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Family & Living

[Teen Alcoholism]  [Beauty Aids]  [Birth Stones]  [Circumcision]  [Day Light Savings]  [Youth Depression]  [Dreams]  [Drug Addiction]

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 [Parental Responsibility]  [Peace] [Peer Pressure]  [Product Recalls]  [Reality check]  [The Seasons]  [Sleep]  [Spousal Relationship]

  [Teen Crisis]  [Teens Dress] [Teen Driving]  [Teen Pregnancy]  [Teen Responsibility]  [When Disaster Strikes]  [Youth Violence]

-You are not your Child's best friend, you are the Parent and a role model-

 

A Sons Story:
The Last Chance?

                          
                                                              

NOTHING!

                                                                                                         

 

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Are Prescription drug costs making you sick?
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Has the Answer....

 

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Alcohol and Behavior Problems


According to the U.S. Department of Health National Household Survey on Drug Abuse in 1998, about 10.4 million drinkers were between the age of 12-20 years old. Of these, 5.1 million were binge drinkers, including 2.3 million heavy drinkers.

But the survey also showed that most young people were non-drinkers and most remain abstainers when they enter college. The majority of today's college students are not binge drinkers, but those who are heavy drinkers tend to believe that "everybody does it" and they overestimate the extent of binge drinking on their campus.

Many of them got the message the "everybody does it" from their parents. What college, healthcare and law enforcement officials are attempting to do with their public awareness campaigns is to send these young people another message that says "most" of their peers do not consider getting drunk as appropriate behavior.

They hope it will influence them to take a second look at how the "learned" to drink.

Although there is scientific evidence that genetic factors play a role in how alcohol will affect your children if and when they drink, how they drink is probably more influenced by the attitude toward drinking of those the grow up around.

As a general rule, Teens Who Drink Get Into More Trouble

Adolescents, age 12 to 17, who use alcohol are more likely to report behavioral problems, especially aggressive, delinquent and criminal behaviors, according to findings of a new study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The new report, Patterns of Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Associations with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, concludes that there is a strong relationship between alcohol use among youth and many emotional and behavioral problems, including fighting, stealing, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, skipping school, feeling depressed, and deliberately trying to hurt or kill themselves. These findings are based on adolescent self-reporting of behavioral/emotional problems that occurred the past six months.

The study further revealed that adolescent alcohol users -- regardless of whether they are heavy, binge, or light drinkers -- report they are more likely to use illicit drugs than non-drinkers.

Adolescents who were current heavy drinkers were 16 times more likely than non-drinkers to have used an illicit drug in the past month. Light drinkers were eight times more likely to have used an illicit drug in the past month than non-drinking adolescents.

A Cry for Help

"Underage drinking -- even so-called light drinking -- is dangerous, illegal, and must not be tolerated," said SAMHSA Administrator Nelba Chavez, Ph.D. "This study points out that the effects of underage alcohol use extend far beyond 'drinking and driving.' Parents need to know that alcohol use can also be a warning sign or a cry for help that something is seriously wrong in a child's life."

Dr. Chavez continued, "If parents, counselors, teachers, coaches and other caring adults reach children early enough, they can intervene before troubling behaviors lead to serious emotional disturbances, illicit drug use, school failure, family discord, violence, or even suicide. With 10.4 million current underage drinkers, the magnitude of the problem is clear. Unfortunately, the rates of underage drinking have not changed significantly since 1994.

Other findings in the report include: Adolescents who reported that they drank heavily were four times more likely to commit theft outside the home than non-drinking adolescents; heavy drinkers among 12 to 17-year-olds were three times more likely to report deliberately trying to hurt or kill themselves than the adolescent non-drinkers; and adolescent heavy drinkers were three times more likely to report having gotten into a physical fight than non-drinkers.

Trouble on the Horizon

Analysis of the survey data showed that heavy-drinking adolescents were six times as likely as non-drinkers to report skipping school; and adolescents who drank heavily were three times as likely to report engaging in destruction of property belonging to others than non-drinkers, and five times more likely to reported running away from home.

Adolescents in the survey also revealed that heavy drinkers were 7.5 times more likely than non-drinkers to report that they had been arrested and charged with breaking the law. Heavy and binge-drinking adolescents were five times more likely than non-drinkers to say that they had driven under the influence of alcohol in the past year, and were four times more likely to report that they had gotten behind the wheel under the influence of drugs.

The study defined heavy drinkers as those who consumed five or more drinks per occasion on five or more days in the previous 30 days; binge drinkers consumed five or more drinks on at least one occasion, but no more than four occasions during the previous 30 days; light drinkers consumed at least one, but fewer than five drinks on any occasion during the previous 30 days; and non-drinkers did not drink alcohol in the previous 30 days.

Source: SAMSHA Press Release.

Children growing up in homes where no alcohol is consumed and they are taught that drinking is not appropriate behavior, then it is likely that they too will remain non-drinkers. This is especially true if children have developed an active spiritual life. Although abstaining parents are not a guarantee that children will also not drink, the message the child receives is that drinking is not "necessary" to have fun.

 

                                                                                                          PARENTS!
Keep your Children Healthy:
Teach your children that they must wash away germs after using the toilet.
That they must cover their mouths when coughing.
Do not not send them back to school too soon, you risk a relapse. (this goes for parents at work too)
Their sleeve is not a hanky.
When coughing, always cough into their upper arm.

