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Parent Express for 22-Jan-2009
This issue focuses on the commercial sexualization of children with a book review of Diane Levin's and Jean Kilbourne's new book, So Sexy So Soon. The issue also lists helpful websites you may want to check out. Diane will be in Seattle speaking Feb. 3 and 4 (see details below), so I hope you can catch one of her presentations. You will be informed and inspired to take action on one of the most critical issues of our times.
On Feb. 28 I will present a parent workshop on The Vital Five—the core developmental needs that I believe can make all the difference to grow a healthy self-identity, so that negative media influences don't have that much of an effect on our children and teens. All those who attend this workshop receive a free copy of my new book.
The February issue of Parent Express will provide helpful ideas about what to do about Stimulus Addiction—particularly in video games and its impact on boys. So please feel free to send this issue to a friend who might want to subscribe to receive that information.
The PCI and the professionals who obtain Parent Coach Certification® from the institute are dedicated to supporting parents with media-related topics. In fact, that's one of the reasons I founded the PCI. It's through our relationship-centered approach where moms and dads receive relevant information and compassionate understanding for these profoundly challenging times—resulting in more creative decision making for these often frustrating issues.
Please contact us for more information. We're here for you!
Gloria DeGaetano, Founder and CEO
"The PCI's curriculum exceeded my expectations. The lessons, supplemental readings and assignments are intellectually challenging and powerfully provoking. Each course builds upon the last, reinforcing the theoretical framework and making the PCI's approach to parent coaching most compelling. The people in the PCI are real gems. My life is so much richer as a result of participating in this wonderful program."
—Mary Funari, Upper Montclair, New Jersey
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Please send in the basic application as your first step. Transcripts and letters of reference can follow the basic application by a few weeks. Download the application here. Send to the PCI at: 1400-112th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98004. Applications can be faxed to (425) 646-7569 or sent via email to email@example.com. Questions? Please call: (425) 753-8822.
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Book Review: So Sexy So Soon
by Gloria DeGaetano
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids
Angeles Arrien (author of The Four-Fold Way) once said, "When we lose touch with our inner wisdom, we abnormalize the normal and normalize the abnormal." What was considered crazy, disgusting, or taboo yesterday could become status quo, even necessary, tomorrow—if we aren't paying close attention to our own internal guidance system. But that's not so easy to do anymore. Today's commercialized culture pushes limits for market share and bombards with mass-delivered influential, often aberrant messages—making it increasingly difficult for moms and dads to function from their "wise selves."
An extremely disturbing trend is the counterfeit culture's sexualization of children. From early childhood through adolescence, today's kids are bombarded with negative gender images and skewed messages about sexuality. Twenty years ago, for instance, when I was raising my children, it would have been unheard of, even unspeakable, for manufacturers to market thongs for seven-year-old girls. Yet today, crazy as it is, that's what's happening. So Sexy So Soon provides many other equally distressing examples of how our innocents are now just cogs in the "sex sells" marketing wheel. The impact is profound. So Sexy So Soon demonstrates the critical urgency of the issue and beautifully articulates what can be done about it by parents and by all of us working together to stop this insidious form of child abuse. (The authors remind us that the thong is the stripper's clothing of choice, in case we have forgotten.)
Diane Levin (www.dianeelevin.com) is Professor of Education at Wheelock College and has been involved in training early childhood professionals for more than twenty-five years. She has worked extensively in the field of media-related issues; as an internationally recognized expert on the effects of violence, media, and commercial culture on children, she speaks often on these subjects. She is the author or co-author of seven books including Remote Control Childhood? and The War Play Dilemma. Jean Kilbourne (www.jeankilbourne.com), a Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on the image of women in advertising. A popular lecturer, The New York Times Magazine named her one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She has produced award-winning films, including the Killing Us Softly series, and is the author of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel.
Either one of these remarkable women could have alone written So Sexy So Soon. I'm glad they decided to team up, instead.
Useful Web Sites
An Important Resource
The American Psychological Association Task Force, Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (PDF), Washington, DC, American Psychological Association, 2007. This report contains a summary of over 50 research studies on the subject, along with media literacy resources for empowering girls. You can also go here for media literacy resources.
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What It Means for Our Work with Children
February 4, 2009 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Presented by Puget Sound Association for the Education of Young Children (PSAEYC). Please see brochure for registration information.
Please note: Diane Levin is also speaking on Feb. 3 for Shoreline Parent Cooperative Preschool Association, Seattle, WA. For more information or to register, please contact Silje M. Sodal.
Back issues of Parent Express are available on the PCI Web site. There you can read articles by Gloria DeGaetano and PCI Certified Parent Coaches®, and easily send past issues to friends and colleagues via e-mail.
"Gloria, I just wanted to let you know how excited and challenged I am by the course materials and the course work…I'm in awe of the depth and value of the work that was invested in putting together this extensive curriculum for the training. As I go through the materials for the course, your commitment and dedication to the vision and goals I share with you are evident and clearly emerge through the pages. I want you to know that I truly feel privileged to be part of the PCI community. Thanks for the opportunity."
—Dr. Talia Ziv, West Bloomfield, Michigan
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This issue of Parent Express was originally published January 22, 2009. Some content, contact information, and links may be out of date, and the conversion from the original email edition may introduce formatting inconsistencies.
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