Afternoon Roundup: Middle School Doesn't Work, Xtreme Baby Carrots Video Game & Morecarolyncastiglia
Middle School Doesn’t Work
Gawker reports via The Wall Street Journal that, “On average, children who move up to middle school from a traditional city elementary school… score about seven percentiles lower on standardized math tests in eighth grade than those who attend a K-8 school.” Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan points out that little kids in a K-8 school “can draw some of the bullies’ attention away from” older kids, but they might also inspire older bullies to behave better. An 8th grader is likely to think twice before giving a 7th grader a swirlie if his 3rd grader little sis is watching.
Boys Feel Better When They Meditate
Another way to curb bullying might be to teach adolescent boys mindfulness, according to Science Daily. Why this is news, I’m not sure. Everyone feels better when they meditate – I guess it’s just that teenage boys have never tried it before? I didn’t see too many 13-year-olds in the audience at Eat, Pray, Love.
CA Will Not Ban BPA
Earlier this week, the California Senate “defeated a bill that sought to ban the chemical bisphenol A from plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and baby formula containers,” says the AP, despite the fact that even small doses of BPA can harm ovaries. I’ll gladly trade my plastic water bottle for a metal one if it means my lady parts stay safe. (I’m kidding. I only drink coffee from a bucket. I’m sure that’s harmless…)
Is Preschool Depression Manufactured by Drug Companies?
Last week’s NYT Sunday magazine crowned Dr. Joan Luby as the queen of preschool depression, “but failed to mention that Luby has taken cash from Johnson & Johnson, Shire and AstraZeneca to study using atypical antipsychotics in young children,” says Jim Edwards at BNET. Our friend Helaine Olen at Slate’s XX Factor asked the author of the Times piece, Pamela Paul, why she didn’t reference Luby’s financial ties. Her answer? She didn’t think it was necessary since “the medication issue has been covered to death elsewhere.”
Yesterday SD blogger Heather wrote a post about antipsychotic meds being prescribed to children as young as 18 months, and while she was careful to avoid a knee-jerk reaction saying it’s wrong for any kid to take meds, I just simply can’t imagine looking at an 18-month-old baby and feeling like they should be drugged. Wanting to drug a difficult child – sure, I can understand that. Why do you think parents joke about giving their kids Benadryl? But actually doing it? No. And it’s not that I can’t relate to extreme temper tantrums: my daughter has had several hour-long, screaming/thrashing bouts in the past year-and-a-half, and last November, I looked seriously into sending her to play therapy. That is, until my mother, in her eminent and folksy wisdom, went out on to the porch while my daughter was watching, rang the doorbell, “answered it” and began having a conversation with Santa, who informed her that if the tantrums didn’t stop, there would be no Christmas. Her intense tantrums stopped immediately. Sure, my daughter has had a few less-then-pretty moments since then, but not nearly as extreme as they had been. And here I was feeling guilty, like I’d screwed my kid up for life by getting divorced. No prescription necessary.
Speaking of Extreme… Here’s The Xtreme Baby Carrot Video Game You’ve All Been Waiting For!
As you know, baby carrots are now being sold in clever junk-food-like packaging. Today, the marketing campaign’s website has been launched, replete with an XTREME video game available free to iPhone users, per The Village Voice. Check out this demo video. It’s pretty hilarious. I sort of wish this video was a parody and the actual game didn’t exist, but the cool thing is, you can appreciate it on either level. It’s either totally ridiculous that baby carrots are XTREME, or it’s awesome that veggies are finally being recognized for their power, or both.