Maintaining healthy habits in your home, will yield  a life-time goal for the entire family.

 

BEAUTY AIDS

Acupuncture, Hair Care, Skin Care, Plastic surgery, and more.

You and your Appearance


A very valuable point to always remember, especially when addressing jewelry or make-up, less is more.

Hair Care:

Rejuvenate those your hair in just a few minutes a day, and with no hair products to buy or make.

Just 5 minutes of scalp massage every day can do wonders for your hair, since many hair problems stem for lack of circulation in the scalp. Here's how to do it:

1. Bend over at the waist while standing or sitting to begin increasing circulation.

2. Put your fingertips underneath your hair at the base of your neck and use small circular motions to massage this area. Slowly move up and forward toward your forehead.

3. Once you've reached your forehead, reverse directions and massage back down to the base of your neck.

4. Beginning with your fingertips at the base of your neck, move up and over each ear toward your temples. perform 10 slow, circular motions over your temples. As you do this, you will feel any tension drain from your head. Now reverse direction and return to the base of your neck.

This massage is also effective for tension headaches and insomnia.

Make over:

When you simply  feel you've been the same for too long. Why not do something to make you look better. Considering that you don't have a budget for a new wardrobe, why not utililize the easiest avenue already availiable, go to the saloon, try a new haircut! taking into consideration, that your cut should emulate your personal style as well as your styling ability. Wear new styles of clothes, but don't get carried away. Looking different is not that expensive. Try altering or putting a light make up on too! confidence also helps! don't be afraid to try new things on yourself. Also, try layering the clothes that you already have, its a good look and it makes you warmer in the cold weather. Also to consider, Many companies now realize that 80% of the population have yellow-based skin tones and are redesigning their foundation & concealers to coincide. many have now also discovered true mineral pigment offers more coverage, brighter hues and longer lasting makeup. Most powders, for example, are 80% fillers including talc. your looking for powder foundation which has no talc-no fillers. (Your face will look more "balanced" if the tones of your blusher match those of your lipstick.  If you are wearing an ordinary medium weight or better still, a sheer lipstick, apply your lipstick before your blusher and use your fingertips to dap a little of the color from your lips onto the apple of your cheek.  Blend well!  If the color is too strong, dust a layer of powder over your cheeks.  Remember to touch up your lipstick again afterwards.  This does not work with strong colors or lip glosses). The natural zinc and titanium oxides also provide 17spf. The powder foundations set with the oils on your skin and create flawless, natural looking coverage.

Skin Care:

Acne:

Four different types:

  • Comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads)
  • Papular (red bumps)
  • Pustular (red bumps with puss on top)
  • Cystic, which are those usually deep cysts, which can scar, or small cysts, which usually don't scar.

Eliminating pimples has been the goal of acne treatment. Acne is pustular eruptions, localized abscessed formation and local inflammatory conditions of the dermis and epidermis skin layers. Endogenous hormones (mainly androgens), which are present in unusually high concentrations in the blood during adolescence and puberty give rise to an excessive production of sebum (or oil). The condition may worsen by a simultaneous increase in the rate of keratin in the skin's outer layer that causes skin cell death. As the outer layer cells proliferate, they can form an occlusive plug or comedone which coupled with the increased production of the sebum, represents an ideal medium for the proliferation of the skin resident anaerobic bacterium


ACNE CLEANSING SOLUTION

It cleans, exfoliates, and kills bacteria.

Ingredients

Salt is one of the best antibacterial ingredients, and it is slightly abrasive. Lemon juice exfoliates as it cleans.

1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine the ingredients in a bowl.

Dab on the face with a cotton ball.

Massage into the skin, being careful to avoid your eyes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Dab on the face with a cotton ball.

Massage into the skin, being careful to avoid your eyes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Makes 1/4 cup

Blemishes
There are several factors that contribute to the onset of skin blemishes in adults. Cosmetics and toiletries may clog pores. Such products include foundations, night creams, and moisturizers. Cosmetics and toiletries that cause blemishes are known as comedogenics; when looking for cosmetics, try to choose non-comedogenic products.

Males and females can and do develop skin blemishes from stress and/or hormonal changes. The hormone androgen stimulates the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum. Sebum is a natural oil that makes the skin soft and waterproof. The oily sebum accumulates in the hair follicles as it moves up the hair shaft where it mixes with normal skin bacteria and dead "shedding" follicular skin cells. The dead cells normally get pushed to the surface where they are expelled. The more sebum is produced the greater the chances of the follicles being clogged (clogged pores) , potentially resulting in skin blemishes.


Dry Skin Care

Dry skin has a dry parched appearance and has a tendency to flake easily. Dry skin is caused by under or inactive oil glands that do not produce enough sebum to keep the skin naturally lubricated. It usually has a dull appearance, feels dry and itchy and is sometimes sensitive. Dry skin must be hydrated regularly from the inside (with fresh water) and outside with (mists), as well as moisturized with rich hydrating creams or lotions. Dry skin often has problems in cold weather and ages faster than normal or oily skin. Dry skin is fine-pored skin which looks dull. It has a sallow tone and also is easily irritated. Those having dry skin will be surely experiencing from flawlessness, taut and flaky feeling and also hardly breaks into spots. This skin type feels more comfortable with night creams, moisturizers and voila.

