While most high-school social situations will not lead to violence, life can be pretty painful for kids who don't fit the norm.

In 2001, my 15-year-old sat staring at the TV, horrified by the coverage of the school shootings in Santee, California. "My God," she said. "That could be me." If you are ever faced with a similar scene, you may find the following suggestions helpful.

What to Say
The best thing that we can do for our adolescent children is talk with them honestly about shootings and violence in America. And then listen carefully to what they say back to us.

Teenagers like and need a lot of privacy, so they may not be willing to share many details of their personal lives. However, let them know you're available, and feel free to talk with them about your feelings concerning school shootings. Here are some examples of what you might say.

Sometimes good kids can be bad sports. Here are the words you need to talk with your child about sportsmanship.

Talking About Sportsmanship

FOR AGES: Six and up

Eight-year-old Alissa's soccer team is just about to lose its big game when you see her shove one of her opponents. The referee removes her from the game, and she sits sulking on the sidelines.

It's always upsetting to see your child behave like a bad sport. But you can turn these incidents into conversations about good sportsmanship. Give your child some time to cool off and then approach the subject in a neutral way.

Between the media and their peers, kids are constantly barraged with messages about sex.

For Ages: 4 to 7

Talking About the Birds and Bees

What do you do when your youngster asks, "Where do babies come from?" Whether your child's in preschool or elementary school, we've got sound advice on how to talk about sex. Just click on your child's age group:

Jerry Falwell was right: the Teletubbies are insidious, but not because they’re insinuating dubious ideas into the minds of one-year olds. The program is the culmination of PBS’s long drift toward commercialization.

"If Public Television doesn't do it, who will?" —PBS motto

Public television's pithy tag line is meant to have positive connotations—innovating, filling a void, performing a vital public service. But the slogan took on ironic overtones last year when it appeared on advertisements heralding the arrival of Teletubbies, the first television program ever broadcast in the United States for a target audience of children as young as 12 months.

Eh Oh!: Sure, the space tots are cute. But exposing 1-year-olds to too much TV and too many ads can be harmful.

The recent deal between Microsoft, Ragdoll Productions and itsy bitsy Entertainment Co. to develop interactive toys based on the hit television series, "Teletubbies," highlights our concerns about the unsettling alliance between children's television and merchandising. Ragdoll Productions and itsy bitsy Entertainment are the creators and distributors of "Teletubbies," which airs on PBS, the nation's federally supported public broadcasting service. PBS imported the program from Britain last spring, embarking on an aggressive, controversial campaign to market the program as educational for children as young as 12 months.

Dr. Susan Linn

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