Mamas’ Top 10 Stories of 2009 (for kids)

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It was an important year, with lots of happenings that affected our youngest citizens. Here are some that will be felt for years to come.
  1. It’s the economy … From our college savings accounts to the weekly grocery budget, there wasn’t an area of family life that was spared, and our kids felt it. Whether we talked openly with them or not, they sensed our anxiety about paying the mortgage and avoiding the pink slip.
  2. Health care reform If you think adults are the ones most impacted by the new rules, think again.  This is the biggest thing to happen to kid’s health in decades.  Still a work in progress, we hope the promised emphasis on prevention will survive the political maneuvering.
  3. The H1N1 virus The jury’s still out on the ultimate impact, but we’ve seen just how fast a new microbe can sweep through the community.  We’re pretty lucky this one’s been mostly mild.  And based on your comments, the vaccine controversy isn’t going away anytime soon.
  4. Focus on childhood obesity Everywhere you look there are attempts to reverse this scary epidemic.  Thank you, Michelle Obama, for the new White House veggie garden.  Even Taco Bell is sporting a new diet menu.  Be sure and bring the new consciousness into your family’s habits. 
  5. Product recalls Cribs, strollers, Chinese toys containing lead paint, infant formula?  Even our flu vaccine wasn’t immune!  Good to know someone’s paying attention to our kid’s safety, but HELLO!  Can’t we keep this stuff out of the marketplace BEFORE children get hurt?
  6. Octomom Not the frivolous tabloid story you may think, we predict that this family’s experience will change our view of fertility technology forever.  Do medical professionals have a responsibility to protect some patients from themselves and consider the consequences of treatment?  DUH!
  7. Twitter and Facebook and all other forms of social media.  No matter how you cut it, the world of communication is moving faster and faster.  Warnings about texting while driving seem to fall on deaf ears, and that’s only the beginning.
  8. Reality TV Lowering the bar for acceptable behavior to depths we couldn’t have imagined.  If you think your kidlets aren’t seeing this stuff, take a look at this question we got from a mom back in June.  No doubt, the social discourse has taken a hit — big time.  Jersey Shore, anyone?
  9. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Hundreds of thousands of our kids have parents in war zones, and a shocking number have both parents in harm’s way.  This has a huge effect on our national state of mind, and it’s only getting bigger.  President Obama, please consider every human life affected by these conflicts.
  10. Climate change Don’t be fooled by this cold, snowy winter.  We’d better get serious about reversing human destruction of the earth, or we’ll be leaving our kids with the ultimate problem and no solution.  It will soon be too late, folks.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  And start screaming bloody murder.
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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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