People having dry skin have a thin and papery texture. Dry skin has a thin texture and looks visibly dry when natural. One has dryness on face even in the morning. This skin too requires more care like oily skin. It requires moister than other skin types or it looks patchy and red. It requires face wash and creams that are specially made for dry skin type. One with dry skin should never forget to apply a good night cream while going to bed. The only advantage with this skin is that it hardly breaks into acne and pimples. This type of skin lacks both sebum and moisture. It looks fine textured, transparent, patchy and fragile. This type of skin flakes and chaps easily compared to other skin types. Tiny expression lines may be obvious.

Dry Skin Care Tips

  • Taking lukewarm baths or showers.
  • Limiting baths/showers to 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Applying a moisturizer right after drying off from a shower or washing your hands.
  • Using a moisturizing body soap and hand soap.
  • Using heavier creams or ointments during the winter months and lighter lotions in the summer.
  • Use bath oils and moisturizers at least daily. Avoid products with alcohol.
  • Apply just after a bath or shower, when your skin is still damp.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Keratoses

Thickenings of the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin.

3 main types
Solar keratosis,
Seborrhoeic keratosis and Warts.
Benign moles often are considered blemishes if they appear in prominent or awkward locations or if they look unattractive.


There are many ways to remove these and the method chosen depends on the type of blemish treated. Frequently it is necessary to obtain a laboratory report to make sure that blemishes are safe to be removed. Once the laboratory diagnosis is obtained other treatment methods might be chosen to remove the blemish.
Liver spots are tan or brown coloured marks on the hands and arms among other places

There are several different ways of removing these :Medical strength chemical peel, Cryotherapy,.Electrofulguration and Laser.

Experts recommend different ones for different people, but none have been totally effective in a large portion of the population. Most people do not respond to traditional pimple treatment. This is especially true of adults, as most topical acne medications are formulated for teenaged skin.

Sagging Underarm skin
Sagging skin under your arms can possibly be reduced by doing push-ups or any other triceps-building exercise to build triceps (underarm) muscles. Weight lifting builds muscle, which increases overall body strength, tone, and balance. I<>f this does not work, you may wish to discuss cosmetic surgery or laser treatments with your physician.

Double Chin

About the only way to reduce or remove a double chin is through a cosmetic procedure or serious weight loss, there are very few realistic, non-surgical solutions to the pesky double chin.

The only exercise that is effective and recommended is simply to open your mouth as wide as you can and hold it for 10 seconds, then repeat a few times. The muscles responsible for opening your mouth are located in the exact spot most people refer to as thedouble chin. Toning these muscles is the key to improving the appearance of your double chin. But simply opening your mouth by itself will not be enough. You need some form of resistance in order for those muscle to get a good toning workout. Apparently the muscles that open and close your mouth are located in the exact area you wish to target. For faster results, add resistance by placing a tennis ball underneath your chin while testing your jaw-span

Skin Rejuvenation:
Minerals & Vitamins

Deficiencies of some vitamins and minerals are particularly detrimental to the skin and may result in skin diseases and/or accelerated aging. While severe vitamin/mineral deficiencies are rare in the developed countries, mild deficiencies are surprisingly common. To maximize the effects of any skin rejuvenation program, one needs to consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. This doesn't mean, however, that one needs to indiscriminately gobble up megadoses of vitamin/mineral supplements. In most cases, excessively high doses do not provide extra benefits. Furthermore, high doses of some vitamins and most minerals may be toxic. For those few vitamins when doses above RDA (recommended daily allowance) may provide extra benefits, one should not exceed safety limits. Below we focus on vitamins and minerals that are particularly important for skin health.

B-complex

The term B-complex usually refers to a group of vitamins that includes vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenate), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyancobalamine) and folate.

Vitamins B1 and B2 are critical for energy production in the cells. Overt deficiencies of vitamins B1 and B2 are known to cause special forms of dermatitis (along with many other problems). Mild deficiencies usually go unnoticed but still may produce some degree of skin damage. People who consume a diet based mainly on processed grains are particularly prone to developing such deficiencies. A few decades ago, the US government mandated that food manufacturers should add B1 and B2 to foods made of white flour. This markedly reduced the incidence of serious B1 and B2 deficiency in the US. Many other governments did the same. Still, mild deficiency (but enough to have some negative effects on the skin and some other organs) does occur, particularly in those who base their diets mainly on processes grains and potatoes. Balancing the diet or modest supplementation is helpful, while excessively high doses of B1 or B2 seem to provide little or no additional benefit.

B12 (cyancobalamine) is essential for a variety of synthetic processes in the cells. The deficiency of this vitamin is particularly detrimental to neurons and rapidly dividing cells, including skin cells. Mild B12 deficiency often goes undiagnosed, producing no overt symptoms. Sometimes, depression may be the only symptom of B12 deficiency. B12 is unique among vitamins in that it is found almost exclusively in foods of animal origin such as meet, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products. Contrary to some popular beliefs, no active form of B12 is found in algae such as spirulina or fermented soy products. Thus strict vegetarians are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Healthy young and middle-aged people consuming a balanced non-vegetarian diet are usually not at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. The absorption of vitamin B12 from food requires intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach. Some older people do not produce enough intrinsic factor due to the atrophy of stomach glands. Certain autoimmune and digestive conditions may also lead to poor absorption of B12. In people whose B12 deficiency is due to poor absorption, neither dietary changes nor oral supplements correct the problem. In such cases, B12 has to be administered as a nasal spray or injected. In contrast to many other vitamins, B12 doses higher than what's required to prevent deficiency may provide extra health benefits.

Folate participates in many of the same biochemical cascades as B12. Just as B12, it is particularly important for rapidly dividing cells, including skin cells. Mild folate deficiency often goes unnoticed. Sometimes, depression may be the only symptom of folate deficiency. Vegetables are the most abundant sources of folate, particularly green leafy vegetables and beans. The only food from animal source rich in folate is liver. Folate can be destroyed during cooking and prolonged storage. The best way to obtain enough folate from the diet is to eat generous amounts of fresh or slightly cooked vegetables. Diet lacking vegetables and fruits puts you at risk for folate deficiency. Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs interfere with absorption of folate and may cause deficiency.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency causes skin to become dry, fragile and prone to wrinkles. If a person is vitamin A deficient, no skin treatment will work properly. Serious vitamin A deficiency is rather common in the third world and causes a variety of serious health problems. In developed countries, a milder forms of vitamin A deficiency predominate. The main sources of vitamin A are foods of animal origin, particularly eggs, organ meats and whole milk dairy products. Unfortunately, these foods tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Some plants, such as carrots or broccoli, supply carotenoids which can be converted into vitamin A by the body. Diets lacking foods of animal origin and carotenoid-rich plants may lead to vitamin A deficiency. On the other hand, excessive vitamin A intake (from taking high dose supplements or eating large amounts of liver) may cause serious toxicity and should be avoided.

Vitamin C, Iron and Copper

All three are important for the synthesis of collagen, a key structural protein in the skin. Deficiency of each of these nutrients reduces skin resilience and ability to heal. Vitamin C is abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables. Iron is found in whole grains and meat products. Copper is found in a variety of foods and its deficiency is uncommon except in people taking zinc supplements.

Plastic Surgery

Risks and Benefits of Plastic Surgery

Consider that Topical treatments may improve wrinkles and skin texture, the results, your avoiding the need for Plastic surgery. Obviously, electing Plastic surgery will excelerate the change, but sometimes at a cost. Consider the facts before going forward with Plastic surgery. For your own good and safety, it is best to find a board certified surgeon. Plastic surgery is not a substitute for skin rejuvenation, after a plastic surgery, one should be even more diligent in preserving your skin.

- Plastic surgery is relatively expensive, a face lift about $10,000-15,000.

-Plastic surgery may affect the physiology of your skin and tissues beneath, actually speeding up the aging process. Keep in mind that too tight or too frequent facelifts can create a distorted and unnatural look. You could end up worse than before.

-It usually takes several weeks for your face to fully recove from the surgery.

- Like any surgery procedure, there is always the potential for complications. Although rare, they range from scarring to fatalities. Some patients may be expecially at risk, if they have prior health conditions. 

Acupuncture: Another alternative

Face Lift for Sagging 

In case of sagging, it is often caused by long time stress with poor health and poor blood circulation to the face. This results in loss of muscle mass in the face and leads sagging.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture works to nourish the muscles in the face and improve muscle mass and muscle tone.

At the end of a treatment course (between 10-16 sessions). The patient re-gains the loss facial muscle and results in a firmer facial tone.

Wrinkles

There are several causes to wrinkles. One key factor that causes wrinkle formation reside on the lack of collagen production in the skin as the result of poor nourishment and poor blood circulation to the skin. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture works to stimulate the blood circulation to the face, resulting a natural filling action in the skin to smooth out the wrinkles.

Crow's Feet

Similar to the above, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture works to stimulate the blood circulation to the face, resulting a natural filling action in the skin to smooth out the wrinkles.

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Spray perfume in front of you and walk through it so that it is evenly distributed over your body.

 

Hairstyle and You.

 

A hairstyle becomes cute when you select it that suits your face and hair type. But that does not mean it will always work good for you.

Face shapes & Hairstyles

  • Oval face
    This is the face shape that suits any hairstyle. Both long hairstyles and short hairstyles are suitable. Do not try broad bangs and do not try to cover the fore head. You'll lose your face shape and it may add weight to your face.
  • Round face
    Select hairstyles that give fullness and height. It will produce a narrower face. Layered hairstyles you can select and keep the sides close to your face. This type of faces suit short hairstyles , or hairstyles that are longer than chin length. Wispy bangs/fringes and side parts are also good. Chin length hair, center parts, fullness at the sides of ears, straight chopped bangs - these will all emphasize the shape of your face, so avoid it.
  • Heart-shaped face
    Short hairstyles and chin length hair will be suitable for this face shape, as the fullness can even out the jaw and chin lines. Chin length bobs, short shags, swept forward layers and wispy bangs all work well.
  • Long face
    Include Short hairstyles and Medium hairstyles with fullness at the sides and soft wispy bangs. This will make your face wide. Layered hairstyles work well and add softness to the straight lines of your face. Do not go for too much length, it will only make your face look longer.
  • Square face
    Short hairstyles, is good for this face shape. Add some wispy bangs, a wave or curl also give beauty. For those with straight hair, think about a body wave . Do not try straight hairstyles, blunt bangs and straight bobs.
  • Triangle face
    Short hairstyles can balance your prominent jaw line. Off center parts, wedges and shags are also good styles for you. Put lots of layers will give you the fullness through the upper part of your face. Avoid styles that are full at the jawline and center parts.

