Thursday, October 06, 2011
Toddler beauty pageants are a perfect example of stage moms

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

A lot of people want their 15 minutes of fame. Watching auditions for reality shows like American Idol tends to show that. In addition, we have long known about parents who behave inappropriately at sporting events. They are supposed to be there for their children. In actuality, they are there for their own self gratification. They are trying to feel better about themselves by making sure their child is the best one on the playing field. Recently we have taken these two things to new heights. There have always been stage mothers who pushed their daughters into performance situations whether the daughters wanted to or not. The classic example is Mama Rose from the play Gypsy. Mama Rose was trying to feel better about herself by pushing her daughters to do things they did not want to do. This did not work well then for her and its not likely to work too well now. Despite that fact, stage mothers continue to exist. Unfortunately, mothers now have the chance to show their daughters off on television. There is a show on television that showcases beauty pageants for preschool children. The children get dressed up in a variety of costumes, wear makeup and perform in a talent competition. Most of the mothers think it offers an opportunity to showcase their daughters. In actuality it offers a good opportunity to show the wrong way to raise your daughter. There is no problem with a preschool girl playing dress up or imitating her mother putting on makeup. However, children of this age do not normally play beauty pageant because the typical pre-schooler does not care about those things. Their mothers might want you to think that they do. Children need to be children. They need to play things that are appropriate for their age level. We currently label toys and games with the appropriate age. Perhaps we need to start doing the same for things like toddler beauty pageants. Parents need to think about these kinds of things. They need to realize that it is not the child that they are concerned about. At that age, the child does not care one way or another. It is the mother who cares. She is living through the childs success. The question that these behaviors tend to raise in my mind is how bad the mothers self esteem actually is. She clearly needs to show off through her child. Perhaps what she really needs is to spend some time in the therapists office rather than at the next pageant.

Students honored for donating blood Blood Bank of Delmarva held four awards luncheons throughout Delmarva recently to recognize the 70 local high schools that contributed to the success of the 2010-2011 School Blood Drive Program. The luncheons, which also serve as the official kick-off to this years school program, are attended by students and school advisors who will play a major role in organizing high school blood drives this season. From September 2010 to May 2011, high schools and colleges hosted a record 130 blood drives resulting in 7,774 units of blood.That is up 3% from the previous record of 7,542 donations collected during the 2009-2010 school year.Each unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. When a school blood drive is successful, it is due in large part to the support of the school administration and the students. Students help coordinate blood drives at their schools by promoting the drive, scheduling donors, volunteering on the day of the drive, and giving blood, said Kelly Sakiewicz, Blood Bank School Blood Drive coordinator. In Sussex County the following schools took top honors in their region for the largest number of blood donors last school year: First Place: Sussex Technical High School Ð 178 donors, Second Place: Seaford High School Ð 147 donors, Third Place: Woodbridge High School Ð 144 donors.

Lecture for health professionals The 14th annual distinguished lecture series, Decreasing Fall Risk for Persons with Balance Disorders, for health professionals is Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Del Tech in Georgetown. The course is pending approval for .7 CEUs for physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and occupational therapy assistants in Delaware and in Maryland. The lecture will be presented by Dr. Susan L. Whitney, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA. Upon completion, participants will have an understanding of the physiological changes that occur with aging and how those changes impact function; the most current research related to falls and why falls commonly occur in older adults; various ideas for fall prevention that are effective in decreasing fall risk; and the newest interventions that are available. The course will be held in the Carter Partnership Center, Room 529 at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. The $145 fee includes handouts, continental breakfast and lunch. To register online or by phone using VISA, MasterCard or Discover, visit or call 855-1617.

Alzheimers Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals next Alzheimers Support Group meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m., at LifeCare at Lofland Parks first floor Resident Lounge, 715 E. King St., Seaford. This group provides support and information about Alzheimers and dementia to families, caregivers and anyone who is affected by this disease. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact LifeCare at Lofland Park at 628-3000, ext. 8302.

First Aid classes offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive. Classes are open to participants 13-years-old and up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing and skill practice. Cost is $30. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days before the class. Late registrations (if seating is available) will be an additional $5 fee. To register or for more information, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919.Pre-registration is required.

Safe Sitter Class at NMH Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is offering a Safe Sitter class for girls and boys ages 11 to 13.The 2-day course will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 8 & 10. The Safe Sitter program is a medically accurate instructional series that teaches youngsters how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children.The cost is $35. Participants are to bring a bagged lunch.To register your son or daughter or your childs babysitter, call 629-6611, ext. 2540. The goal of Safe Sitter is to reduce the number of accidental and preventable deaths among children being cared for by babysitters. Thousands of young adolescents across the country have been trained by Safe Sitter to handle life-threatening emergencies.

Stroke Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals next Stroke Support Group meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1:30 p.m. at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. Modeled from the American Stroke Association, the hospital is engaging with speakers to provide education, community resources and emotional support to those who have been affected by this life-altering event. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support, and allow for networking.Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Relay for Life fundraiser Dr. Marie Wolfgang is again sponsoring a 12 night Winter Getaway Cruise to the Southern Caribbean as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. on Feb. 10. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Lucia and St. Maarten (Philipsburg). Transportation to and from the dock is available. For a brochure, call or visit Dr. Wolfgangs office at One Cedar Ave. in Seaford, 629-4471. Space is limited.

Hospice hosts conference Delaware Hospices Family Support Center will hold a professional conference, Peace at Last:A Warriors Journey from Wartime to End-of-Life, with national speaker and author Deborah Grassman, RN, MS, NP, on Friday, Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Deborah Grassman has been a nurse practitioner with the Veterans Administration for 26 years and director of the VA Hospice Program for 15 years. She pioneered the identification of post-trauma effects on the quality of a persons dying process, as well as ways to effectively respond to issues that surface at the end-of-life. Registration fee is $99 per person and $75 per student. Seats are limited, so early registration is recommended. Application has been made for 6.0-7.5 contact hours for nurses, social workers, counselors, nursing home administrators and funeral home services. For more information or reservations, contact Vicki Costa, 478-5707, ext. 1129 or

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospices New Beginnings bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program.The location rotates each week of the month throughout Sussex County. New Beginnings luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required.There is no fee except the cost of your lunch. For more information, call Midge Dinatale or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Diabetes Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a free diabetes support group on Monday, Oct. 17 from 5 to 6 p.m., at the hospital. If you have diabetes, are you struggling to make positive behavior changes in your life or would you just like to share with others coping with diabetes? Come join our free support group for individuals with diabetes. Clara Dewey, LPTA, physical therapy assistant, will speak about Exercise and Diabetes on Oct. 17. There will also be a question and answer period. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Bike-a-thon riders fight cancer Ron Breeding is calling on Seaford residents again to join the St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital Wheels For Life Bike-a-thon slated for Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m., at West Seaford Elementary School. Volunteer workers and riders are needed for this Bike-a-thon to raise funds for the world famous research center in its battle against childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Were looking for riders who will contribute their time and talent to help children live. We really need lots of riders, since they are the ones who can make this bike-a-thon successful, Breeding said. In the Wheels for Life Bike-a-thon, riders ask sponsors to make donations based on each mile completed. All riders turning in money will receive a certificate. Those who raise $35 will receive a certificate and a special St. Jude T-shirt. When $75 is raised, the rider receives a sports bag and anyone raising over $150 will get a fleece blanket. Plans are being made to give a $100 savings bond to the top fundraiser. The Seaford Kiwanis Club will host the event for the 25th year by providing refreshments. Entry forms are available at all school offices, the Nemours Health and Prevention Office, and City Hall. Anyone wishing to provide a prize, sponsor a rider or participate in the ride, should call Ron Breeding at 629-3964.