Thursday, October 01, 2009
Current events present us with unique parenting opportunities
By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Parents have many opportunities to train their children and should always try to set a good example. Training can also mean discussing a topic that has a lesson associated with it. Recently, there have been several excellent opportunities for parents to take advantage of showing their children the right and wrong way to behave. A congressman recently called President Obama a liar in a public place. That was inappropriate behavior. The moral lesson is "Praise in public, chastise in private." We should not only teach our children that lesson but also follow it. We should never lose an opportunity to praise our children in public. What was even sadder was that many people decided to contribute money to the congressman's campaign. That doesn't say much for them. We had the example of a tennis player throwing an inappropriate fit in the middle of a tournament. The moral lesson is "it is not whether you win or lose; it is how you play the game." Competition is healthy but losers also need to be graceful. We had the rap star who thought he was allowed to express his personal opinion even if it embarrassed someone else in public. The moral lesson here is "children should be seen and not heard." His behavior was so childish that even a five-year-old would likely know better. Then there was a sports fan that vandalized a player's house after the home football team lost a game. They tried to blame the entire loss on one individual. I guess they didn't realize that unless your team scores a touchdown every time they get the ball and the other team scores no points at all, you can never blame it on one bad play. The moral lesson here is "the end does not justify the means." All four of these examples clearly represent immature behavior and can likely be traced to the lessons these individuals learned while growing up. They all felt justified in their behavior. This is an opportunity for parents to sit down with their children and explain why each and every one of those incidents should never have happened. This is an opportunity for parents to explain to their children why they should not grow up to behave like that. The good news is that during this same period, we had an example of exactly how to behave as a parent. It involved a Phillies fan who caught a foul ball. He gave it to his young daughter who promptly threw it back. After a moment of disbelief, his face lit up in a big smile and he gave his daughter a big hug. That is the kind of behavior that we need to have. As parents, we should ask ourselves if we would have loved our children enough to have behaved the same way as that father did. If not, maybe we are the ones who need to learn the lessons.

Hospice offers Grief Support group Delaware Hospice is offering an eight-week group meeting for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one. The group will meet Wednesday afternoons from 5 to 6:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 14 through Dec. 2, at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, 801 Middleford Road, Seaford. Find out what normal grief "looks" like; learn about the "tasks of mourning;" identify your coping style and develop coping skills that feel right for you; share as much or as little as you would like. This activity is provided free to the public by Delaware Hospice; however, registration is required. For more information and to register, call Paul Ganster at 302-357-7147.

Hospice offers special workshop Delaware Hospice invites area children and teens who have lost a loved one to a New Hope Holiday Workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Participants will complete a holiday ornament in remembrance of their loved one, learn helpful coping skills to deal with the upcoming holidays, and meet other children who have had the same experiences that they have. The Holiday Workshop is free and open to the community, thanks to the generous support of donors and volunteers. Registration is required. To register, call Lezley Sexton, 302-856-7717, ext. 3104, by Oct. 19.

New bereavement support group A new bereavement support group will begin at Nanticoke Cancer Care Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. Compassionate Care Hospice's Bereavement Coordinator, Mary Van House, will facilitate the monthly support group called, "The Next Step," in the conference room on the second floor of the Nanticoke Cancer Center. This group focuses on issues of loss that continue beyond the early stages of grief and is open to family members and friends who have lost a loved one to cancer or other causes. The group will continue to meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. To register for this free program, call Lisa at 629-6611, ext. 2378. For more information, call Mary Van House at 302-934-5900.

Family and Friends CPR course Peninsula Regional Medical Center is offering a "Family and Friends CPR" course from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the Avery W. Hall Educational Center on the Peninsula Regional campus. The course is designed for all lay rescuers (grandparents, family members of patients at risk for heart attack, and those who want to learn rescue skills for loved ones) who want to learn CPR but do not need a course completion card. This one-time, three hour course teaches rescuers skills in CPR and relief of foreign body airway obstruction for adults, children and infants. The fee is $25. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 410-543-7126 or visit the Classes and Events section of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center website at for online registration.

Youth rehab lecture offered Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, athletic trainers and gym instructors will benefit from attending the 12th annual Distinguished Lecture Series at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year's topic, "Treating the Young Athlete," will provide clinicians with an evidence-based approach to the evaluation and treatment of injuries related to young athletes. More children are participating in organized youth sports. These younger participants are being exposed to new movements and musculoskeletal patterns that are leading to both acute and chronic injuries. Presenter Dr. Jeff Konin is a licensed physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer who has written several textbooks and given numerous speeches on sports medicine topics throughout the world. The seminar fee of $135 includes handouts, a continental breakfast and lunch. For more information or to register, contact Delaware Tech's Corporate and Community Programs at 302-854-6996.

Pampered Chef to benefit Hospice Delaware Hospice will benefit from a Pampered Chef fundraiser cooking show, organized by Karen Rogers, Pampered Chef senior consultant, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, on Monday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. Delaware Hospice will receive 25% of sales exceeding $600 to benefit its programs and services to the community, including additional 10% bonuses at various sales levels. Orders to benefit Delaware Hospice will be accepted through Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. Orders specifying "Delaware Hospice" may also be placed at For more information or to register for the event, call 856-7717.

Depression Support Group There will be a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call Life Matters Counseling and Consulting at 302-465-6612.

MS offers videoconference Thanks to live videoconferencing technology, members of the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society can stay close to home and still take part in the chapter's annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Ammon Medical Education Center on the campus at Christiana Hospital in Newark. For the first time, the videoconference will include participants at a satellite location at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. Like the participants in Newark, Sussex County residents who attend the satellite location will also receive lunch, take part in the chapter's annual meeting and recognition awards ceremony, and enjoy a client-focused discussion about MS research. Cost is $5 per person, and anyone who wants to attend must register by Friday, Oct. 9 either online at or by calling 302-655-5610.

Seasonal flu shots offered It's time to get your seasonal flu shot. Influenza is a serious disease that affects many people, including the elderly and those with serious, long-term health problems. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be offering seasonal flu shots to individuals 18 and older at Nanticoke Occupational Health, 743 Shipley Street, Suite F, Seaford, from: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 14, Oct. 21, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4; and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Fridays, Oct. 16, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, and Nov. 6. Cost is $10 per adult. Medicare Part B billing is available with proof of Medicare insurance. Pre-registration is required. Call Nanticoke Occupational Health at 629-6875 to pre-register and schedule an appointment.

Hospice offers volunteer training Compassionate Care Hospice volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and are inspired for a variety of reasons but they all have one thing in common: they all start out by participating in specialized training that teaches them that hospice work is about quality of life, not just the end of life. The next such training will be offered in Lewes and Seaford in October. Two graduates of the training, Cass Jones and Dottie Cirelli, were recently honored for having the most hours at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at the Baywood Clubhouse Restaurant. Jones and Cirelli are both retired. Jones worked in nursing for more than 40 years and Cirelli worked as a psychologist and a manager at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C. Each was first introduced to hospice when a family member received hospice care. Compassionate Care Hospice volunteers work according to their schedule and preference. They can work in either the patient's home or in the office. For more information about becoming a volunteer and exact locations and times of training, contact Felicity Lavelle at 302-934-5900 or