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Articles for Parents

April 2018

Springtime at Dunebrook welcomes daffodils, blue birds and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

During April, Dunebrook joins with agencies across the nation to energize communities in taking a stand against child abuse. Child abuse is a difficult topic to read about in the newspaper or hear about on the evening news. Any time a person is harmed or dies at the hands of someone else it is tragic; but, when a child is the victim, it’s especially heartbreaking. We cringe to think of what he or she endured. Unbelievably, the harm to a child comes most often – 70% of the time, in fact – at the hands of parents. (Children’s Bureau, 2016)

This data trashes the myth from many of our childhoods that scary guys in trench coats lurking in dark alleys are the ones who hurt children. As it turns out, the scary person may not be a stranger at all.  

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Child Poisonings 2018

There’s a certain allure to blue window cleansers and purple dish soap that draws young children to them. Perhaps it’s the tasty illusion of blue raspberry snow cone juice or the exotic scent of pomegranates. That same magnetic pull drew my sister and me into eating a handful of chewable vitamins decades ago.

Medicine cabinets, the space under kitchen sinks and workbenches are chocked full of unusual and fascinating concoctions whose odor, texture and color intrigue children. Even purses can be a danger to little ones. Items such as mascara, lipstick, lip balm, foundation, liners and concealer may include waxes, perfumes, coloring agents and emulsifying agents that are safe for the skin but not so much for tummies.

It’s precocious curiosities like these which prompt parents and caregivers to call a Poison Control Center every 14.9 seconds in the United States. 

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Backyard Friends for Your Children

When my Dad recently started telling me the story of his childhood friend who had a pet black crow, I knew it would be something extraordinary. When my Dad spins his tales, one can’t quite tell what part of the story is real, and what part is re-imagined from a childhood that took place more than 80 years ago.

This is how the story goes: My Dad’s childhood acquaintance, Marvin, had a pet crow named Charlie. Charlie the Crow sat on Marvin’s shoulder and accompanied him everywhere he went. Charlie could talk, and had a rather large vocabulary. Apparently, he could communicate with the children, and would reply when Marvin asked him questions. Charlie was tame enough to be petted. Just when I thought the story was much too far-fetched, enchanting and curious to be true, my Dad threw in to the story the name of Marvin’s sister, whose children attended grade school with me. This cast off any doubt of suspicion as to the legitimacy of the story – Marvin was a real boy!    

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Children and Wealth

Children and Wealth

By Pam Henderson

When asked about how much wealth he was going to pass onto his children, billionaire Warren Buffet told Fortune magazine in 1986, “I want to give them enough that they would feel they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.”

Here in our little community where 1 in 4 children live in poverty, it’s hard for most of us to imagine that having so much money could be disabling enough to make one able to do nothing. Rather, it seems at the surface that having money would solve all of the problems. It could buy food, medicine, education, clothing and heat – all of the luxuries that belong to those who don’t live in poverty. But, of all of the things that money can buy, it can’t buy happiness.

Over the weekend, my family and I strolled through the Gold Coast as we made our way to Michigan Avenue from a parking garage. Parked along the curb, one in front of the other, were a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Range Rover and Porsche. The $355,000 Aston Martin was tucked safely inside the dealership. We could look, but couldn’t touch. We posed for photographs while sitting inside a sporty, Batman-esque Tesla.

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Post-Partum Depression in Fathers

Post-Partum Depression in Fathers

By Pam Henderson

When a baby arrives, a parent’s world forever changes. Your heart swells bigger than you ever imagined possible, and you fall head over heels in love with your precious bundle of joy.

But, there is another side to parenthood, too, especially in those early days. When the nurses are no longer at your beck and call and loved ones leave your bedside to return to their own lives, being in charge of an 7 lb., 12 oz. human being can feel rather daunting.

Suddenly, your Circadian rhythm gets so confused that nights become days and days become nights. Even if your baby lets you sleep, you might feel like you shouldn’t just in case he or she stops breathing. You’re constantly wondering if your baby is eating enough, wearing warm enough clothes, sleeping enough, gaining enough weight. Every well-intentioned relative, neighbor and friend is giving you advice. You may feel tremendous emptiness, even though your life is tremendously full.

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