Tag Archives: family

Politics matters to all of us. It shapes our lives

GET OUT THE VOTE: Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a campaign rally in fall 2015. Students and others in the community should get involved in the issues, write fifth-grader Diana Yaseen.
GET OUT THE VOTE: Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a campaign rally in fall 2015. Students and others in the community should get involved in the issues, writes fifth-grader Diana Yaseen.

MY FAMILY ANDDIANA-MUG I went to a rally for Bernie Sanders, who is running for president. He is a state senator from Vermont. It was loud — it was in a big auditorium, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, that seats about 8,000 people. My mom later said 6,000 came.

Bernie Sanders is older than I expected. I thought he was going to be a young man. He had a massive amount of energy but after a while I got bored and felt like falling asleep.

I saw a lot of signs being passed around. Some people made their own signs. There were bumper stickers and pins.

My mom, my sister, three strangers who became our friends, and I held up letters that spelled out “Bernie.”

I don’t think he saw us — his back was facing us.

A lot of people were cheering. One section cheered, “Feel the Bern!” Many of his supporters started this cheer by going, “Feel the—” and the crowd cheered back, “Bern!”

He said he wants to be president because he thinks he can help the community by making four-year colleges and universities tuition-free.

He said if the police do something wrong [police brutality] they should be sent to jail, not just let off the hook.

He also said he is in favor of gun control because guns are dangerous and are used to kill people.

I agree with him. But if you don’t that’s OK. The important thing is to start getting involved in the issues. You can help in your community in lots of ways, even without voting for president. But the best way to help others is to stand up for what you believe in and care about politics.

Right now the president is Barack Obama, a Democrat, who has served almost two four-year terms, and that’s the maximum. The next presidential election is Nov. 8, 2016.

I think people should care about politics because it’s going to build our future.

Fifth-grader Diana Yaseen is a Flow staffer. These are her personal views. We welcome reader letters reflecting a wide range of respectful opinions at letters@bseflow.com.

Principal, preschooler pause to ponder pups

BSE preschool student Alex Campbell interviewed Principal Joanne Giguere in September about her love for Labrador retrievers. Ms. Giguere’s chocolate lab, Gunther, can often be seen in the school hallways, visiting with students and staff.
BSE preschool student Alex Campbell interviewed Principal Joanne Giguere in September about her love for Labrador retrievers. Ms. Giguere’s chocolate lab, Gunther, can often be seen in the school hallways, visiting with students and staff.

Alex: How many dogs have you had?

Ms. Giguere: A big number, do you want to guess? Nine! I’ve had nine dogs. Gunther is number nine. That’s a lot, isn’t it?

Alex: Yeah! So here’s another one: What kind of dogs have you had?

Ms. Giguere: I have had mostly labs, like Gunther. They come in different colors. They come in black, yellow, and brown, and I’ve had all colors!

Alex: Well, that one that you do have, that’s Gunther, and he’s brown.

Ms. Giguere: He’s brown, and he’s a Labrador Retriever. He loves to go swimming, and hiking, and just loves to play. That’s why I love Labradors.

Alex: I’m trying to get a lab. I want to convince my dad to get me two of them.

Ms. Giguere: Two of them! What colors would you get?

Alex: Black and white.

Ms. Giguere: Perfect! They do have white ones. Every now and then you see a white lab.

Alex: Do you have any puppies?

Ms. Giguere: My yellow lab, Emma, had puppies once. They were all over the place! There were six of them; they were so cute. They were all yellow. I don’t have any puppies right now.

Alex: You should get a girl dog so they can mate, so they can get more babies.

Ms. Giguere: Well, that’s how you do it!

Alex: And then you should keep them!

Ms. Giguere: Keep them all? That would be a lot of dogs. That’s a great idea, I love puppies. They are just so cute!

Alex: Do you have a favorite kind of dog?

Ms. Giguere: I think that’s going to have to be labs. How about you?

Alex: Yup, I’m trying to get one. A playing dog: a lab, so I can play for a long time, for most of my day — play on a bunch of days off with him.

Ms. Giguere: That would be great, I hope you can do that.

Alex: Yup, and I’ll be cleaning up their poop.

Ms. Giguere: Yup, you’ve got to do that. And you have to feed them, and make sure they have water, and sometimes they need baths. And they love to play!

Alex: Yup! The part that I’m really going into is playing.

Editor’s note: We are delighted to bring you this piece sent in by Flow reader Maya Jalbert, BSE’s speech and language pathologist, and hope Alex gets his wish.

