Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Supernanny Jo Frost Is Quitting

Supernanny Jo Frost is quitting after this year
Supernanny may be returning to the airwaves on Friday, but star Jo Frost is heading for the sunset after this season. It seems she's tired of helping other people's families and wants one of her own. Oh, won't that make a chipper reality show?

"I have decided to hang up my cape," she tells the New York Post. "It was a very conscious decision, through much reflection. But I need to create more balance in my life." That's easy to understand, since the 39-year-old reveals that even though she's worth millions of dollars thanks to the show, she has no boyfriend and still lives at her father's house, since she's on the road 46 weeks a year. For obvious reasons, she'd like to affect some change.
"Proper balance will allow me to date and have a relationship and look at my own future of having a family," she says. "I am definitely excited about dating and being in a committed relationship. That is all exciting stuff for me around the corner."
Frost has been traveling for work since 2004, and now presides over an empire of spinoffs in 47 countries, three books (with a fourth on the way) and countless parenting seminars. Not bad for answering an open casting call in 2004. She has plans to develop new TV projects, and may join the U.K.'s Extreme Parental Guidance series. But first, we suggest The Dating Game.

[Photo: ABC]


Monday, September 13, 2010

Kindergarten Fashion

Kindergarten Fashion
Did children always wear gender-specific clothing?
By Brian Palmer

Angelina Jolie, whose daughter Shiloh has often been photographed wearing "boys' " clothes like ties, jackets, and porkpie hats, defended her 4-year-old's fashion preferences in an interview with Reuters on Saturday. Did boys and girls always wear gender-specific clothing?

No. For most of U.S. history, nearly all infants, regardless of gender, wore dresses. Only in the 20th century did sex-specific clothing come into fashion: Boys started wearing pants, while girls continued to wear dresses. There was a second unisex period in the 1970s, with many catalogs from that decade presenting boys and girls in identical-looking pants. This trend was part of a larger movement to de-emphasize gender roles: On the popular 1972 children's album, Free to Be ... You and Me, for example, two babies try to figure out their gender, and a poem called "Don't Dress Your Cat in an Apron" reminds listeners, "a person should wear what he wants to, and not just what other folks say." The movement was relatively short-lived, however, as 1980s designers encouraged parents to outfit their girls in frills and dresses once again.

Parents used to clothe their male infants in dresses because pants symbolized an accession to manhood. The day a young boy received his first pair of pants—an event known as "breeching" to early Americans—was a seminal moment in his life. This sartorial bar mitzvah usually occurred between ages 4 and 7 for 17th-century lads. Boys made the switch to pants younger and younger until the early 20th century, when they stopped wearing dresses altogether. G. Stanley Hall, one of the fathers of American psychology, published a series of articles around that time arguing that gender distinctions were a hallmark of modern Western society. In his view, parents had an obligation to teach their children gender roles. (Prior to Hall, gender-appropriate behavior was assumed to come naturally.) The theory trickled down to ordinary parenting magazines, which started advising readers in the early 1900s to dress their male toddlers in pants to help them identify with their fathers. Hall's research notwithstanding, many dress-wearing babies of the time, like Ernest Hemingway and Ronald Reagan, grew up to be plenty manly.

Just as boys were once clothed in dresses, they were also once swaddled in pink. Historically, in many European countries, pink was the dominant color for boys, and blue—the official hue of the Virgin Mary—was the popular girls' color. In 1927, Time magazine found that American color conventions were completely unsettled, with six of 10 retailing giants, including Marshall Field's and Filene's, using pink as the dominant color for baby-boy accoutrements. It took two or three more decades for the modern convention to establish a firm hold on U.S. nurseries.

For what it's worth, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt may be at the leading edge of a backlash. Despite an uninterrupted quarter-century of lacy dresses and flowered pink headbands, observers of high-end children's clothing designers detect a trend back toward gender-neutral clothes.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer. thanks Brian Palmer article,, Linda Baumgarten of Colonial Williamsburg, Jo Paoletti of the University of Maryland and author of the forthcoming book Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America, and Kelly Richardson of the Sage Collection at Indiana University

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back To School: Gender Stereotypes

Boys 'held back' by school stereotypes
Teachers may be fuelling the gender gap in education by stereotyping boys as badly behaved, research suggests.

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
Published: 12:01AM BST 01 Sep 2010

The use of phrases such as “silly boys” and “schoolboy pranks” can reinforce the view that boys are more likely to misbehave than girls, it was claimed.

The study said children’s beliefs could become a "self-fulfilling prophecy" and influence their achievement in the classroom.

The disclosure follows the publication of figures last week showing that boys are falling behind girls at the age of seven.

