What Happened when I Broke my Breaking News Addiction

Who remembers the days when the “News” was broadcast at 10pm every evening, and the Sunday papers leisurely read over the course of the week? A holiday used to mean getting away from it all. No work, no phone calls, and in pre-internet days, no emails, no twitter, and certainly no breaking news. Now we have a mobile phone in our pocket, data roaming tariffs, restaurants and hotels with wifi, and so even when we are abroad, we are never out of touch.

Dedicated news channels broadcast 24/7, with flashing BREAKING NEWS and rolling tickers keeping us informed every moment of the day. But are we really informed, or does it just *feel* like it? And what do we do, when our breaking news addiction begins to impact on our health and happiness?

Menstrual Cups and How They Can Help Girls Stay in School

In developing countries, the longer girls stay in school, the rosier their future.  When girls are educated, they tend to marry later and have fewer children, which improves their chances of surviving childbirth. They are more likely to be able to work, and generate income for their families, and their children are healthier, and more likely to go to school. The knock-on effects of longer schooling for girls is felt by the entire community.

The recently released results of a Kenyan study on menstrual cups and girls’ education show just one of many ways to help girls stay in school.

In Defence of Pink

When I say that I am the founder of a gender-neutral magazine for kids, and mention my objection to the ‘pinkification’of girls, there are generally two responses.
‘Oh, cool. I hate this obsession with pink for girls’.
or
‘What’s wrong with pink? My daughter likes princesses. Why should you tell me that it is wrong for my daughter to love pink?
To clear up this misunderstanding, I would like to state publically –I don’t hate pink. I don’t think there is anything wrong with girls liking pink, or wanting to be a princess. When my daughter was younger, she was often clad in pink, from top to toe. She even had [gasp] a Disney Princess bedroom.

Get the Most out of Therapy for Children

In times of limited health care budgets, it can be frustrating for parents and children, when therapy sessions are few and far between. Emily has some great tips on getting the most out of therapy for children.

‘I’m so cross.  I had a speech & language session with our local community speech & language therapist and she said she couldn’t see us more than every six weeks!  How on earth is my son going to be able to progress at that rate??  I mean, seriously.  He’s three and can’t talk yet.  Surely they can see he needs some serious intervention? Bloody funding issues but I think they actually just don’t care.  I’m furious about it.’

I’ve heard this all too often – about Speech & Language, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy…any kind of therapy for children.  Yes there may be funding issues, and the frequency of appointments might well be less than the therapist would ideally be recommending, but every six weeks can be enough to make the difference.

Parenting a Child with a Chronic Health Condition

Parenting brings many challenges, and one of the hardest to deal with is when your child is ill. When this illness is more than a tummy bug or a broken bone, then it gets even harder. Parenting a child with a chronic health condition brings a whole new list of challenges, and adjusting to the diagnosis can be tough for all of the family. Jump! Mag contributor Tina Price-Johnson grew up with a chronic health condition, and wrote an article for children, published today on our site for kids.

Life as a Child with a Chronic Condition

Here’s Tina’s advice for parents of a child with a chronic health condition.

I was 11 years old and in my first year at senior school when I had my first seizure. I was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and throughout senior school was back and forth to the hospital to see specialists and determine the correct dose of medication. I was generally accompanied by my mum who had to take time off work, and it was my dad who saw my first fit and put into action his first aid training to give me the care I needed at the time. After that it was both parents or my teachers who provided this care.

I was totally freaked out and didn’t know what was happening or why and nor did my parents. In those days you simply did what the doctors told you and didn’t ask questions, and I wish I had asked. So here are my tips for parenting a child with a chronic condition, from the perspective of the child. I hope they are helpful to you:

Neuroscience of the Teenage Brain – The Changes of Adolescence

What is Adolescence?

Although we often use the words adolescent and teenager interchangeably, they actually refer to different things. A teenager is a young person between the ages of 13 and 19, while the start of adolescence is marked by the onset of puberty, and its end is generally accepted to be around the age of 19 or 20. While teenagerhood is a social idea, adolescence is a period of biological development common to all human cultures, and one that is also found in many non-human species.

During adolescence young people begin to pull away from their parents and to assert their independence and individuality. At the same time they start to explore their identity and how they fit in with their peers as well as society as a whole. The opinion of their peers is likely to matter more to an adolescent than that of their parents or other adults. They may behave more impulsively and take more risks than before without thought of the consequences, while their sleep patterns change drastically. You’ll be relieved to hear that there are reasons for all this! Our science editor Samantha Gouldson investigates the neuroscience of the teenage brain.