December 19, 2006

Child Circumcision Must be Voluntary

Doctors and Children’s Groups Say Male Circumcision Must be Voluntary, Consensual

National Institutes of Health’s endorsement of adult male circumcision leaves the question of infant circumcision unanswered.

San Diego, CA (PRWeb) December 15, 2006 — Physicians and children’s rights advocates are calling on the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to formulate a clear policy on male circumcision so that minors are protected from being circumcised for medically unnecessary reasons. The plea follows Wednesday’s NIH announcement that findings from two new African clinical trials show that adult male circumcision helped protect men from acquiring the HIV/AIDS virus over a 15 month period.

The first trial in Kisumu, Kenya, of 2,784 HIV-negative men showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV acquisition in circumcised men relative to uncircumcised men, while the second trial of 4,996 HIV-negative men in Rakai, Uganda, showed that HIV acquisition was reduced by 48 percent in circumcised men. The trials were originally scheduled to continue until mid-2007, but the NIAID Data and Safety Monitoring Board halted them early after deeming the interim data sufficient enough to draw conclusions.

“The only complete protection against HIV is safe sex and any decision to circumcise should be made by the owner of the foreskin when he is able to give informed consent,” says David Smith, who is General Manager of NORM-UK, a UK based foreskin health charity. “The British Medical Association (BMA) has recently revised their 2003 guidance on the law and ethics of male circumcision. The revised guidance dated June 2006 reaffirms the statement ‘to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate'”.

In the UK, non-therapeutic male circumcision is not available on the National Health Service, and a Korean study by DaiSik Kim and Myung-Geol Pang, published in the online edition of British Journal of Urology earlier this month, found that “circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings”. The study confirms widespread reports from men who claim that circumcision has damaged their sex lives.

Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH, a Los Angeles pediatrician and author of the book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision”, said that the male foreskin has sensory and protective functions that are lost after circumcision. “The foreskin contains a rich concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings that are designed to enhance sexual pleasure,” said Fleiss. “And just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. These functions make it ethically imperative that circumcision only be performed on adults who have given their consent.”

Dr. Dean Edell, syndicated radio host of “The Dr. Dean Edell Show” and anchor of “Medical Minutes”, a series of ten weekly radio medical reports, said that using routine male circumcision to prevent AIDS is flawed logic. “AIDS is caused by a virus, not by the foreskin,” said Edell. “The foreskin is one of several possible entrance points for the AIDS virus to infect the body, but that does not mean that you should cut the entrance off. It means that you should protect the entrance, either by using condoms or by practicing safe sex. If some men want to undergo circumcision because they feel it will make them safer, then they should be free to do so. But we need to draw the line when it comes to circumcision of children, which is done without consent of the patient. The common sense thing to do here is to make circumcision an option for adults only.”

Although female circumcision of minors was outlawed by Congress in 1996, a similar law does not exist to protect males. As a result, circumcision is still performed on nearly 60% of infant boys, either because the parents request it or because a doctor or religious advisor recommends it.

Matthew Hess, President of San Diego based, said that a consent law for male circumcision should be enacted by Congress to give men the same choices that women have when it comes to elective surgery. “The new NIH suggestion that adult male circumcision may be used as a tool to protect against AIDS is going to tempt many physicians to circumcise children as well. But removal of healthy, non-diseased tissue is elective surgery that should be the choice of the person who owns the body, not the choice of parents or physicians.” has authored proposed federal and state legislation that would require men to be 18 years old before undergoing circumcision. The legislation is endorsed by 16 health and human rights groups, but has yet to be enacted into law.

December 13, 2006

Lindsay Lohan’s Mom, Kids and Alcohol

What Can Lindsay Lohan’s Mom Teach Us About Kids and Alcohol?

Dr. Marc F. Kern has researched and developed a non-confrontational, positive approach to substance abuse called H.A.L.O. (Helping a Love One).

(PRWeb) December 12, 2006 — Most parents of teens and young adults face the same parenting problem. Research suggests more and more kids are partying to excess (including binge drinking) while still in high school and living at home, away at college or in the armed services.

Lindsay Lohan has been in the news lately and appears to understand she is drinking too much.

She and her mom have agreed that she needs to do something, but what? Their current solution is to have Lindsay attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, which is an abstinence only program.

Yet it has been reported that Lindsay is still drinking.

What can a mother a do? A new poll (12/06) by The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) shows that most parents have difficulty getting through to their teens about important subjects, especially drug use.