What to do when your older siblings are rude to you

Sibling logoDEAR AINSLEY: I am the youngest of three sisters. The other two are teenagers, and they seem to treat me like I don’t exist. They are really good friends with each other but basically ignore me most of the time and are even kind of rude. My mom says it’s natural. This really hurts my feelings because, well, for obvious reasons. What would you suggest? — Left Behind

DEAR LEFT BEHIND:  Find an activity or hobby that you and your sisters like and try to bond through that. Also, if they keep being rude to you, you should tell them that you don’t like how they are treating you. If that doesn’t work, talk to your parents about how it really hurts you and how they won’t stop.

I checked with school counselor Jana Standish to get her opinion. She agreed with me:

“It’s kind of normal but it sure doesn’t feel good. How about if that girl makes sure her friend connections are really good and gets herself invited over to friends’ houses. Having some activities to do always helps,” Ms. Standish said.

She also suggested your mom sit down with you and your sisters and have a talk. Meet with one sister at a time — only one at a time, Ms. Standish said, to keep the power situation even — and use an “I feel” statement. “I feel really sad when you call me names.”

If you need further help, Ms. Standish said, you can ask your mom.
She added: “Maybe once in a while they can take her along with them or do an activity together for a short period of time. A game or an activity for a few minutes.

“Here’s the deal with siblings,” she said. “It can be really rough at times. But when the chips are down and somebody really, really needs help or somebody’s hurt, siblings are almost always there for each other. Siblings often — not always — but often end up being really good friends.”

I hope your sisters start treating you better!
Your friend, Ainsley

Ainsley Bogel tackles sibling/family strife issues for the Flow. Ask her your pressing question at advice@bseflow.com.


‘You are more important to your parents than whatever they got divorced for

HARPERDEAR HARPER: This is very personal so I won’t give my name. I’ve never even seen anyone’s name except yours on these things so maybe that’s how it works. My parents are divorced and I rarely see my dad anymore. This makes me sad. Now my mom wants to marry her boyfriend, who actually is a cool guy and I have a lot of fun with him and his son. I just don’t want to never see my dad again, like if he gets his feelings hurt. That would destroy me. So I don’t know what anyone can say but there it is. — Anonymous

DEAR ANONYMOUS: I know this is tough but you can get through this. Talk to your mom. She can help you set up time to spend with your dad.

Always remember that your dad is in your heart even if you can’t be with him every day. Talk to your dad so he knows what’s going on with you. It’s important to spend time with both of your parents. It’s important that you let them know that.

This is new for ALL of you. It’s going to take some time to get used to it. From what you say, it sounds like your dad might need a little time alone at first before he is comfortable coming over to pick you up. You might need to give him more time to get used to it. Maybe you can tell your dad about your day with a daily phone call or email to keep him involved in your life.

It might be a good idea to ask your school counselor (if you have one) for their advice. I know that you are more important to your parents than whatever they got divorced for. They will want to help you.
I admire your bravery for asking about this. Tell me how everything goes.

Your friend,

Harper Brown is one of The BSE Flow’s advice columnists and its New York bureau chief. Got a question? Write advice@bseflow.com. Please include your name and contact information. We won’t print your name if you ask us not to.

Help clingy siblings make their own friends

Sibling logoDear Ainsley: I have a younger brother. He should have his own friends and interests but he’s always trying to take over when my friends are over, and my parents just let him. Even though I love him I can’t get away from him and he’s driving me nuts! What do you think? — Annoyed in Fifth Grade

Dear Annoyed: Whenever Eliza and I get annoyed at each other because of space we get together as a family and discuss a schedule for where we’ll be in the day. I think that might work for you too.

As for the issue of the friends, you should try and encourage your brother to make friends and hang out with them and not yours. You could also give him tips on making friends. If you’re new to the school, you can tell him to go up and introduce himself to that person and they might get off to a good start and become friends.
It may be that your brother feels shy without you or thinks of you as a role model and doesn’t know what to do without you. That might change as he grows up and he’ll be better at making his own friends.

My sister and I are very rarely good friends but sometimes we are goodish friends because we did things like these tips, so give them a try. You don’t have to have a younger sibling to have these problems.
Good luck!

Are you having problems with a brother or a sister? Are you, yourself, a problem child and need advice? Do you want to share a tip or trick you’ve picked up to make having a brother or sister more bearable? Or hey, do you have a story to share about how wonderful it can be to have a brother or sister?  Write Sibling vs. Sibling at advice@bseflow.com. Include your name and a way to reach you in case we have questions. We will not use anyone’s name in print. (To protect the innocent.)