Letter from the Editor October 2012

Kayla Mossien

Happy anniversary, PARENTGUIDE News! It’s time to celebrate 30 amazing years of providing parents with an informed resource on all things family. Since 1982, our countless directory listings (see this month’s coveted Birthday Directory), burgeoning website and important articles have helped tackle the toughest job on the planet: raising a wellrounded child. This month, as we proudly put on our party hats, we’re reminiscent of a time when things were different.

Join us in remembering an era when vaccines weren’t a topic of debate and flying cars seemed like a possibility in “Revisiting 1982.” Penned by associate editor Donald McDermott, the piece presents memorable moments of a year when Michael Jackson released Thriller and Bryant Gumbel, the first African-American to anchor a national news program, joined the cast of Today. No matter how different each of our pasts are, we can agree that the 1980s were a decade unlike any other.

We live in an increasingly technological world. It’s nearly impossible to walk down the street and not see people plugged in to iPads, smartphones and GPS devices. Similarly, the home is teeming with PCs, laptops, flat-screen TVs and advanced appliances— hello smart refrigerators! In school, kids connect to social networking sites, apps, videos and more. According to a 2009 survey from Child Trends Data Bank, 93 percent of children ages 3-17 have access to the Internet in their homes. And a 2010 study by NDP group indicates that 91 percent of children ages 2-17 play video games. Whether kids of the Net Generation is better or worse off than their predecessors, only time will tell. However, one thing is certain: Raising children today is a much larger feat.

Of course, technological advances have presented great opportunities for growth, especially for individuals with disabilities. Learn about technology’s role in special needs therapies in “Evolving Treatments.” Author Liz Matheis, Ph.D., tracks the progression of accommodations— social and academic— for children living with ADHD, autism, depression and other disorders. Also check out the feature’s sidebar, which outlines popular equipment for children with disabilities. The more developmental and enrichment opportunities available for our children, the brighter the future.

Speaking of what’s to come, take a gander at “The Next 30 Years” by associate editor Rachel Kalina. Although no one knows for sure what’s forthcoming, experts from various fields provide a solid forecast on where technology is taking us. National Geographic Kids and GE Appliances are among the top insiders who share insight on the topic. Whether you’re looking back or moving forward, being a parent today conjures the same memories, struggles and fears it did three decades ago. Just ask the publisher’s daughter, the muse for PARENTGUIDE News, who recently welcomed her first child into the world. Here’s to the next 30 years. And as always, stay happy and healthy.

Kayla Mossien