Hair Coloring: by Christi Mercer

  • Brunettes. Fresh rosemary will bring out dark hair's warm, and rich tones. Steep 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves in boiling water for 30 minutes. Then strain, rub the herbs into clean hair, and let it set for the rest of the day. To augment auburn highlights, subsitute calendula for rosemary and follow the same procedure.

  • Brunettes and redheads. To enhance red and brown, mix 2 teaspoons henna powder with 1/2 to 1 cup brewed coffee and thoroughly rinse through hair. Stir in one egg or 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil before aplying to keep hair from drying out.

  • Blondes. Lighten your hair by boiling 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers for 30 minutes. When the solution cools, strain and rinse your hair with the liquid, then sit in the sun for one hour or longer.

 
                                                                                                   HOME SAFETY

  • Use caution in the kithcen to avoid burns and cuts.
  • Maintain smoke alarms in key areas on every floor
  • Use no-slip mats and grab bars in tubs and in showers
  • Remove clutter form traffic areas
  • Secure loose rugs to the floor with carpet tape or nonn-skid padding
  • Place Fir extinguishers in your kitchen and other key areas (including the garage)
  • Is your house numbers clearly visable from the street in case of emergency? if not, do so
  • Keep a first-aid kit handy for initial care when injuries occur
  • Do you have adequate lighting in your home, to include staircases?
  • Mount lights with sensors outdoors around the perimeter of your home, is discourages intruders, as well as provides you light when walking in or out
  • Keep a disaster kit with water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and other items for emergency situations



BOTOX™

BOTOX™  is a dilute, purified form of Botulinum toxin, which is an extremely effective muscle relaxant. It is a medical protein derived from the C.Botuluninum bacteria under special laboratory conditions.

HOW DOES BOTOX™ REMOVE WRINKLES?
Botox™ blocks impulses from the nerve to the tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines. It relaxes the muscles so they do not contract. After treatment, the overlaying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion, so that normal facial expressions are unaffected.

IS BOTOX™ SAFE?
Botox™ has been used safely and effectively for over ten years to treat many opthamological and neurological disorders. As a wrinkle treatment it has been available for seven years. Although it is a toxin, it is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body.

DOES IT HURT?
There may be an initial minor sting for the first few seconds at the injection site. The needles used are tiny micro needles and once the injection is complete there is usually no discomfort.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
It is common to experience some minor bruising around the injection site. In some cases the toxin may migrate and cause short-term weakness of nearby muscles. In rare instances it can cause a droopy eyelid or asymmetry of facial expression.
The effects of Botox™ are completely reversible so any side effect is temporary.

WHAT PARTS OF THE BODY CAN BE TREATED?
The most common areas for the use of Botox™ are
the frown lines between the eyebrows, the horizontal forehead lines, and the crow’s feet.

WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?
Results are seen within four to seven days after treatment. The muscle relaxes and reduces the appearance of lines.

HOW LONG DOES THE EFFECT LAST?
The effects of Botox™ usually last three to five months, at which time another injection is required. After several treatments, the effects of Botox may begin to last longer, sometimes up to six to eight months.

IS BOTOX™ TREATMENT FOR EVERYONE?
There are few restrictions regarding Botox™ treatments. However, treatment should not be undertaken if pregnant or if a neurological disease exits.

 

CELLULITE

Is the unattractive dimple skin or “dimpled fat” on the outer thighs, buttocks and other body areas where large areas of fat are found in close proximity to the skin. There appears to be a hormonal component to its presentation. Women are more affected by cellulite formation than men, especially on the thighs.(lumpy appearing substance resembling cottage cheese that are commonly found on the thighs, stomach, and buttocks) Practically all post-pubescent females display some degree of cellulite as hormones change. Most women over the age of 18 have some degree of cellulite. In men, loose fat on the hips (love handles), chest (pectoral) area and the thighs can resemble cellulite.

A person does not have to be overweight to develop the dimpled skin of cellulite and cellulite is not always reduced with weight loss. Fat almost always lines the underside of the skin. The thickness of fat varies from one person to another and is found between the skin and its underlying support.

Swelling of fat chambers exerts pressure on the skin’s surface, creating depressions and making fat cells more pronounced. This causes the lumpy, bumpy, “orange-peel” appearance of the skin. This process is only intensified by a slowing in the circulation and subsequent build up of toxins and lack of nutrients within the structures. This leads to the visable appearance of cellulite.This trapped fat cannot be lost by diet and exercise alone — many women who are slim are still plagued with unattractive cellulite.

