Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Anita Kulick

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting

At President Bush’s urging, Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The law was based on the belief that by setting national standards and measurable goals for every child attending a public school, each one would receive a quality education. And there was no doubt that something needed to be done about our failing schools.

In theory, NCLB made a lot of sense. America’s high school and college graduates were no longer leading the way as some of the most educated and well-prepared to enter the workforce and to eventually take over as leaders in an increasingly complex world.  

It was touted by experts in the field of education, business leaders, the media, and elected officials as a panacea. All children, whether they lived in urban, suburban, or rural communities; or came from wealthy, middle class, or poor families would receive the same high level of academic instruction. They would all be held to statewide standards of achievement, which would be determined by student performances on standardized tests.

POSTED: Monday, March 10, 2014, 9:17 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting

Let’s confess. Most of us are secretly in love with our mobile devices.  What started out as a convenience – being able to make phone calls anytime or using a laptop to stay connected  to work – has now invaded every part of our lives. And why not? There are so many terrific devices from which to choose. Our old flip-phones are now “smart”, our laptops have shrunken into mini tablets, and we can get the latest edition of the paper or books on our e-readers.

So what’s the problem?  In many ways, technology has made our lives easier. But, there’s a price to pay for always “being connected” and all too often that cost takes its toll on our most intimate relationships, the ones we have with our children. For instance, have you found yourself spending “just a little more time” checking email when at the playground or responding to a text from the office during a birthday party?

A study released online today in Pediatrics gives us a glimpse of this impact by the examining patterns of mobile device use by caregivers and children during meals in fast food restaurants. Researchers from Boston University Medical Center designed the study to generate sound scientific hypotheses about its effect on caregiver-child interactions for future studies. Little research has been done on this topic so far.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting | Sex

I vividly remember the first time my son’s pediatrician asked me to leave the examining room during his annual check-up. He said that as his patients approached adolescence, it was his practice to spend a few minutes with them privately. It would allow them to ask any questions or voice concerns that they might not be willing to discuss in front of their parents.

At first, I was fuming.  I thought, “Who does this doctor think he is?” After all, my husband and I have been in charge of our son’s health from the moment of his conception. We’re his parents, the ones who know him best. We have a good relationship, we openly and often talk about difficult issues and the challenges he may be facing. We only want what’s best for him.

Once I got over my misplaced anger, I realized that the doctor also wanted what was best for our son.  That day turned out to be a learning milestone for all of us. Our son had the chance to take another step away from childhood and toward independence and manhood.  He also had the chance to share his thoughts, worries, and personal questions with someone other than his Mom and Dad, someone especially skilled at asking and answering difficult questions.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting

Shorter days, longer nights, frigid temperatures with just enough ice and snow thrown in to mix things up, has meant a lot of time inside with the kids this winter season. Sure you can just let them sit around all day playing video games, glued to the computer, or watching TV; but that starts to drive them – and you antsy.

Before you know it, everyone is picking on everyone else, and you’re getting more and more angry looking at the dirty dishes piling up in the sink while the refrigerator is emptying out. No one’s happy, and the entire day is wasted.

That’s when it’s time to turn to your Parenting Indoor Survival Guide. Don’t have one?   Start off with some of my go-to activities and projects, and I guarantee that before long you and your kids will be creating your very own personalized versions.  

POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting

No matter how hard we try, it’s seems impossible to avoid getting caught up in the gift giving frenzy created this time of year. It doesn’t matter if we observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or don’t participate in any organized celebrations at all. There’s no denying that the incessant messages compelling us to buy, buy, buy are effective.

We may talk a good game about being horrified by the ridiculous consumerism that starts getting hyped before Halloween, but it’s also hard to avoid thinking about how nice it would be to give our children that one really special gift; the one that would show them just how much they mean to us; just how much we love them.

Stores wouldn’t open on Thanksgiving Thursday to give shoppers a head start on Black Friday super sales; unless so many of us were willing to skip out on our family and friends to wait in line with strangers, just to get our son that discounted Xbox or our daughter the IPad at an a affordable price?  

POSTED: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 9:21 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting | Tips

The hottest news lately seems to be a football story that has very little to do with the game. It’s about a Miami Dolphins player bullying a teammate or is it? That’s certainly how it’s being presented in the media. Whatever the real story is, it’s a great conversation starter generating lots of controversy and pseudo psychological analyses.  

Following the news coverage, I’ve began wondering if it’s really a case of bullying, or just the culture of sports. This type of behavior seems to be acceptable, even encouraged, on nearly every team – from township to professional leagues – especially sports that covet athletes who have brute strength combined with competitiveness and aggression.

Beyond the story of these two troubled men, does this situation have any relevancy for the public at large? It does. It’s stirring up anxiety for parents who are already concerned about the rampant bullying occurring in schools, on playgrounds, in cyberspace, and almost everywhere else. As a parent, you might be thinking if a physically powerful, intelligent, grown man can be brought down by a bully, how can I protect my child from suffering a similar fate?

POSTED: Thursday, October 24, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Anita Kulick | Parenting

Years ago, I was talking to an acquaintance who told me about someone who, “didn’t know the difference between one fish fork and the other” at a dinner. He ended by adding, “Can you imagine such a thing?” Not only could I image such a “thing”, I realized that I was never inviting him over to my house for dinner. I only knew about one fish fork, the tiny one used for shellfish.

While he may have taken table manners to an extreme, it’s true that people are judged by their manners. To prove the point, I made a judgment about him when he made that statement. That he was the one with bad manners. And even worse, he seemed clueless about the kind of manners that are much more valuable than proper silverware usage. He lacked the critically important manners that provide us with the “how to” guide for interacting thoughtfully, respectfully, and empathically with others in almost every personal and professional situation imaginable on a daily basis.

And please, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the more educated, wealthy, or worldly have better manners. I’ve been in places overflowing with highly paid professionals who hold positions of great authority, only to be shocked when they rush into an opening elevator with the speed and agility of an NFL lineman, nearly tackling anyone blocking their way.  And I’ve been in public places with tough looking teenagers who were not only street smart, but apparently manners smart, too. They took the few extra seconds to hold a door open for someone, leaving me smiling and feeling much more positive about the future of America’s youth.  

POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013, 5:30 AM

Today's guest blogger is Anita Kulick, President & CEO of Educating Communities for Parenting in Philadelphia. ECP offers a variety of programs and services for teen and adult parents, adjudicated delinquent youth, young adults aging out of the foster care system, preschoolers, and children at grave risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.

Healthy parenting is the ultimate group project. That includes all parents: highly educated, financially secure, mature, teenage, married, single, same sex, male or female. As cliché as it may sound, it really does take a village to raise a child. Today’s world is complex and chaotic with many outside, often negative, influences impacting the lives of children and parents daily and constantly.      

No matter how well prepared we think we are for the arrival of a child, it doesn’t hit home until we walk through the front door with a tiny human being in our arms who is 100 percent dependent on us for every single thing. The awesomeness of the responsibility that we’ve just committed to for the rest of our lives can be overwhelming and frightening. How can we possibly be prepared to provide everything our children need to grow physically, mentally, socially strong and healthy?

About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Mario Cruz, M.D St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, RD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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