Helping Kids Be Responsible, Happy, and Successful



When I was a teen, my mother believed in several old wives’ tales. One postulated that shaving increases the number of hair follicles causing hair to grow back thicker and darker. As a result of her belief, my mom prohibited me from shaving my legs. 

My hairy legs were a painful source of embarrassment that fueled in a horrific and ongoing battle between my mother and me. Then one day out of desperation, I asked my science teacher about shaving and hair growth. Based on scientific facts, he shot down the misguided wives’ tale.

I went home. I locked myself in the bathroom and I used my father’s razor to shave my legs. It was the beginning of a cataclysmic shift in my confidence in my mother’s edicts.

My mother was not a bad mother. There are many things that she got right. But the one thing I’ve always had difficulty excusing is the reality that many of my mother’s rules were based on superstitions handed down from generation to generation instead of facts. And, because my mom only surrounded herself with like-minded people, her superstitions were never challenged. She simply perpetuated them and made my life miserable while doing so.

Some people who have been privy to my upbringing have told me, “You need to forgive your mother because she did not know any better.” I never bought into that concept in the past, and I don’t buy it now.

Parents have a sacred responsibility to thoroughly research any decision that will have an impact on their children’s lives. And their research should never be limited to uninformed hearsay or uneducated opinions of the people in their limited sphere of influence. Fortunately, the internet makes research accessible and easy, so there is no excuse for parents “not knowing any better.”


The current raging debate about vaccinations comes to mind here. I’m not going to waste your time or mine by sharing my opinion about the subject. However, I am going to say that whatever you believe about vaccinations, you need to make darn certain that your belief is based on proven facts before you impose it on your child.

What does this mean? It means that you need to do your research, and your research needs to be approached with an open mind. If you are pro-vaccinations, delve into the credible research provided by reliable, professional sources that are anti-vaccinations. And if you are anti-vaccinations, research reliable, professional pro-vaccination sources.

Here’s a great guideline to follow. For every article that reinforces your opinion, read two articles that disagree with your opinion—and do so with an open mind. Anything short of unbiased research is completely unfair to your child.


Here are some questions that can facilitate your research about vaccinations. Just enter the questions one at a time into a search bar and see what comes up. Be sure to ignore personal opinions and blogs that are not backed up by concrete data.

  1. What is the origin of vaccinations?
  2. What is a vaccination and how is it intended to work?
  3. What, if any, are the side effects of vaccinating children?
  4. What, if anything, is the correlation between Autism and vaccinations?
  5. Why do daycare centers, preschools and schools require children to be vaccinated?
  6. Can parents be forced to comply with daycare or school requirements that children be vaccinated?
  7. What, if any, alternatives to vaccinations could eradicate serious diseases like polio?
  8. What are the proven statistics regarding the deaths and/or permanent harm related to vaccinated and non-vaccinated children? 
  9. Are vaccinations a Big Pharma scam?
  10. Can the FDA’s approval of a vaccination be trusted?
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Joy Berry

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