Posts tagged with "parents"

Fathers via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

Single Dad’s Survival Tips

Dads’ Resource Center helps single dads navigate Father’s Day

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are around 2 million single father’s in the country. Due to the way that the family court, county and social service systems operate fathers are often not allowed to spend as much time with their children as they would like following a separation or divorce. This includes Father’s Day.

“Father’s Day can be brutally painful for noncustodial fathers”, said Dads’ Resource Center Executive Director Jeffrey Steiner. “Many do not even get the opportunity to be with their children for Father’s Day. For those that do, it can be bittersweet as they are able to cherish some time with their sons and daughters, while also being reminded of all that they are missing out on and how unnecessary and hurtful the custody battle is to them and their children.”

It is not unusual for a noncustodial father to be unable to spend time with his children on Father’s Day. It can take a very long time to even have the opportunity to revise a standing custody order, and there can be provisions that counter act one another. An order that sets aside Father’s Day for the dad can be over ridden by a provision giving each parent a week of summer vacation if the mother schedules her vacation the week of Father’s Day. Courts are also reluctant to enforce violations of custody orders by mothers.

Some of the fathers who are involved with the Dads’ Resource Center were asked to provide tips for dealing with Father’s Day as noncustodial fathers struggling to be in the lives of their children. Here were some of their responses:

  • Make the most of the time you get. “Treat every day you are with your kids like it’s Father’s Day for you. For the kids make Father’s Day fun for them and it will be fun for you.
  • Be empathetic for your children. “Put yourself in your children’s position and try to be as understanding as possible. They are stuck in the middle and can’t show a lot of emotion. Don’t take offense if they don’t act happy because they are in survival mode.”
  • Make it about them. “I am happy in my house when they are happy. I just want to give them refuge from this storm. So, if they want to be on their phone talking with their friends, if they want to zone out and watch TV and that makes them happy, I am happy.”

For those fathers who are unable to spend Father’s Day with their children:

  • Don’t get stuck on what day it is. “You have to treat Father’s Day like any other day. Then create your own Father’s Day an evening during the week before or the weekend before or after.”
  • Be flexible and creative. “Stay connected in any way possible, even if it isn’t reciprocated.”
  • Open your heart to other children. “I try to find ways to hang out with other kids, like my nieces or nephews. Enjoying time with them makes me feel like a dad again.”

“Nothing is more devastating to a man than being denied access to his children and being completely powerless to do anything about it, “said Steiner. “But the children are the ones who suffer the most in these situations. They are unnecessarily denied the presence of their fathers and subjected to persistent tensions and uncertainty.”

Dads’ Resource Center was established by Dr. Joel N. Myers, a father of eight and the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. The mission is to help combat the issues associated with children growing up without their fathers in the home. At its heart, the center is a child advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both parents.

About Dads’ Resource Center

The Dads’ Resource Center is committed to providing education, resources, and advocacy for dads who are separated or divorced and are determined to uphold their sacred responsibility as fathers. The Dads’ Resource Center was founded by Dr. Joel N. Myers, the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. His own experience as a single father led him to start the group. To get more information, visit HERE.

Eight Baby Health Tips for New Parents 

Being a new parent has its own set of challenges as you experience many new things — from soothing your crying baby to late-night feedings. You have so much to learn as you embark on the journey of parenthood. And knowing how to take care of your delicate baby is the first step. 

Every first-time parent feels nervous about managing a fragile newborn. Yet, with time, love and lots of patience, you’ll learn to take the best care of your baby. Each passing day helps you understand the signals for hunger, sleepiness and other reasons for crying. So, soon you’ll be a pro at it.

But for now, you need the right information at your fingertips to endure a fulfilling experience. So, here are the top baby health tips for you as a new parent.

1. Make a Checklist

It’s essential to prepare yourself by making a checklist of the items you require for baby care. Before you bring your baby home, ensure you have enough stock. At bathtime, for instance, you’ll need to gather the essentials, including soft washcloths, baby shampoo and soap, cotton balls, a hooded towel and a bathtub.

If you’re nursing, you’ll need things like nursing pillows, nursing bras, a breast pump, etc.

2. Tips for Breastfeeding Your Baby

Feeding your baby breast milk is nutritious, and it helps boost their immune system. If you decide to breastfeed, try to breastfeed during the first hour after giving birth — this is also known as the “golden hour.” It’s important to breastfeed during the golden hour as the skin-to-skin contact will help you bond with your baby. Plus, the suckling releases hormones helping the uterus contract and stop bleeding. 

After the first few months of birth, you’ll want to feed your baby regularly. This means you should be feeding at least every two to four hours or 8-12 times a day — depending on how hungry your baby may be. 

It’s also crucial you avoid bottle feeding in the first three months unless you have no other option. After every feeding, it’s important to wipe away any residue off their gums using a soft washcloth for dental hygiene purposes.

3. Handle Your Newborn With Care 

A newborn’s body is fragile, and new parents should handle their baby delicately with the utmost care. Supporting the head first with one hand is essential when you hold your baby. The head is the heaviest part of their body, and they’re not ready to support it on their own yet. Once you have a handle on their head, you can rest it in your arm’s cove. Then, you can use the other arm to support your baby’s bottom. 

You’ll also need to wash your hands regularly before handling your baby. Newborns don’t have an adequate immune system yet, so they’re always at risk for infection. Plus, anyone else who holds your baby should always have clean hands. 