Data from the Department for Education showed that 24 per cent of boys in England failed to reach the standard expected for their age group in writing compared with just 13 per cent of girls.

In recent years, the gap has widened throughout primary and secondary education, with girls far more likely to gain good GCSE and A-level results in their teens.

But a report by Kent University suggests that results may be linked to girls’ and boys’ own perceptions of their abilities at a very young age.

The study – released at the British Educational Research Association annual conference at Warwick University on Wednesday – presented pupils aged four to 10 with a series of statements such as "this child is really clever" and "this child always finishes their work" and asked them to link the words to pictures of boys or girls.

It emerged that pupils from all ages were more likely to identify girls as being better behaved and harder working. Even boys were more likely to pick out girls as high achievers, researchers said.

Children were also split into two groups, with the first group told that boys did not perform as well as girls. Both groups completed maths, reading and writing tests.

The study found that girls’ results were broadly similar in both groups but boys in the first performed worse than those in the second.

Bonny Hartley, a researcher from the university’s school of psychology, who led the study, said that adults could contribute to this “self-fulfilling prophecy” by dividing classes into boys v girls or using stereotypical language.

"It is widely acceptable to pitch the boys against the girls or 'harmlessly' divide the class in this way for practical ease,” she said

"In addition, phrases such as 'silly boys', 'schoolboy pranks' and 'why can't you sit nicely like the girls?' are all likely to contribute to the expectation that boys behave worse and under-perform compared to girls.

“These phrases tend to slip off the tongue, yet they may be doing more harm than realised in reinforcing children's perceptions that it is acceptable to judge and evaluate people on the basis of their gender.”

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's a Girl in 2010!

Twenty-five seconds after midnight, the first American baby born into 2010 popped into the world in a single push.

Her name is Jezariah Fausto Duenas and her birthday will forever be celebrated with fireworks. This annual miracle is celebrated on Guam every January.
"But now there is the twist to the story, though," said the baby's father, Joe Duenas of Ordot. "It's my birthday, too."
Duenas was born on Jan. 1, 1978 and his daughter was born yesterday. He has enjoyed the global holiday and two reasons to celebrate every birthday of his life. Now his daughter will enjoy the same, Duenas said.
So, as the cycle of New Year's babies continued, the father and daughter watched each other in a Guam Memorial Hospital room yesterday, curious and smiling.
The baby wasn't due to be born until later this month, but her mother learned on Tuesday her daughter would arrive sooner than expected. Bernadette Fausto said she had misinterpreted contractions for back pain, but eventually realized the time had come.
"Mom was great! Only one push and the baby was out," e-mailed Dr. Thomas Shieh shortly after attending to the delivery. "All the nurses had Happy New Year's' hats on," the doctor wrote to the Pacific Daily News, with the consent of the new baby's parents.
Duenas and Fausto went to GMH at about 5 p.m. Thursday night. Seven hours later, they had a tiny, quiet, inquisitive baby girl.
"When I woke up this morning I said 'God, thank you. Thank you for blessing me again," Fausto said.
Duenas, 32 and Fausto, 31, have been together for 13 years. They live in Ordot and have one other child.
Jezariah was named after her 5-year-old brother -- Jeremiah Zion Fausto Duenas -- who foretold her birth in a drawing months before his mother knew she was pregnant.
While visiting his class one day last year, Duenas and Fausto found a drawing of their family with a tiny baby floating in the clouds.
"We said, 'Son, who is that baby up there?' And he said that was his sister who was coming," Duenas said.
About three months later, Fausto discovered she was pregnant. The boy was right.
As the baby grew, Jeremiah became more attached. He was there for the ultrasound and thought his sister was dancing. Every day before school, he would hug his mother's belly and wish his baby sister goodbye.

Fausto would remind Jeremiah that she didn't know if the baby was a boy or a girl. Jeremiah said he was certain.
He was right again.
The first baby born on Guam each year is showered with gifts from local businesses. Jezariah is no exception.
The "I Love Guam New Year Baby" project was started by Archway Inc. in 2005 and has grown significantly each year, according to a press release from the company.
"Every year, the number of contributors of this event gets larger and larger and they do it without any hesitation," said Archway Marketing Director Hank Rice. "At the end of the day, it is all about helping out and welcoming the first and newest American, born in the USA. No other state or territory in the (United States) can claim this"
Fausto said the donations would be a tremendous help raising her new child.
"Just having her here for the New Year's is a gift, and then to have people come in with gifits, it just makes it so much more blessed," Fausto said.

By Brett Kelman • Pacific Daily News • January 2, 2010