You Are Here : Home Monday, September 22, 2014
 It's Back to School Time!

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.


Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!


Here are some tips to guide the way:

  1. Know the teachersand what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  2. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  3. Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  4. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  6. Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.
  7. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  8. Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
  9. Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
  10. If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.

Reviewed by: Eric J. Gabor, Esq.
Date reviewed: October 2011


 The Power of Choice

Would you like to get your kids

to willingly cooperate?


Stop the daily battles?


Teach your kids valuable life skills?


If your answer is Yes, Yes, Yes, read on:


Do you sound like a drill sergeant?

There are so many things we must get our children to do and so many things we must stop them from doing!  Get up. Get dressed. Don't dawdle.  Do your homework..Eat. Don't hit your brother. It goes on and on.And to make matters worse - our  kids resist our orders and demands.



There is an effective solution!

We can get our kids to cooperate and at the same time allow them to learn self-discipline and develop good decision making skills. How?


Offer choices

Children love having the privilege of choice. It takes the pressure out of your request and allows a child to  feel in control, and thus be more willing to comply. This is a powerful tool that can be used with toddlers through teens.


How many choices?

Younger children can handle two choices: Milk or juice? Sneakers or shoes? You do it or me? Walk or run? As children get older we can offer more choices: Before dinner, after dinner, or in the morning? Wear your coat, carry it, or put on a sweatshirt? Teens can be given general guidelines and rules.


Be specific.

If you ask, "What do you want for breakfast?" and your child answers "pizza" you've set yourself up for a battle. Instead offer choices or options that are all good for her, "Do you want toast and fruit, cereal or waffles?"


Use time as a choice.

Often there really is only ONE acceptable choice. You wouldn't say, "Do you want to go to bed tonight or tomorrow?"  You could say, "Do you want to  watch 5 more minutes of TV or 10?" "What do you want to do first, brush your teeth or put on your pajamas?"


If your child won’t choose?

Offer a choice! (!?What??) Yes! It still works! "Do you want to choose, or shall I choose for you?" If your child gets stubborn, you can say, "I see you want me to choose".Then follow through! For example, what if you ask your child if she wants to do her homework before dinner, after dinner or in the morning and she "decides"  to go to bed without doing her homework. Just wake her [cheerfully] at 6:00 am with a gentle reminder that it was her choice to do it this way.


Giving choices ends struggles.

Offering choices is a peaceful way to encourage cooperation while avoiding the power struggles that so often erupt when a parent gives an order. When a child chooses his own plan of action he is more likely to follow through with a pleasant attitude, and learn decision-making skills that he will carry with him to adulthood. So, do you want to start offering choices today or tomorrow?

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”
© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley


 House Bill 5990


Amendments to the Children’s Advocacy Center Act



HB 5990 updates the Children’s Advocacy Center Act to accurately reflect how
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in Illinois operate and should be created today.
This bill benefits Chicago CAC by helping solidify its role in responding to abuse,
and the role of all child advocacy centers throughout the state.
The bill is currently waiting its third reading on the senate floor.

Show your support for HB5990

Help show your support for CACs by thanking the
senate co-sponsors of HB5990.


Click the button below to email them our customizable template email.

 Take Action

If you have questions or would like more information,
contact Trevor Peterson:
or 312-492-3728






Back to School Reminders

As kids head back to school and begin fall sports and other after-school activities, parents, teachers and other caregivers can work to prevent and report suspected abuse. Here are some reminders for parents and guardians:

  • Be involved. Meet and get contact information for all teachers, aides, coaches and other caretakers for your children, and drop in on your child’s activities from time to time. Children who have involved parents are less likely to be targeted.
  • Talk with your kids. Ensure your children know that they can share any concern they have with you, including if they feel afraid or uncomfortable around an adult or another child. Let them know that is never OK for an adult to ask a child to keep a secret, and be sure to explain the difference between “secrets” and “surprises.”
  • Be comfortable talking to your children about sexuality and safety at a developmentally-appropriate level. Don’t send the message to your child that these topics are off-limits to bring up with you. Learn more from Stop It Now!’s fact sheet on age-appropriate sexual behavior.
  • Ask your child about his or her day. Ask open-ended questions and enjoy your child’s stories, while also trusting your instincts if something sounds off.

Here are some additional resources to help parents, teachers, daycare providers and other caregivers prevent, identify and respond to suspected abuse:

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact




 20 Ways to help your child succeed in school



School will soon be starting and parents have a special role in getting their children ready.
Beginning at birth, you have been your child’s first teacher. As your child grows older, you continue to be important in helping them be successful and to enjoy learning throughout their school years.
Here are 20 suggestions to help you help your child succeed in school.




To help your child succeed in school:


1. Provide your child with a healthy breakfast each morning such as foods that consist of whole grains, fruits and protein.





2. Get to know your child’s teacher and show interest in your child’s success in school.


3. Talk with your child each day about what they learned in school.


4. Make rules about homework and help your child get organized to do homework.


5. Have a special place for backpacks and other items needed for school.


6. Attend all parent-teacher conferences throughout the school year.


7. Let your child’s teacher know of any concerns you may have about your child’s school performance.


8. Talk to your child regularly about the importance of education.


9. Provide a special place where your child can study.


10. Attend school events with your child when possible.


11. Read all messages and report cards that come home from school.


12. Limit the amount of time your child watches television, uses the internet and plays video games each day.


13. Have books and other reading materials available in your home.


14. Read to your child every day and listen to your child read to you.


15. Maintain communication with your child’s teacher throughout the school year.


16. Get a library card for you and your child and encourage your child to use the library regularly.


17. Help your child with school projects or other interactive homework and have fun!


18. Make learning fun and do activities or play games at home that enhance your child’s academic skills, such as playing board games to enhance math,reading and problem solving skills.