You should also be sure never to shake your baby. Shaken baby syndrome causes a serious brain injury if you forcefully shake them out of frustration or playing. 

4. Trim Baby’s Nails Regularly

Ensure you trim your baby’s nails regularly. Babies’ skin is very delicate, and their nails are sharp. Essentially, they could scratch their face at any point. That’s why you must cut the nails at regular intervals because the baby’s nails grow back quickly. However, you want to do this cautiously while the baby is sleeping. 

If you’re too afraid to use nail clippers, consider filing the baby’s nails. Just be careful not to trim the nail too far down into the baby’s nail bed. Furthermore, you want to ensure the baby doesn’t scratch himself in the face. To prevent this, you can place soft mittens on your baby’s hands, so he doesn’t scratch himself while sleeping. 

5. Bond With Your Baby

Establishing a bond with your newborn is one of the most enjoyable parts of parenthood. It’s crucial to bond with your little one as it helps establish an emotional connection. Plus, it contributes to their overall emotional development, which affects other areas like physical growth. 

You have a few ways to bond with your newborn. First, SSC (skin-to-skin contact) begins with bonding by cradling your baby and gently stroking the tummy or back. You want to be sure your baby looks into your eyes so she gets familiar with you. Studies have shown mothers who have SSC breastfeed longer than the average of over 60 days — meaning more women can breastfeed successfully while bonding.

You could also try massaging your baby to enhance the bonding. Or you can use vocal sounds — babbling and singing — as you rock your little one in a chair.

6. Soothe Your Baby’s Cry

Crying is a baby’s way of communicating — whether hungry, tired or feeling discomfort. As you continue to observe your baby, you’ll be able to understand what he is trying to say. 

You can look for certain cues that can help you tell whether your baby needs:

  • Fed
  • A diaper change.
  • Swaddled
  • Entertainment
  • To sleep.
  • Changed because they’re too hot or cold.
  • To suck on something.
  • To cry for no reason.

7. Establish a Bedtime Routine

Setting a nighttime schedule for your baby helps her learn when it’s bedtime. If you let the baby sleep at odd timings, this will set the foundation for many sleepless nights. Set a bedtime schedule as early as possible. That way, you can prepare yourself and your baby for a good night’s sleep.

Establishing a bedtime routine is also beneficial for your baby’s circadian rhythm. This teaches them the difference between day and night and often helps your baby mentally prepare for bedtime.

8. Keep Your Baby Clean

Expect to have a soiled diaper at least 8-10 times per day. Depending on the number of times you feed your newborn, you’ll be doing many diaper changes. So, it’s imperative not to leave the soiled diaper on for too long. Dirty diapers can make your baby feel discomfort, while they can also cause rashes and infections. 

Try to change the diaper immediately after you sense a dirty diaper. While changing your baby, use soft baby wipes to get her clean. You can also use diaper rash cream to take care of the redness before placing a clean diaper back on. 

Baby via 360 Magazine

IVF Contracts

Natalia Wilson, managing partner of Ain & Bank, is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Washington D.C. and is one of the nation’s leading matrimonial lawyers. Ain & Bank is a boutique law firm offering bespoke legal solutions and protections to some of the country’s most high-profile individuals from captains of industry to leading figures in the entertainment and sports world.

Wilson consults with clients who require advice and firm guidance to resolve matters of relationship breakdown, management of custody disputes, and preparation of prenuptial agreements. In addition, Wilson is at the cutting edge of what the legal world refers to as “modern family creation” advising clients on the legal implications of assisted routes to parenthood including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and more.

The miracle of pregnancy and childbirth is revered by cultures across the globe. The creation of life on earth forms the basis of mythology, old wives’ tales, and spiritual teachings that have endured since ancient times. This combined with cultural and social expectations, makes many couples feel pressure to conceive. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, approximately 10 percent, or 6.1 million couples face infertility issues annually.

Expectant couples flaunt photographs of pregnancy gender reveals, birth announcements, baby showers, and beautiful, happy families celebrating on social media—adding to the pressure and disappointment for couples unable to conceive. For many, assisted routes to parenthood are the only options for possible conception.  

Every year, thousands of intended parents decide to pursue modern family creation. Thanks to modern technology and the normalization of gestational carriers, IVF and surrogacy are popular options for many. But what are the potential pitfalls of such an arrangement?

“Although I’m a divorce lawyer by trade, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see couples embark on the journey of parenthood,” said Wilson.  “Modern family creation is a dynamic area of family law and, unlike marriage, one in which many couples do not think about what might happen should their relationship end”.

Wilson points to the recently reported Virginia case of Jessee v. Jessee as a cautionary tale in which a trial court’s award of a frozen embryo to the wife in a divorce matter was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Wilson uses this judgment to illustrate the hurdles that some intended parents with stored embryos may face down the road and provides some helpful advice about what to consider when embarking on IVF.

Here are tips that couples should consider:

Is there a contract in place regarding what should happen to the frozen embryos in the event of relationship breakdown or divorce?

It is common for fertility clinics to provide proforma contracts stating that the ownership and/or rights to embryos are to be directed by court decree or settlement agreement. If the court has not yet issued a decree and if the parties have not reached a settlement agreement, there is no contract in place directing who should be awarded the embryos.

