teasing, and using threatening language. It can also be physical abuse like punching, shoving, hitting, and spitting. It can be electronic too, via texting and the Internet. There is a gray area, however, that is important for parents to understand. Is it bullying when a child is excluded from a game? Not necessarily, but Manipulative exclusion could be considered a form of bullying.

3. The bully is always bigger: Bullying is often about power, and a child who bullies is often trying to counteract something that’s going wrong (real or perceived) in his own life.

4. There’s one clear way to solve the problem: bullying scenarios vary so widely, no single response can be prescribed. The complicated truth is that different situation – and different kids – call for different actions.

5. Bullies come from the top of the social pecking order: not always the case, some kids who bully are looking to become popular, gain power or they bully are often victims of abuse themselves or are going through difficult problems at home

6. Parental attitudes have no effect on bullying: Leading by showing good examples is a clear way to show your kids to respect differences in people, If parents talk disparagingly about other groups of people or tell racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes, the message they’re sending is: “All people are not alike, and some are better than others.”

7. If your child is a victim, call the bully’s parents: Parent meetings can often get nasty and confrontational, start with the school first and if that does not go anywhere then go to the parents.

8. Boys are more likely to be bullied: Although boys often bully in a physical way, girls’ style of bullying tends to be more indirect. Girls bully by creating a hostile environment for their victims; they may spread rumors or exclude their targets from activities.

9. Cyber-bullying is the gateway to other bullying: Bullying actually starts in school and then continues on cell phones and social media making it an all day nightmare for some children.

10. Parents are always their kids’ best defender: Some parents and teachers dismiss children’s complaints that they are being bullied and tells them to stop tattling and being a baby.

11. When bullies use homophobic taunts they’re always referring to the victim’s sexual orientation: Bullies taunt other kids by calling them “gay,” even though neither party actually knows what the word means – especially in the younger grades. “This is where parental and social modeling come into effect. Kids hear the word used as a putdown, and they repeat it. “They’re mimicking language,” “it’s not being used in the sexual connotation.” Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths with families who accept their sexual orientation are less likely to suffer depression, use drugs, or attempt suicide than youth who are rejected by their families.

12. Schools bear no clear responsibility for bullying: Bullying has become a national issue, so much so that 47 states, including Massachusetts and New York, have passed anti-bully laws that define bullying and require schools to act when it’s reported.

Hamptons Mouthpiece is looking to work with The Retreat, The Bridgehampton Childcare center and anyone else to address bullying programs to many of the neighboring school districts.. All children have a right to feel safe at school and be given the opportunity for a successful educational experience. Many parents are unaware of the problems their children deal with day to day or if they feel powerless on how to handle the situation. It is my hope that we can bring awareness and help parents and children be able to let their voices be heard and address the underlying issues that the bullies are facing in their life outside of school. For more information on bullying please check out this website...

Jodee2A_lgAttend a bullying Parent seminar hosted by survivor expert and activist Jodee Blanco, author of the New York Times bestselling book..”Please Stop Laughing at Me…One Woman’s Inspirational Story” Thursday, October 10th, 2013 7pm @ Pierson Auditorium



3 Tips on Buying BabyStuff and Why to Buy From Warehouse.
Thinking to buy you need not worry anymore as number of online stores offer baby clothes, toys and other baby essentials at unbelievable rates. Shopping online indeed saves lot of time and efforts, as one does not have to physically visit one store to another store and can also avoid hassles of carrying those bulky shopping bags.
From items such as nappies, cot bedding, baby carrier to baby crib, there are number of items you will require for your tiny tot. Several online stores and baby warehouse offer wide variety of baby essentials comprising of impressive designs, colours and price range.

If you are planning to buy some baby stuff, then take into consideration below mentioned tips that will help you to buy right ones:3 Tips on Buying Baby Stuff and Why to Buy From Warehouse copy

1. Check materials – It is very important to check quality of material used for making different types of baby stuff. For baby clothes, it is best to pick clothes made from cotton. New born babies have very sensitive skin and easily get rashes, so for this reason cotton made clothes are best for your tiny tot. If you’re not sure where to buy good quality baby clothes from, check out something like these sleepyhead accessories.

Before you buy baby toys, it is essential to know the composition of toys. Why? Some toys have high mercury or lead content, so you should avoid buying those toys as it can prove dangerous or hazardous to the health of your baby. As with all baby products, when buying baby toys you should read trusted reviews to see which ones are not only safest but also the best.

2. Exact size – Make sure that you know the exact measurements of clothes you are thinking to buy for your baby. You should understand one fact that buying online has drawback too i.e. one of which is that you cannot try clothes physically on your baby. For this reason, you should know exact measurements of clothes.

3. Buy from reliable online stores – It is important to buy baby stuff from reputed online stores as this will give you satisfaction regarding your purchase. Browse website, check product range, customer reviews and testimonials to ensure that website is authentic one.

While this was about tips regarding how to buy the best baby stuff online, let us discuss how you can make some savings while buying baby essentials from baby warehouse. 3 Tips on Buying Baby Stuff and Why to Buy From Warehouse copy

Why to consider buying baby essentials from warehouse?
Warehouse stores are very large and sell wide variety of baby stuff, much more than boutique or specialty store offers. As they sell products in huge quantity, manufacturers often give them products at much lucrative discounts which they in turn pass discount to buyers. No matter, from which warehouse you choose to buy, you are sure to get better prices at baby warehouse than what you can expect from baby specialty shop.

Thus, it is advisable to take into consideration above mentioned tips and if possible buy baby essentials from warehouse.