Monday, December 17, 2012

National Ice Cream DAY!

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

National Ice Cream Day was this past Saturday, December 15th!  At the Padgett house, it is honored each week with a trip to our favorite Yogurt Hut.  There, we barrage our three year old with questions, which mostly receive blank stares, along with the occasional insight to the three year old brain-those insights we treasure like gold.   

My hopes are that this weekly trip to the Yogurt Hut does not make us too "fluffy", but also continues through out her life.  The general process will probably be the same-lots a questions with little response but the engrained value of "we love you and we are listening" never stops.  Visit the Parent Portal to learn more about talking; it is definitely more pleasant with a large waffle cone of ice cream!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

“Men, Never Give Up on Your Children”

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit my father in Philadelphia. This year, we were not only celebrating Thanksgiving, but we were also celebrating my recent graduation from the University of South Carolina. Go Gamecocks! During dinner, my father made a very important speech that has stayed in my mind since the moment he made it. He said to all the fathers in attendance, “men, never give up on your children and definitely never leave them. Our children need us more than we know and it is our job and responsibility to let them know that we are here.” My father has been around for six decades, so I know he was talking from experience and from the harsh reality that he sees everyday on the streets of Philadelphia. This simple, yet profound statement stayed in my head for the remainder of my trip, “men, never give up on your children.” Even though my parents have been divorced for two decades, my father has always played an active role in my life and truly helped me become the woman I am today.

On the plane ride home, I began to think about all of the children who do not have a father in their lives. This truly saddened me because I do not know what life would be like without having my Dad. My father’s speech also made me think about all of the teen mothers who are currently raising their child in a single-parent household and all of the teenage males, especially African American teen males in South Carolina, who are at risk of becoming teen fathers. Research shows that “African American males are more likely to become teen fathers than white males”1,2. Additionally, 79% of African American high school males have engaged in sexual intercourse3. To this teenager, it may only be sexual intercourse, but that act alone has the potential to start a new life.

I believe there is a time and place for everything. My parents were ready for a child. They were married and doing well in their respective careers. Pregnancy can complicate your life, especially if you are a teen and especially if you are not prepared for it. So, I believe it is very important for our young people to abstain from sexual intercourse or for those who are sexually active to protect themselves, so my father won’t have to reflect on the heartfelt reality that he sees every day. I can honestly say that if my father did not practice what he preached, I may not be Dr. India Dorothy Rose today!

by India Rose, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

1. Thornberry, Smith & Howard. (August 1997) “Risk Factors for Teenage Fatherhood.” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol 59, No3, pp 505-522.
2. Manlove, J; Terry-Humen, E; & Ikramullah, E. (2006) “Young Teenagers and Older Sexual Partners: Correlates and Consequences for Males and Females.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Vol 38, No 4, pp. 197-207.
3. Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2011). Available online at

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Most of the time I am up to date with slang terminology.
Example: Vamping. To be up late at night. Derived from the word Vampire.

Then I started to see YOLO on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Finally someone told me it means You Only Live Once.  Very similar to a quote we used to throw around in college. “You only live once, but once is enough if you live right.”

Looking back I had no idea what right was, but it sounded good. So now, it’s 23 days until 2013.  Meaning 23 days to write my YOLO List. Previously known as my 30 before 30 list or simply my New Year’s Resolutions.

Now, past the age of 30, I feel like having a time limit adds unnecessary pressure. So I was thinking, “How can I start 2013 off with a bang?” As usual, I put the list to the side to work on later and then I got an email from a dear friend ten-thousands of miles away. It read, “ I am coming to visit you! –Shimai” Shimai is sister in Japanese.