Buy a shower brush with soft bristles and massage it over problem areas for ten minutes a day. Make sure you massage your skin while it is dry and in circular rotations.This not only feels good but it helps remove toxins from the body, improve blood circulation and muscle tone. It also aids in the breakdown of cellulite and helps reduce that unwanted tissue.

Another great home remedy to tone skin, reduce cellulite, and improve circulation is dry brushing.You can mimic expensive cellulite massage treatments by doing it yourself. Utilizing a soft bristle brush and gently massage dry skin in circular rotations for ten minutes a day. This will help smooth cellulite and improve muscle tone.


There appears to be some scientific evidence that smoking, lack of exercise, tight clothes, high heeled shoes, and sitting or standing in a single position of long periods have all been correlated with an increase in cellulite. A high stress lifestyle will cause an increase in the catecholamine hormones

While harmless, the dimpled appearance is a cause of concern for some people. The cosmetics industry claims to offer many of what it calls remedies. There are no supplements that have been approved as effective for reducing cellulite.

Syneron, the first cosmetic laser manufacturer to receive FDA clearance for treating cellulite, combine mechanical, light, heat, and radio frequency energy, also known as ELOS, to the skin and claim success after a few applications of their product.

Radio frequency in the cosmetic industry is used to heat the skin in a non-invasive (medical) cosmetic procedure to heat the fat tissue underneath the skin. That procedure regenerates the collagen in the area and makes the skin look younger and more vital.

Other cosmetic procedures such as Mesotherapy and Endermologie have produced inconclusive results.
Liposuction, which extracts fat from under the skin, is not effective for cellulite reduction and may exacerbate the cosmetic problem. Dieting does not get rid of the dimpled appearance, but a balanced diet and exercise may help to reduce the fat content within the distorted cells, reducing their contribution to the dimpling.

 

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

HOW DOES LASER WORK?
A laser works to selectively injure and disable the hair follicle. The laser emits energy, at a specific wavelength, which is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The laser pulse is carefully controlled to produce only enough heat to damage the hair follicle and to not cause damage to the surrounding skin. The result is safe and effective hair removal.

WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF USING A LASER?
Unlike precision ‘hair-by-hair’ treatments like electrolysis, the laser treats many hairs at once. Because of this, large areas like the full legs, or arms or a full man’s back can be treated in a short period of time. You will see immediate results that are incomparable to traditional techniques such as shaving, waxing, chemical depilation, or other temporary treatments.

WHO IS SUITABLE?
Treatment is most effective for individuals who have dark brown or black hair. Darker tones of blonde or red hair may be treated but white or grey hairs do not respond to laser treatment. Both light and dark pigmented skin types can be treated successfully. It is important, however, for persons being treated to not have tanned skin. Therefore, sun exposure should be minimized during the course of treatments.

WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED?
All areas of the body, except the inner ear, inner nose and areas in close proximity to the eyes can be treated safely. Common areas for hair removal treatments include the upper lip and chin, the neck, side burn area, bikini, underarms,
back and chest.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
A course of treatments is required for optimal results. The exact number of treatments does vary slightly for each individual but on average, 3 - 6 treatments are required for optimal results.

DOES IS HURT?
Patients experience varying degrees of discomfort depending on the energy levels used, the skin type and hair type. Most clients describe the treatment as mildly uncomfortable, not unlike “the flick of an elastic band”. For those who find the procedure
uncomfortable a topical anaesthetic is available.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
The lasers used at our clinics represent the most effective laser hair removal treatment available today. In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration has given it’s approval for three different types of our lasers to be marketed for “permanent hair reduction”. Clinical studies undertaken have shown an average permanent reduction of approximately 50% after two treatments. This figure is based on individual hair counts and refers to hairs that were no longer visible. The remaining hairs, after two treatments, were lighter and finer which are also pleasing results.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
It is normal to experience some redness of the skin and some mild swelling which typically lasts from an hour to 24 hours. In rare instances the redness may last a few days and there could be some grazing or ’scabbing’ which typically subsides over a short period of time. Most people are able to return to normal activity right away.

PRE-TREATMENT CARE
1. Stay out of the sun for one month before your treatment, and use a sun protection factor of thirty when you are exposed.

2. Do not use self-tan or solariums for at least one month before your treatment. The procedure may have to be postponed if you have a tan, as we cannot treat people who have tanned skin because of an increased risk of pigmentation change.

3. Do not wax, pluck or bleach for at least one month before your treatment.

4. For darker skinned patients, daily or twice daily application of Superfade (available from chemists) to the treatment area for one month prior treatment will minimise the chance of pigmentation change.

1. Gently cleanse the treated area twice a day with a moisturizing soap.

2. Redness is common for a couple of hours after treatment. In some cases redness can last longer, but unlikely to last more than two days. The redness is a natural response and you need not be concerned about it. Daily application of an unscented cream, such as hydrocortisone or aloe vera gel may be soothing to the skin.

3. Until redness has completely subsided, avoid all of the following:
• Applying make-up over the treated areas
• Use of scented lotions or soaps, exfoliant creams (Retin-A and alpha-hydroxy), loofa sponges and aggressive scrubbing
• Hot or cold water - wash with tepid water
• Shaving
• Swimming pools and spas with multiple chemicals/chlorine
• Activities that cause excessive perspiration

4. In the unusual case of crusting of the skin, apply a thin film of bacitracin or polysporin ointment twice a day to the affected areas. Do not pick at these areas, as this may result in infection or scarring.