Don’t wait until things turn sour to determine the fate of the embryos. Spend time talking to each other about parenthood and what it means to each of you. Engage with experienced professionals who can represent your individual interests to draft an agreement much like a prenuptial agreement resulting in a contract recording what will happen to the embryos should the relationship end.

What does the court consider if it all goes wrong?

When parties do not have a contract in place dictating who should be awarded frozen embryos, the court will work to understand the interests of each party. The court will want to know why the parties engaged in IVF, whether each party is physically able to have biological children through other means and the impact that that carrying an embryo to term would have on the intended parent who may no longer wish to have children. The court will also try to understand whether one party is seeking the embryos simply to punish their former partner by preventing them from being awarded the embryos.  The court has broad discretion.  

Will the court compensate you financially if your ex-partner is awarded the embryos?

No. The issue of financial compensation is something clients struggle with. Many clients believe that to quantify the value of an embryo is tantamount to placing a monetary value on life. Others feel that it is their right to be awarded compensation in exchange for their genetic material.

Consider the full force impact of parenthood

When couples decide, whether by necessity or design, to embark on a journey to freeze embryos they must fully consider the implications of their choice. Although events leading to a decision to engage in IVF may have been painful, couples are afforded the time and space to think about the commitment they are making. Parenthood requires that couples recommit to each other as a parenting team and to the life for which they may ultimately be responsible.  Think about why you want to be a parent and what it is about your partner that you think will make them a great co-parent.

Talk to each other

How does your partner articulate their desire to parent? Are you entering parenthood to please each other? Does one of you want to parent a child more than the other? If your partner is more apprehensive than you are that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be a bad parent. Trust your instincts and communicate openly and honestly. 

Don’t get swept up in the wave

Even when pursuing IVF treatments, it is all too easy to get swept up in the idea of parenthood because it is something that society expects. The path to parenthood is not created equal and the strain couples experience when undergoing assisted fertility treatments can place a real burden on an otherwise carefree relationship. Work to futureproof from the very first steps you take, preparation and planning may just help to prevent great heartache down the road.

“Creating a family is not something anyone should rush into,” said Wilson. “Make sure that you work together as a couple to thoughtfully and fully think through all of the potential future scenarios and address them.” She added, “Although we all hope that we’ll live happily ever after, it’s always better to be prepared, and having these in-depth discussions upfront will help you to better understand each other and become a stronger team.”

Absent Father Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Five Ways Kids Hurt When Dad’s Not Around

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 22 million children have a parent who does not live in the household. That equals 26.5% of all children. Most often, it’s the father who is absent from the home, and may even be absent from the child’s life. People underestimate the impact that not having Dad around has on the well-being of children, and ultimately on society as a whole.

“More than any other project or cause that society needs to work on, we must work with passion and urgency to eliminate the systemic barriers to single-father involvement in the lives of our children,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, founder of Dads’ Resource Center. “We must make the time to educate our neighbors about the overwhelming evidence – backed up by thousands of years of anecdotal evidence and numerous studies over recent decades that shows children develop much better when both of their parents are actively involved in their lives.”

Dr. Myers is on a mission to help shed light on the fact that there is a serious problem when it comes to child custody. The default of most courts is to simply give primary custody of the child to the mother, leaving the father pushed to the side and receiving very little time with his children. They often go from being a large part of the child’s life to seeing them on a limited basis as the court allows.

Children who do not get much involvement with their father are impacted in numerous ways, including in these five:

1. Being less physically healthy. Fewer children who are raised in nuclear families are considered to be in poor health. Research published in The Linacre Quarterly showed that 12% of children raised in a nuclear family were considered in poor health, compared to 22% of children of a single parent.

2. Having less social-emotional development. Research published in the Annual Review of Sociology finds that there is strong evidence that father absence negatively impacts a child’s social-emotional development.

3. Having less of a relationship with extended family. Divorce tends to lead to children having less of a relationship with the extended family of the noncustodial parent (i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins). The child also loses many family traditions and celebrations.

4. Experiencing more financial instability. According to research published in the journal The Linacre Quarterly, custodial mothers lose up to 50% of their household income and are more likely to receive public assistance. The median income of divorced mothers is only 47% of married-couple households. Children living with just their mother are more likely to be in poverty.

5. Learning how to be a father. Children who grow up with an absent father tend to repeat the pattern, according to research published in the journal Parenting Science and Practice. The quality of the relationship and involvement a child has with their father tends to be passed down across generations.

“Mothers and fathers give different but equally important things to their children,” added Jeff Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Children need both their parents to be fully engaged as they are growing up to have the best chance of being successful in life. But, far too often the system unnecessarily prevents fathers from being able to do so.”

Dads’ Resource Center issued a report on the impact of dads not being involved in their children’s lives. The report, titled DRC NLSY97 Analysis Executive Summary, warned that children who do not grow up with their father in their household:

  • Are less likely to graduate from high school or graduate from college.
  • Are less likely to vote, donate to a charity or volunteer their time.
  • Are more likely to have been convicted of a crime, use hard drugs, and smoke.
  • Are more likely to have intercourse before the age of 17and to need mental health treatment.
  • Make less money per year as an adult and more much likely to use government welfare programs.

Dads’ Resource Center was started by Dr. Myers, a father of eight and the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. The mission is to help combat the issues associated with children growing up without their fathers in the home. At its heart, the center is a child advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both parents.

Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and works with fathers to help make improvements.

Co-Parenting Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Co-Parenting Tips For Divorcing Couples

Dads’ Resource Center offers tips for successfully co-parenting following divorce or separation.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Many of these marriages involve children, putting them at risk for a variety of emotional issues resulting from the separation. It is vital that the children continue to have the active involvement of both parents, and that the parents find a way to work together on their behalf.

“The impact on kids not having access to their fathers is heartbreaking,” says Dads’ Resource Center founder Dr. Joel N. Myers. “Most fathers know their children are missing out, but are unable to overcome the barriers to the system and fulfill the most fundamental role that men have – being a dad.”

How the two parents go about co-parenting makes a world of difference in the emotional health of their child. Successful co-parenting doesn’t happen by accident, but it is something that people can do with intention and effort.

The AACAP advises that children will do best when they know that both parents will remain actively engaged in their lives. They also report that the research shows children do better when parents can minimize conflict and cooperate on the child’s behalf. While many parents know that this is the healthiest route for their children, they may still find it difficult to figure out how to do it.

According to Dads’ Resource Center, there are three stages that co-parents go through following separation. The stages include family reorganization, co-parenting, and personal growth. In family reorganization, decisions are made about where the children will be and when and how they will be supported. The co-parenting stage is where decisions will be made about how to make it all work. Finally, the personal growth stage is where parents have finally established a working relationship without conflict, which brings relief to their children. The longer that parents remain stuck in the re-organization and co-parenting stages, the more the children are negatively impacted.

It’s important that parents make a concerted effort to learn how to co-parent while separated. Here are some tips for how parents can successfully co-parent, provided by Dads’ Resource Center:

  • Both parents need to commit to always doing what is best for their children, which includes making sure both parents have the access needed to maintain an active and meaningful relationship with them. This extends to family on both sides.
  • Communication is vital. Mom and dad should be able to work out the logistics in a patient and calm manner and make a habit of providing updates on how the children are doing – in school, about health-related matters, how they are doing developmentally, and what is going on generally in their lives.
  • Both parents need to practice forgiveness. For the sake of their children, mom and dad need to let the past be in the past and treat one another with acceptance and compassion.
  • Separated parents should educate themselves about the impact that divorce has on children, to help minimize the negative consequences. If they are having a difficult time collaboratively co-parenting parents should find support from family, friends, churches or seek professional help.
  • However, parents should not allow themselves to become overly reliant on family courts and child welfare services to manage their inability to work together. Doing so only enables them in not moving on, and if they don’t move on their children can’t either.

“Parenting is not a one-person job,” added Jeff Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Even in a separated family, both parents should view the other parent as an equal partner in the upbringing of their children. This means they must be adaptable and flexible and treat one another with grace and compassion.”

Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and work with fathers to help make improvements.

Baby illustration by Heather Skovlund

Top Baby Gifts

By: Carly Cohen

The cutest, trendiest, and most functional baby products:

  • Fashionable Bibs

Babies wear a bib every single time they eat. Why not make it a fashion statement? There are so many brands that offer functional and adorable bibs for your child to wear. Brands such as Bamboo Little, Saks OFF Fifth, Mud Pie, and Abby & Finn all offer affordable, fun bibs that range in prices from about $10 to $60.

  • Stylish Diaper Bags

Diaper bags are a must, and there are so many stylish and fun options out there. Brands have truly stepped up their game when it comes to diaper bags. Check out brands like Dagne Dover and Revolve for an everyday bag that will match all outfits.

  •  Baby Sweatsuits

2021 is the year of dressing as comfortably as possible. This includes dressing the little ones comfortably, too. Check out Zara’s website for some super affordable and chic sweatsuits.

  • Organic Skin Care

Nourishing baby is, and will always be, important–no matter what age. Finding natural lotions, shampoos, and washes is for the baby’s health and hygiene. The brand’s Pipette, Evereden, and Honest Beauty offer the best skincare for babies.

  • Cooling Baby Clothes

Linen is known for being a cooling, airy clothing fabric. It is extra popular in the summer for those looking for a lighter clothing option. Countless shops provide cooling clothing for babies and are worth checking out.

  • Wallpaper

Using wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a nursery or children’s bedroom. On Loomwell Home Goods, there are stunning wallpaper designs to fit your baby’s desires and achieve the perfect bedroom.

  • Rattan Furniture

A chic and boho trick to decorate the child’s space is using rattan furniture. On Poppys Little Treasure, there are so many options for bedroom and playroom furniture. They also offer adorable bassinets, which help achieve a beautiful nursery.

  • Handmade Decorations

Check out the small business on Etsy, Shop Little Grace. This shop offers handmade decorations for a baby’s bedroom, party, or anything other occasion.

  • Baby Headwear

There is nothing cuter than a baby in clips, bows, and topknots. Mae + Rae present the perfect looks for the little ones.

  • Electric Nail File

This product is a must-have for cutting baby’s nails. There is no worry in hurting the baby because it is super quick and gentle. Amazon has a great baby-proof electric nail file for only $20. Amazon’s nail file is made from sandpaper, which makes it extra gentle on babies.

It can be difficult to constantly entertain babies and toddlers, which is why iPads can be such handy tools. However, it can be hard to hand over your baby access your new, expensive Apple product with a fragile glass screen. That’s where ZAGG products come in! ZAGG makes safely entertaining your little ones their priority.

ZAGG Gear4® recently announced its new Orlando kids tablet case for Apple iPad 10.2-inch (7th, 8th gen). The Orlando is durable, lightweight and features sturdy adjustable arms that make it the perfect partner for any situation. The Orlando case is made with kid-friendly EVA foam with an inner border lining of D3O to provide up to 6.5 feet of drop protection. The Orlando iPad case for the iPad 10.2-inch (7th, 8th gen) is available today on ZAGG’s website with a limited lifetime warranty.

Orlando kids' tablet case from Jeff Dubois at ZAGG Brands company for use by 360 Magazine

The Bodega

 On Saturday, June 12th btw 4PM-8PM, 360 Magazine will host our intimate immersive pop-up shop, which will be reminiscent of a traditional Bronx Bodega. This po-up shop is a collaborative effort to elevate our brand’s priorities in popular culture and design (PC+D). We are looking to collaborate with and highlight local businesses in the Bronx. 360 Magazine works with LGBT-friendly, community-based organizations.

This boutique and private shopping experience will be held at the #360TRAP Bronx workspace. The event will feature #AOHSOA Trunk Pieces and lifestyle choices, specifically designed for consumers to live their best PC+D lifestyle.

The pop-up will possess a carnival theme that babies and kids will love! The Bodega will feature creative activities and decors compatible with this fun concept. The event’s open bar will run for four hours and feature signature spirits of mixologists, as well as festive tapas. This event will be a privileged opportunity to reinforce brand awareness and network among target audiences and sponsors.This summer event will also be the precursor for World Blood Donor Day (6/14) and Armon Hayes‘ birthday (6/16).

cat illustration for the bodega by heather skovlund for use by 360 magazine

Feltman Brothers Baby and Toddler Clothing

With an Instagram following of almost 80K, Feltman Brothers consistently pulls out all the stops in posting beautiful photos of little ones wearing their distinctive collection of finely crafted, classic styled clothing and accessories. Playtime, celebrations, picnics, or summer christenings will all be comfortable, and memorable with Feltman Brothers summer selections for infants and toddlers.

From rompers and gowns to bibs and hats, the Feltman Brothers collections are the perfect choice for comfort and style, in classic designs that can be passed down for generations to come. Styles like the Vintage Smocked bodice Creeper and the Bobby Suits make for the most darling baby attire. Start the Feltman Brothers tradition with your family by visiting their website.

Feltman Brother's image via Frankie Shirley at HC-PR Group for use by 360 Magazine

Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib

Green Sprouts is a leading family brand that inspires healthy and natural parenting. Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib is the perfect way to keep your little ones clean and comfortable. Babies can rock this celebrity-loved, water-resistant bib at mealtime that limits mess and spill emergencies. In fact, Usher recently shared the most adorable Instagram post with his daughter Sovereign sporting the Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib

This waterproof baby bib neatly rolls up and snaps to store utensils or small snacks in the pocket while on-the-go. The bib’s contoured design moves with baby and stays in place while on-the-go. Furthermore, the fabric is soft, light weight, machine washable, and stain and odor resistant. Green Sprouts products are made without azo dyes, formaldehyde, or PVC for baby’s health and well-being. For more information, please visit Green Sprouts’ website HERE.

Green Sprouts' Snap-and-Go Easy-Wear Bib image via Kristen Ray at 5WPR for use by 360 Magazine

ATTITUDE’s Natural Care and Cleaning Products

ATTITUDE is the trusted eco-friendly brand that conscious consumers turn to for all their baby care, home, personal, and pet grooming needs. This all-natural brand is committed to overall wellness for people, animals, and the environment. With these all-natural, sustainable products, you can be sure that your baby’s sensitive body, skin, and hair are getting the gentle care they require.

ATTITUDE is reducing single-use plastic, offer zero waste options, and plant a tree for every product purchased in partnership with two leading non-profit tree planting organizations. The ECOLOGO-certified brand’s personal care and household cleaning products are safe, effective, and hypoallergenic. Natural ingredients make up all of the brand’s products, with offerings that reduce single-use plastic with plastic-free and bulk collections. ATTITUDE makes it easier to adopt a natural, eco-friendly lifestyle at any age while keeping things clean and sanitary.

2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash by baby leaves sold by Attitude Natural Care image via Lindsey Hytrek from ChicExecs Brand Development for use by 360 Magazine

The Luli Bebe Monaco Bag

Sophisticated, sleek and luxurious, The eco-friendly Monaco backpack-style diaper and travel bags by Luli Bebe are one-of-a-kind. Monaco’s easy-carry and durable design make it the perfect, fashionable companion for everyday on the go use, as well as for weekend getaway or longer travels. These beauties are now available in a variety of posh colors.

Spacious and voluminous, the Monaco bags come in two styles: a backpack, which also functions as a diaper bag, and a classic handle-bag design. The backpack comes in two sizes, original and petite, and can also be worn across a single shoulder or in as a cross body bag. The bags are made of soft vegan, stain-resistant leather and boast a lavish satin-lined interior. Monaco bags will keep all of your travel items and on the go family gear stored in padded luxury. A trip across the country or just down the road is more practical and stylish with a LuliBebé Monaco bag

the Luli Bebe Monaco bag image via Frankie Shirley at HC PR Group, for use by 360 Magazine
Child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Child Friendly Faith Project

Child Advocacy Group Highlights Abuse in Religious Institutions for Child Abuse Prevention Month

With National Child Abuse Prevention Month underway, the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), a national nonprofit that educates the public about religiously enabled child maltreatment, is raising awareness of crimes against children perpetrated in religious institutions.