This year, I’ll joining thousands people from around the world in Time Square. Joining me will be my cousin and my dear friend Atsuko. It’s her first time to this country and I am elated to show her my 2 favorite cities. New York City and my hometown, Chester, SC. So if spending your favorite holiday with two of your favorite people in one of your favorite cities, I think 2013 has it’s official YOLO stamp of approval.

by Meredith Talford, Upstate Technical Assistance Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Santa's List Day

Wish List: Love, Respect and Honesty….and maybe a new Kate Spade tote
It’s that time of year again…the time of year when teens start writing their Christmas wish list. Most of which will include a new iPad or the latest digital camera.  However these lists will fail to include some basic needs of young people. These needs often go unspoken but if left neglected, will ultimately impact the future of our youth. So here is my wish list for young people:

1) LOVE: I am not talking about the kind of love that you feel when you open up a new iPad, I am talking about real unconditional nonjudgmental love.  This kind of love is self-less and desires your best interest. In an effort to keep a young person’s best interest in mind, sometimes real love has to say no. I will never forget the time that I wanted to go to an un-chaperoned party in high school, my mother refused to let me go because she knew that it was not in my best interest. Even though I was completely angry and upset, looking back my mother exemplified the meaning of real love. Too often young people don’t see real love in their lives and therefore don’t know how to identify it in their own relationships. 

2) RESPECT: Respect must be earned through behavior and actions. Young people must understand how their behaviors impact others and must understand how to carry themselves with dignity and respect. Young people need to feel respected by adults and feel that they are valued. Even though opinions of young people greatly vary from opinions of adults, it is still important for young people to feel like their opinion is valued and respected. Growing up, my mother thought I was crazy to want a leather bomber jacket for Christmas one year; the coldest it gets in SC is about 50 degrees and I had no need for a leather bomber jacket. However because she respected my individuality and wanted me to feel heard, she took me to get a leather bomber jacket so that I could be just like my all-time favorite movie star, Tom Cruise in Top Gun (don’t judge me). This sounds ridiculous and I seriously looked ridiculous wearing a leather bomber in 70 degree weather but my mother showed me respect by valuing my opinion.

3) HONESTY:  Young people want to have open and honest conversations with their parents and trusted adults about love, sex and relationships. Young people have the right to access medically accurate, age appropriate and developmentally appropriate information about their bodies. It is important to establish these open and honest conversations early so that “the talk” is not a one-time occurrence but rather an ongoing discussion about feelings, relationships and body changes.

So that’s it...that is my wish list this year, easy right?! I ask you this holiday season to think about what you are really giving to the young people in your life. Believe me, I love a new Kate Spade tote just as much as a young person loves the new iPhone but don’t let these gifts replace love, respect and honesty.  I know how to love because my mom showed me, I know how to have open and honest conversations with young people because my mom fostered these conversations growing up, and I know what respect feels like because she respected me enough to prepare me to make good decisions. The best thing is I don’t have to wait until Christmas every year to receive this gifts, my mom has been giving them to me for 28 years.

So, what are you giving to the young people in your life?
Happy Holidays!

by Sarah Kershner, Project Coordinator, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I'm Thankful for Spiderman...

...and you too Mommy!  That was pretty much how my attempt having a Thanksgiving discussion with my 3 year-old Landen went this week. Landen has been making Thanksgiving crafts at school and even proudly displayed his hand-made Thankgiving "book" to us last week.  So, I know that between family and school, he will have a strong foundation for understanding the true meaning of the holiday season.  We will just have to compete with Spiderman for a little while! 

As parents we always strive to provide the best for our children but definitely want them to understand the importance of giving and being thankful.  With support from family and friends, we will ensure that Landen and all of the kids in the family get their heart’s desire this season, BUT they will also have to learn the importance of giving to others and appreciating what they are already blessed with!

Unfortunately, this will be the first Thanksgiving without both of my parents.  I so wish they could see their grandchildren grow up.  Even in grief, however, my family and I are determined to remain thankful and hopeful – that is what my Mom and Dad would want! My parents would definitely want us working every day to model the true meaning of Thanksgiving for the children in our family.

I am sure that Landen will benefit from this ongoing emphasis on hope and thanks…again we will just have to keep Spiderman in the mix for a little while!

by Kimberly Wicker, Outreach Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy