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What Kids Learn From Chores PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 December 2012 14:37
(or More Proof That Suffering Builds Character)
By: Dr. James G. Wellborn

Like so many parental expectations and requirements, getting your kid in the habit of doing chores will help prepare them for the real world (if you can ever get them to move out).

Here are some of the benefits kids derive from assigned chores.

• Responsibility (or “I’m not your maid.”) When you make a mess YOU are obligated to clean it up.  The most straightforward reason your kid needs to do chores is to drive the point home that he is responsible for his actions in the world (and the messes he makes).

• Personal Obligation (or “You helped create this mess now get up and help clean it up!”) When you live with other people, you’re obliged to contribute to the general upkeep of common living areas.  Chores help your kid learn to pull her own weight when it comes to keeping shared spaces clean (so she doesn’t end up moving back home because even her friends consider her a slob).

• Organization and Prioritizing (or “You had plenty of time to get that room clean.  You can just forget about going anywhere till it’s done!”) Chores are unpleasant for most kids.  Unfortunately, life is filled with unpleasant but necessary tasks.  Chores provide the chance for your kid to practice making time for necessary evils like routine maintenance in their schedule of otherwise fun or meaningful activities.  This helps them learn how to plan, organize, prioritize and suffer.

• Sensitivity for others (or “Just because it doesn’t bother you to wallow in filth doesn’t mean I’m going to live in a pig sty!”) It isn’t crucial that things be straightened or cleaned.  Exposure to germs and disease can help build the immune system (if it doesn’t kill you first).  But, there are some things you do because it is important to someone else (like, say, a spouse or the health department).  Chores provide your kids with a clear message that the world doesn’t revolve around them and they need to take others’ feelings and sensibilities into consideration.

• Pride in a job well done (or “You call that done?  Get back in there and finish cleaning that room.”) It is important to take pride in even the most insignificant tasks.  Chores help your kids learn that every task, however base, is an opportunity to work their hardest and do their best.  (The expression on their face when you feed them this line is priceless.)

• Self-sufficiency (or “Why do I have to tell you every single time to replace the trash bag after you take out the trash?”) OK, this reason really isn’t that important.  If your kid needs a lot of practice before he can skillfully take out the trash or sweep the floor, you have much bigger challenges than getting chores done.

Like so many time-honored parental expectations, household chores have a value more significant than the practical issue of household maintenance.  That said, what is the most important reason kids should do chores? 
Because you said so, of course.

About Dr. James G. Wellborn

Dr. James G. Wellborn is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Brentwood, Tenn., focusing on adolescents and families.  He is the author of the book Raising Teens in the 21st Century: A Practical Guide to Effective Parenting that includes a chapter on getting teens to do chores along with strategies for addressing 78 other typical teenage issues.  You can learn more about Dr. Wellborn by visiting his website at

Members Re-elected to Iowa State Fair Board PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 17 December 2012 14:11

DES MOINES, IA (12/13/2012)(readMedia)-- Members were re-elected to the Iowa State Fair Board of Directors during the State Agricultural Convention held December 7-9 in Des Moines.

Directors re-elected to two-year terms and their districts are James Romer, Ames (north central); Paul Vaassen, Dubuque (northeast); Gary VanAernam, Exira (southwest); Jerry Parkin, Earlham (south central); and Gary McConnell, Bloomfield (southeast).

Delegates from six geographic State Fair Board districts elect two board members each for a total of 12 directors. All terms are staggered two-year terms.

Other directors include Bill Neubrand, LeMars (northwest); Alan Brown, Hampton (north central); John Harms, Monticello (northeast); C.W. Thomas, Guthrie Center (southwest); Randy Brown, Osceola (south central); and Bob Schlutz, Columbus Junction (southeast).

McConnell, A. Brown and Romer will serve the Board as president, vice-president and treasurer, respectively.

Directors by office held are Governor Terry Branstad (represented by Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds), Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey (represented by Jay Johnson), and Iowa State University President Dr. Steven Leath (represented by Dr. Chuck Morris, director of 4-H Youth Development at Iowa State University).

Nothing Compares to the 2013 Iowa State Fair August 8-18. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or check out

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School collecting postcards in remembrance of the 1.5 million Jewish children PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Deb Bowen   
Thursday, 13 December 2012 13:20

The children of Danville (Iowa) schools are collecting postcards in remembrance of the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust.  They would like people to send cards from all around the world.  Anne Frank collected postcards so she inspired the children in Iowa who just launched this outreach a week ago.  It's all new!

Also, two students from Burlington (Iowa) wrote and illustrated a children's book for a collection called A BOOK by ME.  It's called Oceans Apart and it tells the story of Anne having a pen pal from Danville named Juanita Wagner.  The original letters Anne sent her (also letters from Margot Frank to Juanita's older sister Betty Ann and a final letter from Otto Frank letting the girls from Iowa know his wife and daughters perished in a concentration camp) are in The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The details of these two Holocaust educational projects can be found on my website at  The icon of Anne Frank at the top will take you right to a platform which explains the projects and offers advanced book sales.
Happy holidays and thank you!

Rep. Morthland Statement on Conceal-Carry Circuit Court Ruling PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 13:49

Moline, IL…State Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova), a co-sponsor of Illinois’ Concealed Carry Bill (HB 148), released the following statement following the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordering the State of Illinois to provide a framework for a conceal-carry law:

“The time for Illinois to end its shame as the only State in the Nation where the right to lawful self-protection in public is overdue and yesterday's court ruling on concealed carry in Illinois proves it.”

“Today, I urge my colleagues in the House and the new incoming legislators to pass comprehensive conceal-carry legislation. With this legislation, we need to both ensure compliance with the Federal courts mandate while providing a framework that fully supports our guaranteed constitutional rights.”


Governor Quinn and Lt. Governor Simon Hold State’s Annual Hanukkah Celebration PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 09:04

Light Menorah, Celebrate Holiday with Jewish Community Leaders  

CHICAGO – December 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today were joined by state legislators, Rabbi Avroham Kagan and Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz of Chabad Illinois and other leaders of the Jewish community for the state of Illinois’ annual Hanukkah celebration. The governor and lt. governor led the group in lighting the menorah to commemorate the third night of this special holiday.

“Hanukkah is a joyous holiday that brings friends and family together in celebration,” Governor Quinn said. “I wish those celebrating in Illinois a happy Hanukkah, and hope everyone in our state has a safe holiday season.”

"This is the time of year when we all gather with our loved ones to celebrate our blessings. I would like to wish a happy Hanukkah to those who will light the menorah tonight, and a happy and healthy holidays to all," Lt. Governor Simon said.

Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, as well as the triumph of light and purity. When the Jews tried to purify the Temple upon reclaiming it, there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day instead of the necessary eight. Miraculously, this small amount of oil lasted all eight days, which is why this holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights.


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