The CFFP is also drawing attention to a dangerous court decision that could prevent abusive institutions from being held accountable and offering a valuable resource to parents and guardians to help them determine whether they should enroll or continue to enroll their children in certain religious institutions.

The little-known ecclesiastical abstention doctrine (EAD) guides courts in deciding First Amendment, religious matters. While historically the EAD has been raised in cases relating to claims of wrongful termination, in recent years religious schools facing lawsuits involving allegations of child harm have pushed courts to interpret the EAD very broadly to get cases dismissed. In one recent case, the Episcopal School of Dallas was permitted to ignore its own legal contracts with parents and the emotional harm suffered by a child never came to light.

Given this alarming legal precedent, parents and guardians of children who have been harmed by private institutions could lose their right to seek relief in court, while the institutions might never be held accountable.

Parents who have children enrolled in private, faith-based schools (or are considering enrolling them) should be aware of the potential harm posed by the EAD. With this in mind, CFFP’s campaign is offering parents valuable tips on how to determine whether they should enroll (or continue to enroll) their children in private, faith-based schools:

  • Determine whether the institution your child is enrolled in (or might be enrolled in) could claim to be faith-based. Some private schools have stretched the meaning of “faith-based” as a way to be shielded by the EAD in court. Even if an institution seems to operate in a way that appears secular, as long as a facility, school, program, or daycare operation can claim that it has some sort of faith-based or spiritual component, it could convince a court that it should be protected by the EAD and cannot be sued for child abuse or neglect.
  • Read the school’s contract carefully. Many schools specify in their contracts how legal issues must be resolved. For example, some require parents to agree to mediation. It’s important to know what legal recourses you’re agreeing to. However, be aware that if a case goes to court, the EAD does have the potential to make contracts of religious school’s moot.
  • Ask to see a school’s child-abuse prevention policies & procedures. Those that take abuse seriously and proactively develop and enforce comprehensive abuse-prevention policies are usually open to making these policies available and may even post them on their websites.
  • Research whether the school has a history of abuse allegations. Conduct an online search using the name of the institution and words such as “lawsuit,” “sued,” and “abuse” to determine if it has been accused of abuse or of covering up cases in the past. Be extremely wary if you find a pattern of abuse allegations, even if you do not find information about final court decisions.
  • Explore the educational programs of secular private or public schools. Children can receive a high-quality education and experience at many different types of schools. Consider the offerings of private secular schools or public schools, which would be unable to raise the EAD in court.

Recent abuse cases

The CFFP has previously exposed issues of religious institutional child abuse and offered support to survivors and affected families. An example is its efforts to make public the decades-long, egregious abuses perpetrated at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Recently, other cases have also made the news:

  • Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) — Last February, the SBC’s executive committee voted to expel two member churches for employing pastors who were convicted sex offenders. One pastor, who had been with his church since 2014, had pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a minor in the 1990s. The other pastor led his church since 2018, despite having been on Florida’s sex offender registry since 1993. In 2019, the SBC published a report on preventing and responding to cases of sexual abuse and later launched its “Caring Well Challenge” that calls on all SBC churches to adopt the report’s recommendations. Unfortunately, the program is voluntary.
  • Circle of Hope Girls Ranch — The owners and operators of this faith-based boarding school in Missouri face more than 100 criminal charges of sexual, physical and mental abuse of girls in their care. Their arrests came after their estranged daughter, Amanda Householder, posted social media videos of former residents talking about the abuse they endured. In an interview with a Missouri TV station, Householder said that victims had been speaking out since 2007. “Why did it take ten years for anyone to do anything?” she asked.

A dangerous court decision

While it’s heartening that these cases are receiving public attention, it is possible that they, and many more like them, could be dismissed thanks to a legal precedent set by a Texas appellate court in 2018. The case involved the Episcopal School of Dallas which invoked a common-law doctrine known as the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine” (EAD). The EAD provides guidance to courts when weighing in on First-Amendment, religious matters. However, in the Dallas case, in which a father alleged that his son had been wrongfully expelled and in violation of school policy, it was applied very broadly and used to shield the school from being sued.

In another case involving Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, a district court, in recognizing the EAD, threw out a lawsuit filed by a mother whose son had endured repeated racist bullying by other students. The mother wanted the school to hold the perpetrators accountable after the school had only demanded a written apology and suspended them for one day. Despite emotional trauma suffered by the victim, the judge agreed with the school’s claim that a court should not “intrude upon a religious institution’s management of its internal affairs and governance.”

“The EAD allows courts to prioritize a religious institution’s desire for secrecy and avoidance of accountability over the wellbeing of children,” said CFFP founder Janet Heimlich. “In cases in which organizations invoke the EAD, the public may never learn what abusive or neglectful actions took place, and parents may unwittingly enroll their children in those schools.”

To schedule an interview with a representative of the CFFP, an affected parent or a survivor of religious institutional child abuse, contact Jeff Salzgeber  through email or (512) 743-2659 cell.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP) is a national, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to end religious child maltreatment by raising awareness of this issue through educational programs that benefit the general public, survivors, professionals, and faith communities.

