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    Tomorrow my daughter will sit down with thousands of other children in New York State to take yet another standardized test. I know. I know, I could have thrown my hands up at the Common Core. I could have opted my child out of the math tests that will have no real immediate effect on her future. She will pass the third grade with them or without them.

    But I didn't opt my daughter out of the standardized math tests. I didn't opt her out of the reading or, as it's called these days, English language arts tests earlier in the month, even as a flurry of Facebook requests were sent in my direction to join in on National Opt Out Day.

    I did something else entirely. I told my daughter the tests don't matter. I don't care if she passes them or not.

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    Moms and Dads, how prepared is your kindergartner for college? Fairly prepared I hope, because 13 years is BARELY enough time to equip your son or daughter for university. Said no one ever. Oh, wait, someone DID actually say that. The principal of Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, along with four kindergarten teachers. They canceled this year's kindergarten play in order to "prepare children for college and career."

    Sadly, no. I am not joking.

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    Most parents would be completely thrilled if their child got into just ONE Ivy League college. That, for many, would be a huge deal. Now, what would you do if your child was accepted at not one Ivy League school but all eight of them? That's just what happened to Kwasi Enin, a New York high school senior. So, how did this happen?

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    I am all for coddling our little kids a bit. I mean, who wants their pre-teen to know about all the horrors this world has to offer. There should be some innocence, some wonder (if the Internet hasn't already killed it). But some people take the over-protective thing too far. A middle school in Lake County, Florida has banned teachers from giving out the grade "zero" because it is "overly negative to the student." They don't want the kids feeling bad about it. But shouldn't they?

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    A second grade teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Houston, Texas, is accused of writing grades on his students' foreheads with a marker. Students say he also writes grades on their arms as well. A district spokesperson confirmed this, as did the teacher who has been told to stop this shaming practice. Awful.

    Victor Jimenez, the father of this 8-year-old boy, was outraged when his son came home with a "B" written on his forehead for not finishing his homework. I don't blame him. Now Jimenez must find the lesson in this for his child -- teach him how sometimes even teachers do things wrong. It's something we all need to talk to our kids about.

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    Having a rewards system is something a lot of parents put in place to help kids learn. My friend and I were just speaking about potty training rewards and good behavior charts and how they really seem to work for some families. Once school starts, there is the honor roll, which seems like a great practice to get kids to strive for good grades. One school doesn't think so -- they ended their honor roll program for kids in grades 7 to 9 because they feared it was hurting the self-esteem of the students who don't make the cut.

    I can't help but feel this is just another way we are babying our kids. Students should be honored for their academic achievements -- some set personal goals to make the honor roll each year and, perhaps without it, wouldn't work so hard. But this school in Calgary says the students who do get the awards don't really care about them, and since it's hurting the pride of the kids who don't, they banned honor roll.

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    Now, I don't put much stock in those studies that claim birth order dictates any/all defining personality traits -- probably because I'm an only child, and all those studies say only children are completely self-centered and difficult to get along with, and did I tell you what I had for lunch today? What do you mean, you don't want to know?? Well you can just go and ... ha. KIDDING! 

    Anyway. Point is, I've always taken those birth order studies with a grain of salt, and that hasn't changed since I had kids. But one recent study gave me pause: Apparently firstborn kids perform better in school, and the reason is because parents aren't as hard on subsequent children.

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    Report card day is a tummy turner. For parents. For kids. How are you going to react? Will it be a smile? A grimace? Maybe you will react like the proud dad in the cutest video you are going to see today, possibly all week.

    A young boy who had been failing in math worked his rear end off to get his grades up, and the day his report card came, he set up a hidden camera to catch what would turn out to be possibly the coolest reaction any parent could have to their child's report card.

    Turn up your volume, grab some tissues, and watch how it all went down:

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    As parents, we try to do right by our kids. We want them to grow up to be smart and successful but, you know, in a balanced way. We want them to be confident but not cocky. We want them to be healthy but not vain over their physical abilities or appearances. Moral but not haughty, intelligent but not a smart aleck, yada yada, you get the picture.

    So we parents try our best to raise our kids, but there are some things even the best parents do that turn out to be ultimately bad for our kids. Think you’re doing everything right? Think again. Here are five things that good parents do that end up messing up their kids.

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    Does it seem like more and more parents are keeping their autumn-born children home from school for an extra year before they enroll them in kindergarten? It’s not in your head. Statistics show that more kids than ever are 6 instead of 5 when entering school these days.

    The rationale makes sense. Parents generally want to give their kids the best chance, right? Why not start them a year later when they’re in that questionable, when-do-I-start-them time frame?

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