Millions of people around the world still believe that the only choice for someone like Lindsay is AA. But is it? Does it really work? Does it really change a young person’s drinking behavior or does it only foster black and white notions that become self-fulfilling prophecies?

Or do you use the “Tough Love” method where you must make ultimatums and conceptualize your son or daughter as a diseased person, and you have to kick them out into the street to help them?

Beverly Hills addictions expert Dr. Marc F. Kern recommends a non-confrontational approach for dealing with a loved one. “As a father and a husband, I can’t imagine kicking my child out on the street. That’s why I have researched and developed a non-confrontational, positive approach called H.A.L.O. (Helping a Love One).

“With the H.A.L.O. approach,” Dr. Kern continues, “you can learn that when you make small changes in your own behavior, strategically planned and precisely timed, you can help your loved one begin to change their habit of excessive drinking and start down the road to recovery.”

With this innovative approach, Dr. Kern explains, people learn how to “tip the balance of the status quo” of their relationship and change the behaviors that have actually fed the addictive behavior.

“Relationships are like dancing the tango,” Dr. Kern explains, “You both get used to a predictable pattern of steps ­ which is the ‘status quo’ of your relationship. If you suddenly move to the left instead of the right, your partner or child has no choice but to change what he or she does next as a result of your action. This is the core idea of H.A.L.O. and the main reason it is an effective way to motivate problem drinkers out of their rut and start taking positive actions toward their own recovery.”

Dr. Kern’s non-confrontational H.A.L.O. approach helps parents and spouses:

* Learn what triggers your loved one to use alcohol or drugs.
* Know what to say and do to support non-using, pro-social behaviors and entry into treatment.
* Improve communication with the substance user.
* Keep your sanity while your loved one is making you feel insane.
* Use positive and negative reinforcement effectively to discourage a loved one’s harmful alcohol or other using behaviors.
* Learn about effective approaches for moderating substance use, instead of complete abstinence.

Dr. Kern is one of a growing number of psychologists, therapists, and counselors who are taking their message to the Internet to reach areas of the country where people do not have local access to experienced specialists.

A popular guest expert on radio and TV shows, including 20/20 and Larry King Live, Dr. Kern will be featured on New Year’s Day on “Resolutions” a one-hour program on the Learning Channel that illustrates four methods of quitting smoking.

He will also be presenting his workshop, “How to Cut your Drinking Down Now so You Don’t Have to Go to AA Later” in January at Los Angeles’ Learning Annex. He is the author of “Take Control Now!” and co-author of “Responsible Drinking.”

Marc F. Kern, Ph.D., Addiction Alternatives, Inc.

December 12, 2006

Trauma of a Parent Confined to Bed Rest

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (PRWeb) December 12, 2006 — For all those toddlers with mothers confined to bed for one reason or another, this charming book will soften the difficulty. Annette Rivlin-Gutman’s message in Mommy Has to Stay in Bed is positive and uplifting, the rhythm lilting and soothing. Hearing the message through the voice of the child adds to the feeling that, bedridden or not, her mother is still positive, loving and devoted to her happiness.

Author Rivlin-Gutman’s use of phrasing makes this little book especially appealing. We play cards, tell jokes, and watch a video or two. We draw pretty pictures of all the things we like to do is a reminder that, even when being confined to bed, a mother is still able to share joyful and loving moments with her child.

Whether a mother is sick or recovering, it’s important that she continue to affirm her important role in her child’s daily life. At the same time, it’s imperative that she acknowledge her child’s feelings. Told through the eyes of the child, Mommy Has to Stay in Bed succeeds very well in conveying these messages.

This important book is designed to help mother and child through difficult, and sometimes traumatic, circumstances. The author hopes her writing will also help provide support for parents challenged with long-term illnesses.

For more information or to receive a free review copy, please contact the author at Mommy Has to Stay in Bed is available for sale online at,,, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.

About the Author
Annette Rivlin-Gutman, a former teacher and award-winning video producer and writer, has a strong background in educational and children’s programming. Nevertheless, nothing prepared her for her work better than being the mother of two small children. During her pregnancy with her second child, Annette was confined to bed rest and lacked resources to entertain her oldest daughter. Her experiences inspired her to write Mommy Has to Stay in Bed in hopes of providing encouragement to other families in similar situations.

About BookSurge
BookSurge LLC, an company, is a global leader in self-publishing and print-on-demand services. Offering unique publishing opportunities and access for authors, BookSurge boasts an unprecedented number of authors whose work has resulted in book deals with traditional publishers as well as successful authorpreneurs who enhance or build a business from their professional expertise.

