Letters to the Editor

MARCH 30 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

A parent-child bond is more important than any text message

I pay close attention to parents with their kids. Lately, there appears to be less direct interaction between them, and more parental communication and “guidance” from behind cell phones and computers.

Recently, sitting on a bench outside a store at a local mall, I couldn’t help but smile at a little girl who was busily “practicing” the skill of shoe-tying. She sat across from me with her mother, completely absorbed in the task. Biting her lip, she worked on tying, then untying, tying, untying — while her mother texted on her cell phone.

Suddenly, she called out, “Mommy, look! I did it! I tied my shoe!” Grinning up at her mother, she waited with a totally open, shining face for her mom to acknowledge the hard work and mastery of this new skill.

Never breaking eye contact with her cell phone, mom absently replied, “That’s great, honey.”

The little girl persisted. “No, mommy, look. Look at my shoe!”

Still mom texted, now offering a less interested, “Uh huh, that’s great.”

The child’s joy evaporated, and for what? A text message?

I was a stranger, but I wanted to scoop up that child and tell her what an awesome job she had done, and I was very proud of her.

I regularly see otherwise great parents who are making a big mistake by parenting from behind their cell phones. Think about it: What validation does a child receive when she attempts to look into a parent’s eyes but can’t make contact because the Internet or a text message seems more important? Think hard, because that child — the one you think will be in diapers forever, or will never learn to talk, or is just so clingy — will one day be independent.

Strengthen the bond of your relationship now. Realize that you build the foundation of her self-esteem today, as she is learning to tie her shoes.

It won’t wait until you finish that text message.

PAULA TRACY

Biloxi

Our economy cannot survive another banking collapse

In 2008 the banking industry came close to total collapse because banks were forced to write loans for people who couldn’t afford to repay them.

That fiasco cost us dearly and we’ll be paying for it for years. No equity and 125 percent of equity loans were nothing more than graft payments or gifts to people with champagne taste with beer pocketbooks.

Last week, former Service Employees International Union leader Steven Lerner told an audience how unions and other groups could bring down Wall Street once again. In fact he told the audience he wouldn’t give details because there might be financial cops present.

Lerner knows what he is advocating is illegal and he and his buddies could face dire consequences for a plot against the nation. He also knows that President Obama is the SEIU’s best friend, and the president’s statements confirm that is true.

Having the president on your side weighs heavy on possible prosecution by his Justice Department, as he’s not about to send his friends to jail.

Another banking failure would put the nation into a depression, not another recession.

Wake up, or these greedy nuts will send the nation on a much faster downward spiral than they already have us on in this spending free-for-all.

Call you congressman and senators to request congressional hearings on this conspiracy to collapse the financial industry for special-interest greed.

FRANK G. ROSS SR.

Lumberton

Planned Parenthood clinics are built where need is greatest

In response to the letter assault on Planned Parenthood by Bill Blaisdell (“Surely, ‘most folks’ are not that gullible about Planned Parenthood,” March 11) and the rebuttal in Sound Off (“Return to the Dark Ages,” March 13), may I add some facts about Planned Parenthood and abortion:Planned Parenthood reports that abortion represents about 3 percent of its health services; 97 percent of its services consist of family planning and contraception, immunizations, and screening for cancer and HIV.

Mr. Blaisdell’s assertion that “chemical contraception” causes breast cancer is not proven. It is refuted by trials by Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experience (Women’s CARE) done between 1994 and 1998, as reported by WebMD. Beware of scare tactics.

Those health clinics Mr. Blaisdell complains about in poor and minority neighborhoods are there because they are needed to provide prenatal and nutrition care for mothers and babies. For every dollar spent, taxpayers will save about four dollars in Medicaid costs. Planned Parenthood saves about 1 million unplanned pregnancies a year, of which half would end up in abortion. It is hard for the pro-lifers and the Far Right to make the point that defunding Planned Parenthood would be good for the country and would please the deficit hawks. Defunding Planned Parenthood would severely impact the health of poor and rural women and does not make fiscal or common sense. One in five women will visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in her lifetime.

The Sound Off rebuttal describes it as “draconian” to cut off important services to the poor simply because you do not believe in it for yourself. A woman has her own reasons to terminate or not terminate a pregnancy, and it is no one’s business to judge her.

ELIZABETH CLAGGETT

Diamondhead

My child is living proof of the value of epilepsy research

As someone deeply affected by epilepsy, I am concerned about the Senate’s proposed $1 billion cut to medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

This will likely result in a $5 million cut in funding for epilepsy research.

It also includes a $50 million cut to the Health Resources Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Block Grant which includes Project

Access, an epilepsy program.

I strongly urge my senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, to oppose these spending cuts, especially those that impact epilepsy research and programs.

I am speaking as the mother of a son with epilepsy. Without the research into that disorder and the organizations that provide help and information about it, my son would be dead now. This is not an exaggeration. We need as many programs as possible to find a cure and to provide information and aid while that cure is sought. Please, help us!

ROXY TRAHAN

Saucier

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