19. Make sure that your child gets plenty of sleep each night. Being tired can make it very hard to concentrate and learn.


20. Encourage your child to do the best they can in school!







 5 things to know about girls in STEM fields

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics



 March 2014

1. To combat grim statistics which indicate that women only
make up 24% of jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields,
more and more opportunities are popping up for girls in these areas than ever before.

2. Some toy companies, like Goldie Blox and Roominate, are steering away
from gender-based marketing and selling building
toys designed to stimulate innovation and creativity.

3. Historic organizations, such as the YWCA and Girl Scouts of America, which offers over 30 badges for
STEM-related activities, are actively encouraging girls’ interest in STEM fields.

4. Camps like Girlstart and Camp Reach make STEM learning fun by giving girls creative,
hands-on experience with scientific experiments and engineering concepts.

5. Check out the NSTeens video Attitude Overdrive to meet Becks, the ultimate gamer girl.
Video games are a great way to introduce more girls to STEM.


Articles and comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Any products or websites mentioned are not necessarily affiliate with, endorsed or licensed by NCMEC.

This email was sent by: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children,
699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA, 22314, USA










was created to facilitate healing and reconciliation with sexual abuse survivors, their families, and the Catholic Church. Join us as we pray for God's strength, wisdom and guidance for healing and reconciliation, and to ensure the safety and protection of all of God's children.

October 4, 2014 10:00 a.m.
Holy Family Catholic Church
1080 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL


Please R.S.V.P. with Ruth Robinson at







is here and that means
children are back in school!

school scene

As your children settle back into school, please remember to check in
with them on both their academic and social/emotional adjustment.
Children who feel safe, secure and supported are more likely to succeed academically.

One of the best ways to understand your child's experiences at school
and with friends is to keep the communication lines open. As a parent,
be sure to set aside time at the end of the day to have a conversation with
your child about his/her school day and friendships.

Put aside your cell phones and listen to what your child says.
If your child has access to social media, be sure to ask him/her about what is
going on in that sphere as well. While most incidents of bullying or peer abuse
occur face-to-face, cyberbullying is one more 'place' where bullying can occur.

If you learn your child has been involved in bullying, either as a target,
a perpetrator or a witness, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening again.

For more information on bullying, go to, a federal government
website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HFA photo 2



 Parent Magic
We want our children to behave. We want to keep our cool. We want a peaceful, loving family life.


How do we achieve these goals?


Through trial and error?


Hit and miss? Luck? Unlikely


Through knowledgeand skill? YES! Parents who use good skills have a magic power  to create more peace in their homes. Let’s examine some of the most potent magic skills:

Ask helpful questions.


The most important discipline goal we have as a parent is not to make our kids behave. Rather, it is to help our kids develop into confident, self-disciplined people. We can help children learn to listen to their "inner voice" and help them develop self-discipline by asking helpful questions. What makes this work is not just the type of questions, but the delivery: thoughtful and free from anger and criticism. When we yell, blame, and accuse, our kids focus on our anger and do not learn from the experience. When we guide our children by using helpful questions we point them in the right direction.


What's not helpful 

Why did you do that?
           What's the matter with you?                   
How many times fo I...
Why can't you ever....


What are helpful questions?

How do you feel about that?
What will you do now?
How do you think she feels?
How can we solve this?


After you ask the question, sit back quietly and listen. You may be delighted to see your child solving  his or her own problem. Parents become frustrated with their children for not listening to them.  Often listening is not the problem! Understanding is the problem! Instead of saying, "Be good!"  Be very specific: "Please sit still and use a quiet voice." Instead of, "This bedroom is a disaster area."  It's more effective to be clear and specific, "Before lunch today, please put your clothes in the closet,  books on the shelf and dishes in the kitchen."

Just the facts, please.

Parents clutter their communication with unnecessary and hurtful phrases.
"You always"... You never...
You make me... You are such a..."
Make an effort to state only the facts, 
so instead of bellowing, "How many times do I have to tell you to turn that music down. 

It's too loud. Why do you always ignore me?"Try this, "John, please turn the music down, or shut it off."

Follow through. Pick your battles. And when you pick one – win it!
Parents often make a request and then back off when the child becomes difficult. In the example above, If John doesn't turn down the music, how many parents would mumble, complain, yell, or nag about it? It is important in the parent-child relationship for you to win your battles. You can calmly walk into John's room, turn off his radio yourself, look him in the eye and say, "I expect you to listen to me." If John is a real stinker, you can take the radio with you and tell him he can have it back, along with another chance, tomorrow.


By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”
© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley










 USCCB - Faith and Safety


There is a new website from USCCB for helping keep 

children and families safe online:


The website is a partnership  with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

and it is designed to be a place where families  learn to

see technology through the eyes of  faith and stay safe online.

The site offers guidance

how to use the Internet, cell phones and video games safely,

as well as protecting children’s privacy.


We encourage you to:

* Share the site with your networks
* Identify areas of the site that you believe could be expanded.




The site is less than a year old and the developers welcome input.
You can send comments to Dominic Perri,
consultant to the USCCB Communications Department, at



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