5. In the rare case of infection, a course of antibiotics is recommended. A prescription can be obtained from your local GP.

6. In the rare case of swelling, use of a steroid cream is recommended. Once again, a prescription can be obtained from your local GP.

7. Strictly avoid any sun exposure for at least one week after the procedure, as this area will be more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change. Keep the area covered and use a sunscreen protection of factor thirty, applied hourly while you are in the sun.

 

Parisian Peel™

Developed in France over eight years ago, Parisian Peel™ is a gentle and non-invasive alternative to surgery and has been used successfully in Europe and the USA to treat fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots and other superficial skin blemishes. Now this technology is available to you in Australia and New Zealand — enjoy the smooth, fresh skin that the French have appreciated for years.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Parisian Peel™ Medical Microdermabrasion gently abrades the skins surface using medical grade crystals (chemically inert — Aluminum oxide) combined with air suction to remove the dead cells on the outer layer of your skin. A hand piece is used to direct the stream of crystals and mild suction to exactly where it is needed. This action exfoliates and uncovers the smoother, softer under layer of skin enhancing your appearance.

WHAT CONDITIONS CAN PARISIAN PEEL™ TREAT?
Parisian Peel™ can help to treat the following skin problems:

• sun-damaged skin
• age spots
• blotchy skin due to pigmentation or post
laser treatment
• fine lines
• blackheads and whiteheads
• acne scars

However, you do not need damaged skin in order to undertake treatment. In fact, as the procedure is removing dead layers of skin, it will reveal a healthy glow of newer skin for all patients.

WHAT PARTS OF THE BODY CAN BE TREATED?
Parisian Peel™ is not only suitable for the face but for many parts of the body. We can treat those sun sunspots on the chest, acne scars on the back, exfoliate the dry, dead skin on the feet and rejuvenate overworked hands and sun damaged arms.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Treatment plans are individualized according to skin type and condition. For maximum results, five to eight treatments are usually required every two weeks. As microdermabrasion involves removing the top layers of the skin, an ongoing maintenance treatment will keep the skin fresh. Dead cells can build up again so it may be recommended to have a monthly treatment “to keep on top of it”. Treatment is gentle, so a number of treatments can be performed without fear of side effects.

HOW LONG DOES A TREATMENT TAKE?
One of the great benefits of the Parisian Peel™ procedure is that it can be done quickly. A treatment takes about 30 minutes (or less) after which you can return immediately to your daily activities. There is no recovery time!

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Don’t worry it doesn’t hurt. It merely feels a little “like sand rubbing on your face”. You may appear flushed and feel a temporary “wind-burn” sensation for about one hour after the treatment.

POST-TREATMENT CARE

1. Do not use Retinoid products, Glycolic or any other Alpha Hydroxy acid for the 48 hours after treatment, unless otherwise directed.

2. Do not expose yourself to the sun
or a tanning bed for the first two days after treatment.

3. Use a sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30.

4. Cleanse your skin and moisturize
twice a day. It is important to note that your skin may feel tight, as if exposed to the sun or wind for the first 2 days preceding treatment. Some moderate skin peeling may occur.

Deeper treatment for shallow scars or moderate to heavy sun damaged skin may appear slightly red, swollen or grazed for a few hours. For some patients who have sensitive skin this may remain for a few days.

 

 

Weight Loss - Combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey in an 8 ounce glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice.  Drink 1 glass before each meal as an appetite suppressant.

 


 

PARISIAN PEEL™
MEDICAL MICRODERMABRASION

Parisian Peel™ Medical Microdermabrasion, as opposed to traditional dermabrasion treatments is not painful, has no healing time and there is almost no risk of infection.

Medical Microdermabrasion became readily available in the United States in 1996 under the Parisian Peel™ brand and others. In Europe, where the technology originated, microdermabrasion has been successfully used since at least 1992. Developed in France, over eight years ago Parisian Peel™ is a technique that enhances a patient’s skin, regardless of their Fitzpatrick skin classification, or skin type. Parisian Peel™ is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and uses aluminum oxide crystals of the highest purity. In clinical experience, to date, a general consensus is emerging among surgeons and dermatologists that Medical Microdermabrasion offers unique value to the cosmetic industry, due to its efficiency and effectiviness without the hassle of recovery time or risk of infection. High satisfaction is reported and results are quick which assists in “jump-starting” a patients involvement in their own, overall skin care regiment.

HOW PARISIAN PEEL™ WORKS
The Parisian Peel™ Medical Microdermabrasion System gently abrades the skins surface using chemically inert micro-crystals and air suction. A handpiece is used to direct a stream of crystals and mild suction exactly where needed on the patients skin. The action of the crystals combined with suction works to exfoliate the
epidermis to uncover the smooth, underlayer of thicker, healthier skin. Simplicity makes microdermabrasion both safe and economical. It can be used as an alternative
or in conjunction with laser resurfacing, Photofacial Rejuvenation and chemical peels.