Encouraging Your Child To Read

By Misti Norusis

Establishing a love of books in your young child is an important tenet in their educational development later in life. Books promote an exploration of the imagination that is lacking in most other tangible areas of a child’s life such as the television and many common (and popular) toys. But it is a love of books and all things associated with books that will lead your child to success, not just in their school age years but also in their professional careers. It is the love of books and learning that will propel them forward for the rest of their lives.

As parents, among other “jobs”, we are the lead educators in our child’s lives. It is up to us to teach so many things from how to learn to how to make good decisions. Starting at a very early age, children are taught their lessons from watching what you do and imitating those actions. Responding positively to praise and negatively to criticism is a large part of their learning through trial and error. But as educators it is not enough that we teach our children everything they need to know, as we will not always be there. It is also extremely important to teach our children how to teach themselves – a task that cannot be fulfilled without learning to read.

As parents there are several things that we can do to encourage your child to read. Some may seem obvious but it is important to understand that it is a process where success is realized over time, often over several years. Encouraging you child to read cannot be done simply by handing your child a book and expecting them to fall in love with it. There are too many distractions calling out for their attention which provides more of an immediate short term satisfaction with less work (e.g. the television again). The following are some ideas (though certainly not exhaustive of a list) that can help encouraging your child to read and to actually enjoy it.

-Lead by Example – When was the last time your child saw you pick up a book. Remember, children learn through imitation. Seeing you as their parent and roll model make a point to read everyday will have a profound impact. Even if it is just the newspaper at the kitchen table, and sharing out loud some of what is contained within the pages will have a profound impact of opening your child’s mind to the world outside of their home, city or town. Some families have 20 or 30 minutes of reading time as a family before the kids are off to bed, which is a great way to demonstrate the importance of reading while including reading in the daily routine.

-Visit the local library – One of the best and most under-utilized services communities offer is the public library. All have fantastic children’s section and many offer great programs such as author readings. The best part is that it is absolutely free (provided you return those books on time). Taking time out of every Saturday morning to visit the library is a great way to show your child the importance of reading for zero cost. They can then get involved in making decisions of choosing the books that are tailored to their individual interests thereby promoting a sense of self-expression and individuality.

-Make books a part of the nighttime routine – Children, especially young ones thrive on routine. When getting ready for bed many families have a process that starts as soon as dinner ends. Children quickly learn that as the process progresses, bedtime approaches. Why not consider reading out loud for 30 minutes every night right before lights out. This is a much better activity than watching the television and can actually make them more ready for bed. Reading out loud to your child allows for the mind to drift off into imagination and dreaming. That is why many times you will look down by the third chapter and see your child has already drifted off to sleep.

-Encourage your child to read out loud – Reading out loud forces your child to consider the pronunciation of the words that they are reading. It allows you as a parent to monitor progress and provide constructive and timely criticism when needed. Even if you have your child read while you are cooking dinner in the kitchen for a short period of time it will have a positive impact. Learning to sound out the words that they have never seen before will teach them to teach themselves and provide them with a sense of accomplishment thereby building self-esteem.

-Make Books the focus of the living room – In many living rooms and even bedrooms the television takes the spotlight as being the focal point of the room. This article is not meant to bash the importance of the television, but it should be balanced with other mediums. Prominently display books on a coffee table or better yet move the bookshelf into the living room to store the books. In a child’s bedroom, a child size bookshelf is a great alternative to storing all of those children’s books in an old box currently located in the bottom of the closet. Out of sight, out of mind holds true for last year’s Christmas presents as well as all of those books collected over the years.

In conclusion, the above is by no means an exhaustive list nor will fulfilling all of the above on a regular basis ensure that your child grows up loving to read. But it will certainly increase the chances if you encourage your child to read on a daily basis and ensure that they are learning from your actions as their biggest roll model. Encouraging your child to read should be a family affair that can be continued until they graduate from college. By then, the lessons you have taught them along the way will prepare them well for what lies ahead. And encouraging your child to love to read is a great step!

About the Author: offers unique Kid Furniture for bedrooms and playrooms at affordable prices!


May 3, 2006

ScreamFree Parenting: Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool

Check out this amazing video about raising kids without screaming at them – without losing your cool.

Whether you are a parent or not, you will identify with this one: If you have kids, you will identify with this as a parent. If you don’t have kids, you will relive your relationship you have/had with your parents.