Toys for Tots illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots × Good360

Toys for Tots teams up with Good360 (again!), to Distribute One Million Toys, Games and Books to Families-in-Need

Toys for Tots announces the expansion of their year-round efforts to support those less fortunate by distributing one million toys, books, and games to families in need NOW.  While Toys for Tots is primarily known as a Christmastime charity, the organization recognizes there is still great need to provide emotional support and doesn’t want to wait until the holiday season to deliver hope to children in need.

As a Nation we’ve all been hopeful that the Coronavirus pandemic would be in our rearview mirrors by now, but the sad reality is that COVID-19 has had a long-term impact on just about every sector of our society.  Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, and in order to help combat that Toys for Tots has decided to distribute one million toys this spring and summer with a focus on toys that teach providing STEM-related toys.

We realize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, no matter how difficult things may be right now. That is why we are once again partnering with Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, and providing them with one million toys to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States to DoGoodNOW.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “Without the assistance of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots would not be able to distribute the one million toys we’re providing to families who are struggling outside of the holiday season.”

“With so many families struggling during the pandemic, Good360 is proud to continue the great work of our Marine Toys for Tots partnership,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “We’ve seen firsthand how toys, books and games bring joy to children and their loved ones served by our nonprofit partners and expanding our efforts will significantly increase the impact of our program.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership will generate greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since that time have distributed 1.8 million toys, games, and books.

If you’d like, you can donate to Marine Toys for Tots here

Popcorn illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Entertainment at Home: How to Spend Lockdown with Benefits?

The lockdown has ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. It is the perfect opportunity for you to be able to pick up a new skill. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are able to use the lockdown wisely, then you can surely benefit from it a lot. Use this to your advantage and spend a little more time with yourself. Who knows? By the end of this lockdown, you might evolve into an even better version of who you are now. Read on to find out all the various ways to spend your time productively during the lockdown.

Spending Time Productively in Lockdown

Learn to Cook

This is the time when you find yourself in close proximity to the kitchen the whole day. Ordering in might be a risky bet considering that it might provoke the spread of COVID. So, instead of ordering food from a delivery app, cook it yourself. Start with the simpler things at first like making tea, boiling eggs, etc. As you learn more every day, you can eventually take up cooking initiatives that you never imagined before.

Try New Things

This lockdown, try something that you normally wouldn’t. Spend your time picking up a new skill. There is an endless world out there. Take online gambling for instance. You can get 100 free spins no deposit in UK if you visit online casinos. In this pandemic, as people spend more time at homes, the popularity of online casinos has skyrocketed. More and more people are exploring the world of online gambling because it is thrilling and fun. So, go ahead and explore.

Read More Books

This is the ideal time to read a book. If you are not an avid reader, you might be depriving yourself of one of the most beautiful experiences in life. We all receive books as gifts on our birthdays. On most occasions, those books end up getting dragged to one corner of our shelf and keep collecting dust. Now is the time to get those books out and experience the beautiful stories they tell.

Bond with Family

We live in an age of preoccupations. Everyone is preoccupied with something or the other. Children are busy studying; parents are busy working. We are hardly able to make time for each other. However, the lockdown has changed it, even though temporarily. In the lockdown, a unique phenomenon has taken place. Every member of the family is under one roof. Children are getting to attend online classes and parents are getting to work from home. So, start spending more time with each other. Begin with the simpler things like eating at the dinner table together or watching a movie.

Exercise

You don’t necessarily have to go to a gym to work on your fitness. A free hand workout is the best form of fitness routine. The best thing about it is that it can simply be done at home. So, this lockdown, use the opportunity to work, on your fitness, from home. Go to the terrace, do some stretching. Do some crunches and push-ups. Use the extra time you get at home to improve your health because it will not only help you physically, but also mentally.

Meditate

A lot of people turn out to be rather skeptical when it comes to meditation. However, experts certify meditation to be a genuinely helpful habit. It can result in profound improvement of your mental health and stability. Even more so, in the stressful situation of the global pandemic, you need to calm yourself down. So, practice meditating. It can do wonders.

Watch TV

In the age of Netflix and Amazon Prime, we have gained access to a seemingly endless plethora of interesting shows on TV or computers. Some of the shows have thousands of episodes, each having a running time of at least an hour. Normally, you don’t get the scope to fully watch your favorite shows in the middle of work. Also, by the time you return home, you get too tired. Nevertheless, this is your chance. Switch on the television and watch something with your family.

Do Chores

Use the free time in your hand to perform household chores. Usually, we see the mothers and daughters of the house taking up this crucial responsibility, but why should the men be left out? Pick up the mop and duster. Go ahead and clean your place up. Get into all those remote corners of the room that you have never even looked at before. Reorganize the furniture. Give your humble abode a refreshing new look.

Make a Garden

Gardening can be an extraordinarily soothing way of passing the time. Plants take time to grow and flourish, but when they do, they teach you so much about how delicate life is. Gardening has proven to have hugely positive effects on mental health. An added benefit of doing this is not having to shop for fruits and vegetables outside. After all, you are locked down. You can’t visit the marketplace for buying your cooking ingredients. So, rather grow them at home.

Plan for Future

Since you have more time in your hand, you can concentrate on drafting a course of action for your future. Our lives revolve around various aspects. We have a family to take care of. We have careers to build. We have our own dreams to fulfil. This is the perfect chance of working them all out through meticulous planning.

Try Art

Have you ever explored the artistic side of your personality before? This is the ideal occasion for that. Pick up a paint brush and go ahead. It is also a highly beneficial mental exercise because it helps you work on your precision and focus. There are so many things to take inspiration from. Maybe, try your hand at some glass painting too while you’re at it.

Detox

Enough of indulging in vices, let this lockdown be a detox phase. Rid your body of all the toxins. No smoking and no drinking because, after all, you can’t even if you want to. All the stores are closed. So, might as well use this as a way of benefiting yourself. Use this lockdown to quit your bad habits.

Conclusion

So, we told you about many different ways of using your time productively in the lockdown. However, we saved the best for last. Here it is. As we said earlier, this lockdown offers you the chance to spend some time with yourself. That is very important. So, use this time to write a letter to your future self. When you spend time with yourself, there are thoughts and ideas that you stumble upon which you would normally never even comprehend. Before you end up forgetting them, write them down as a letter for reminding yourself in the future. Make yourself promises. Make your memories immortal. Get a pen and a piece of paper. Then, write your heart out. You will cherish it when the time comes.

Transgender illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

Parents Open Letter to Lawmakers

1,500+ Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth Condemn Anti-Trans Bills in Open Letter to Lawmakers

More than 1,500 parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — signed a letter imploring elected officials to oppose anti-transgender bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country.  

The letter — organized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council — was sent to elected officials Monday morning.

The letter comes in response to a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are currently more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of these discriminatory bills, 106 directly target transgender people, including efforts to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and prohibit evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender youth.

“Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: ‘You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power and you don’t,’” the parents wrote. “Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society.”

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and have access to medically necessary care, just like all children. These bills are cruel — and parents are not going to be silent when elected officials attack their children through discriminatory legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth impacted by these bills are among the most vulnerable to experience depression and engage in self-harm, including suicide. Legislators must realize the seriousness of this issue and remember that they were elected to lead — not call into question whether certain children have the right to exist, to be happy, or to live authentically.”

“As a trans person, I know what it means to have lawmakers try to write me out of existence — imagine being a trans child trying to cope with this reality. There is a coordinated attack on transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth being waged in state legislatures across the country and it is having a devastating impact on the mental health of kids, who just want to be kids,” said Jay Brown, Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Training. “Parents will not back down when it comes to protecting their children, and they will not tolerate their elected officials using their positions of power to harm and further oppress them. We will never give up hope that if people — including elected officials — hear from people at the center of the policy debate, and their loved ones, that their hearts will open, and their minds will change.”

The full letter is below.

April 12, 2021

Dear Elected Officials,

Many of you are sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for legislation that would force transgender children to participate in sports based on a letter on their birth certificate rather than who they are – or not participate at all. Some of you are also sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for bills that would criminalize best-practice, evidence-based, life-saving health care that transgender youth need (and deserve!) to thrive. 

Parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth like us have called you, sent you emails, and have showed up in the midst of a global pandemic to testify about how devastating these bills are…not only if or when they pass and become law, but also right now because, by whipping up a firestorm of attacks on our kids, they have already caused damage to our families.

Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. The fact that these bills exist at all—that the lives of our children are up for debate in any state in this nation—adds a layer of worry to an already fraught time. Let’s be clear: the impact of these bills goes far beyond sports and medical care; they call into question whether our children have the right to exist, to be happy, to live authentically. The answer is yes. They absolutely do.

We have shared studies with you explaining that trans youth are more susceptible to struggle with anxiety or depression, not because they are transgender but because of stigma and discrimination. You have heard that being able to participate in sports and being on a team with friends and classmates can improve their mental health. You have heard adolescents tell you how afraid they are of experiencing the wrong puberty or how terrified teenagers are of having their medically-prescribed hormones denied to them. 

This isn’t the first time. We tried telling you all of this a year ago before the pandemic thankfully cut many legislative sessions short and these bills floundered. After hearing some of these concerns last year, a senator in Missouri was quoted dismissively saying “We can’t be responsible for everyone’s mental health.”

We are pointedly telling you now that you actually are responsible for the mental health of these kids. We are holding you personally responsible for the amount of stress, anxiety, and fear our precious children are currently struggling with. We are holding you responsible for how some of our children are crying themselves to sleep every night, asking why so many people hate trans kids and want them to suffer. You are the reason they are asking to move somewhere where they will be protected, because their home doesn’t feel safe anymore with you in charge of creating its laws.

You were elected to your positions to lead. And leaders understand that in our great but imperfect system of government, we favor the concept of “majority rule, minority rights.” Leaders do not use their positions of power to harm and further oppress a struggling and hurting minority.

Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: “You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power, and you don’t.”

Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society. 

Here is a powerful quote from Nomi Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman, artist and performer, that we’d like you to take time to think about…

“The outside world will never truly understand the magnitude of the trans experience, especially that of a child who has an undying need to live in truth despite being ostracized for it. The only way for trans children to thrive is to allow them to live freely in the face of a society that abuses them for it.”

Stop abusing our kids by creating legislation that targets them. Kill these bills now and leave our kids alone.

Justifiably angry,

Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth