Drug testing

Book Review: The Ring Bear Depicts Turmoil of Becoming A Stepchild

In "The Ring Bear," a picture book by Tigard resident David Michael Slater (Flashlight Press, 2004), a single mother and her son, Westley, love to play rascally pirates. Like many single parents and their kids, it's clear the mom and her son are incredibly close: They've created their own fantasy world about Westley the Wicked and Mom the Mean.

Enter Stan, Mom's boyfriend, who sometimes comes aboard their ship but refuses to wear an eye patch and doesn't want to search for stowaways. Westley thinks it's okay if Stan comes on board, as long as he understands he's a visitor, not a real pirate like Mom and Westley.

When Mom tells Westley that she's going to marry Stan and wants him to be the ring bearer at the wedding, Westley staggers back to his pretend ship. He mistakenly thinks Mom said she wants him to be the "ring bear." Imaginative Westley assumes the role of Ring Bear and acts out his confused feelings about his mom's marriage. He snatches out of Stan's hands flowers meant for his mom; he pounces on Stan and Mom when they're watching TV; he hides in his bear cave and plots ways to wreck the wedding.

In this warm and beautifully illustrated book, children get a realistic look at how it feels to have a parent re-marry. Westley knows his mom loves him; but what about Stan?

Slater, author of Cheese Louise! and a seventh grade language arts teacher, does a great job of engaging both adults and children with this humorous book. The Ring Bear, like most picture books, ends happily: Stan dons an eye patch during the wedding, then Mom, Westley and Stan sail off together. While the happy ending may not reflect the cold realities of early stepfamily life, it will give stepchildren hope about the potential for feeling loved and accepted by a new stepparent.

Lisa Cohn, an award-winning writer, is co-author of "One Family, Two Family, New Family: Stories And Advice For Stepfamilies" To sign up for her free newsletter or read her articles, visit www.stepfamilyadvice.com.

In The News:

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. has confirmed that five of its 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fakes.
50 years ago today NASA’s historic Apollo 7 mission splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after spending almost 11 days in space.
A newly described fossil of an extinct mammal relative and her 38 babies is among the best evidence that a major development of the evolution of mammals was trading increased reproductive ability for bigger brains.
Days after legendary physicist Stephen Hawking's final paper was published, a great number of his prized possessions will go up for auction, including some of his most important papers, including his doctoral thesis, a copy of "A Brief History of Time" and the script for one of his appearances on "The Simpsons." 
It was said to be a "near-suicide mission," and a previous attempt saw dozens of men killed and captured by the Nazis.
Scientists may have made a major leap forward on the path to growing a fully-formed human brain in the lab. According to a new report published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, researchers at Tufts University have now grown a 3D tissue model of the brain using human neurons, providing them with a better opportunity to study abnormal brain cells.
A 100-year-old letter from World War I has been unearthed, with the finder noting it is a "beautiful and special letter."
Graphic photos show a pair of great white sharks devouring a whale in Cape Cod Bay.
A deep -sea cucumber known as a “headless chicken monster” has been filmed in the Southern Ocean for the first time using camera technology developed by Australian researchers.
Billionaire Clive Palmer’s Titanic II project will open its European headquarters in Paris rather than London because he wants the office in Europe.

They Call it Puppy Love

My son is 6 yrs old. He came home the... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Kids

Having a high level of emotional intelligence in your children... Read More

Get Down (On The Floor!) And Play With Your Children

When was the last time you and your kids rolled... Read More

Top 5 Characteristics of Good Leadership to Instill in Our Home School Children

I am sure that this list can be jogged and... Read More

Building Self Confidence

Several similar terms describe the central attribute of a character... Read More

Twin and Multiple Births are on the Rise

Did you know that the number of twin births have... Read More

A Place For Everything: Its Childs Play

What parent hasn't gone into a son's or daughter's room... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Trust Issue

Q. How do we decide what our teens should be... Read More

Break Free From Power Struggles

You want your daughter to wear a dress to the... Read More

Drinking and Driving: Will Your Child Become a Statistic?

Just two days ago, another 15-year old child was added... Read More

Building Your Childs Self-Esteem

According to researchers, most children enter school with a good... Read More

You Goofed? Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Certainly we all want our children to excel. But it... Read More

Children are People, Not Machines

When growing up, my father frequently reminded me to "pay... Read More

The POWER of Your Words

Words are truly powerful things. They are something that becomes... Read More

Helping Your Teen Get Back to School With Clear Skin

Backpack? Check. Notebooks? Check. Ink-pens? Check. Clear Skin? Mommmm!If you... Read More

How Many Sex Offenders Live On Your Block?

For any parent, learning that a convicted sex offender lives... Read More

Are Public Schools Anti-Parent?

Some public schools try to turn children against their parents... Read More

Parenting - The Irrational Vocation

There are some grounds to assume that a cognitive dissonance... Read More

My Children

I have been a single mom for almost 20 years.... Read More

Challenges for Our Children

Researchers have estimated that 25-35% of children in the United... Read More

Family Meetings Are Now On The Agenda

"Not another meeting!"That tends to be the reaction from many... Read More

What Do You Do When Your Child is Smarter than You?

We adopted our first child when he was three months... Read More

Psychological Effects of Child Abuse

Many children who suffer from the psychological effects of child... Read More

Teenagers Taking Risks

It can be hard being a parent with a teen... Read More

The Secrets To Improving Childrens Behaviour

Most parents at some stage are driven to distraction by... Read More

induction street lighting induction street light fixtures Pete's produce ..