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Telling The Ugly Truth About Sex Abuse

This article is part 4 of 8 in the column Children of the State

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” didn’t work for the military, and it doesn’t work for the deeply troubling issue of sexual assault either.

Our culture’s longstanding fear of asking and telling about sexual assault has contributed to an epidemic rate of child sexual abuse (1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005). As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can attest to the deep shame surrounding this issue that keeps both survivors and everyone else silent.

We should consider an alternative approach Read more

Leisure Time in a Small Town

This article is part 3 of 4 in the column American Mom In Denmark

Well, in case you had notions to the contrary, I’m here to tell you that a small Danish town isn´t exactly a fountain of exciting things to do, that is, after the bakery has lost its sheen and become merely a routine pleasure. At some point, our family had to face the reality that in Billund, a town of 6,000 people, we had to make our own fun, especially once the LEGOland theme park closed for the season.

As a remedy, a friend and I formed a ukulele group, BUF (Billund Uke Forening, the last word meaning club or association), and we play together about once a week. Though other members will Read more

Love Is a Stitch in Time That Saves Nine

This article is part 5 of 8 in the column Flights of Fancy

Logo: Flights Of Fancy by Cindy Dell Clark, PHD with flying owl

 

 

Recently, I was waiting in line at a highway rest stop and struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. Her story stayed with me. She had an autistic son whose condition had been diagnosed even before he was a year old. Over a decade later, her son had received appropriate intervention steadily throughout his childhood. Now, at the crux of adolescence, he was thriving at a school specialized to meet his needs.

Her story stayed with me because of how early her son’s problem was identified—a testament to having parents who did not have their head in the sand when trouble was on the horizon. Their acceptance that their son was different meant that intervention was timely. Read more

Kids to Grinch: Here’s What Christmas Really Means

This article is part 4 of 8 in the column Flights of Fancy

Logo: Flights Of Fancy by Cindy Dell Clark, PHD with flying owl

 

 

how_the_grinch_stole_christmas_coverIn my recent talking with kids, Scrooge of London seems to have lost a lot of ground as the definitive morality tale about Christmas self-redemption. Instead it’s another miserable misanthrope, the green Grinch of Whoville, who seems to have captured children’s imaginations lately. Perhaps the farfetched hairy Grinch (first depicted by Seuss in 1956) is better able to appeal across cultural boundaries in today’s multicultural America than the strictly British characters Dickens invented in 1843.

charles_dickens-a_christmas_carol-cloth-first_edition_1843Americans in 2016 do not much resemble Londoners from Dickens’ story.  Last year I did a study in southern New Jersey (in households that were facing economic struggle and had kids age 6 to 8). Read more

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