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Posts Tagged ‘phthalates’


We could argue over Phthalates.  Disagree about estrogen receptors.  Parabens, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, 1,4 dioxane, synthetic fragrances?  I’m sure someone out there will fight on their behalf.


You could make yourself crazy reading all the literature.  There are plenty of studies supporting booths sides of the argument.  So, why go there?


I’ll tell you one thing you can’t argue with: that natural, organic skin care products are bad for you.


So, if you KNOW that natural skin care products that avoid these chemicals are safe.


And you KNOW that you can find them easily at the store or online.


And if they DON’T even cost anymore than department store products…


Then why not use them?


It is like this:  there are two bags of dog poop.  One bag is totally safe and 100% guaranteed to not break.  The other bag is promoted to be safe, but studies say there is a chance it will break.


Which bag are you going to choose?


That’s what I thought…


So, if you don’t want that cr&p touching your hands, why would you want it to touch your face?


($14 in the swear jar and counting)



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For the last three days I have been in Northern California visiting family and friends. On the plane ride out I finished a fascinating book called Boys Adrift by Dr. Leonard Sax. If you don’t know by now, I have three boys ages 5, 8 and 10. My middle son’s struggle with school prompted me to get the book, but what I learned shed light on so many other things I had seen in my extended family: unmotivated boys.



While catching up with my California friends, the conversations started sounding very familiar. This brother doesn’t have his act together; this boy cousin still doesn’t have a job; this brother moved back in with his parents. What the heck is going on? It almost seems normal now that boys are floundering, socially delayed and unmotivated.


In Boys Adrift, Sax talks about five factors that are affecting our boys:


1. Changes in School.


Today’s Kindergarten resembles 1st grade 30 years ago and this push is leaving boys feeling dumb and giving up on school. There is a “feminization” of learning. Competition is absent, which is great for girls, but leaves many boys without motivation to succeed.



HOLY TOLEDO! Can I relate to this! My 7-year-old struggled last year to keep up with the reading. He was embarrassed to be in the “green group” (i.e. the slow readers…made up of all boys) and called himself “stupid.”


When confronting my 4th grader why his reading grade went down he responded, “I hate reading now. She makes us read dumb girl books.”


Both boys complained about PE – shocking, I know – but it became clear when I uncovered what was going on. The PE teacher said the boys were too competitive so they couldn’t play any games where there were winners and losers. AH HA!


2. Video Games


This is pretty obvious. The games are so realistic and so violent boy are getting their “testosterone fix” without leaving the house. The real world feels disappointing.


One look at this picture I took on my cell phone should put it all into perspective for you. This is my 5-year-old who had been told he could not play until it is 9am. It is about 8:30 and he would rather lie on the table, Nun chuck in hand, for 30 minutes than play with blocks. I almost peed in my pants laughing, but after reading this book I am frightened he may be living with me forever…



3. Medications for ADHD


This was one of the most fascinating sections so read. Studies in rats suggest that the stimulant medicines can damage the part of the brain that controls motivation. Rats were forever lazy and unmotivated after taking ADHD drugs. So, conventional approaches such as “lets just give him the drug and see if it works” can be scary!


4. Endocrine disruptors



Numerous studies have shown how the phthalates contained in plastics are having damaging effects on our kids. These chemicals mimic estrogen in humans. The result is a feminization of boys and more male private part abnormalities at birth. On the flip side, it looks like this is contributing to girls going through early puberty.


Hummm…..I have three boys and one of them had to have minor surgery on his “goods.” Coincidence? Maybe not…


5. Lack of Male Role Models


With divorce on the rise, more boys are being raised by their mothers.  We also see less extended family involvement.  So where do boys turn to for role models?  TV, video games, gang leaders.


So, what do you guys think of this?  Are you seeing any of these trends in your families?  I was amazed at how many things I could relate to!


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