CONDITIONS TREATABLE WITH PARISIAN PEEL
Parisian Peel successfully treats superficial skin
damage caused by aging, sun exposure or injury.
Conditions treated include:
Fine lines and wrinkles
Age spots/superficial pigmentation
Acne scars
Enlarged oily pores
Blackheads and whiteheads
General exfoliation
Post traumatic pigmentation
Adjunctive to cosmetic surgery
Blending post-lasered skin

APPLICATION OF MICRODERMABRASION
Treatment is administered in 15 - 30 minutes by
trained clinical staff. Patients require no
anesthesia, need no recovery time and can return
immediately to daily activities.
For optimal results five to eight treatments are
required, depending upon the patients skin type
and condition. Treatments are performed once
every two weeks.

WHAT IS A PHOTOFACIAL™ REJUVENATION
TREATMENT?

The Photofacial™ Rejuvenation treatment is a new and unique use of pulsed light technology. Treatments involve a series of five gentle pulsed light treatments to improve the appearance of sun damaged and ageing skin. Photofacial treatments result in more youthful, vibrant skin.

HOW DOES THE TREATMENT WORK?
An intense light is emitted in a series of gentle pulses over the entire face at intervals of approximately three weeks for a series of five treatments. This is a special light that differs to laser light, in that it is able to emit light over many different wavelengths. This allows the light to penetrate to all levels of the skin where abnormal easily dilated vessels can be found. Lasers produce only a single wavelength of light which limits its depth of penetration and what they can treat.

WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED?
Photofacial™ Rejuvenation treatments can be on any part of the skin. The treatment is especially effective for appearance on the face and hands.

WHAT IF THE REDNESS AND SUN DAMAGE EXTENDS TO MY NECK AND CHESTS AS WELL, CAN THESE AREAS BE TREATED?
Yes, most areas can also be treated successfully, much like the face. Many women especially are delighted to get rid of the “V-neck” effect of sun-damage that has accumulated in these areas from years of sun exposure.

WHAT ARE THE VISIBLE RESULTS?
All patients observe smoother skin with visible improvement in irregular pigmentation, fine wrinkles and pore size. Flushing redness and symptoms of rosacea improve on average more than 50% the
following treatments.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER CONDITIONS THAT CAN BE TREATED WITH PHOTOFACIAL™ REJUVENATION?
Yes, Photofacial™ Rejuvenation treatments will also help patients who suffer from photo-aging of the skin, pigmentation from sun exposure (age spots), irregularities of skin texture, improves mild acne scars, large pores, and dark circle around the eyes
and helps reduce fine lines, especially around the eyes and mouth.

WILL I NEED ADDITIONAL TREATMENTS?
After your initial series of 3-5 treatments it is possible to require a follow-up treatment in 2 or more years. We will educate you in and show you ways of how to care for your skin to help diminish the likelihood of
future treatments.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PHOTOFACIAL™ REJUVENATION?
You can have glowing, smooth, blush-free skin with finer lines and more youthful looking skin with no down time from work or play. You can usually go to work the same
day or the following day without the stares of friends and strangers. No procedure has ever been developed that can accomplish so much with such low risk and no “down time. Photofacial Rejuvenation treatments were developed for the active, busy patient for whom time and appearance are important.

HOW DOES IT FEEL?
Each patient experiences a different reaction. Most find the treatment quite comfortable although they will feel a mild stinging sensation. Patients do, however, have the option of having a topical anesthetic applied to the area before treatment to eliminate any discomfort, which they would otherwise feel. We have extensive experience with patients who have sensitive skin, always listen to their concerns and treat accordingly so that the most sensitive skin type is treated safely.

HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT LAST?
Each treatment lasts approximately thirty minutes. Prior to your appointment, all make-up or creams must be removed. Men will be asked to shave on the day of treatment, prior to their arrival at the clinic. If any herpetic lesions or bacterial infections are noted on the day of the procedure the treatment will be cancelled until the condition has been treated and completely healed. Eye shields/goggles will be applied to protect the eyes.

A soothing gel will be placed on the skin prior to treatment, which will help reduce discomfort. The device also has a gentle beep, which can help prepare you for the next pulse. We do this to prepare you because the machine flashes quickly (in milliseconds) and you may be startled. After the procedure you may be asked to ice the area, and will be given any additional post-treatment instructions as necessary.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Yes. Most side effects are mild and of short duration. These can consist of short-term discomfort during the actual treatment. There is usually additional redness immediately following treatment, lasting less than 24 hours in most people, on rare occasions it my last up to three days. Mild blistering and bruising is possible but in our experience occur less than 1% and usually clear very quickly. Post-treatment pigmentation has been noted on occasion, but is highly treatable and fortunately very rare. Even more rare is a decrease in pigmentation of the skin after treatments. This also clears in time as well.

Salt and Sugar Scrubs

Do you Have dry, cracked or scaly skin? Try use a salt scrub or a sugar scrub in the tub or shower to help exfoliate dead, dry skin leaving your skin silky smooth and refreshed. Simply rub a handful of salt or sugar scrub onto the problem area at the end of your bathing experience and rinse. The scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth with a healthy glow. Use the salt scrub for a more intense exfoliation and the sugar scrub for a more gentle experience. Have fun experimenting with different flavors.

Stretch Marks

More than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. Otherwise known as striae gravidarum, stretch marks look like streaks on the surface of the skin, and may be vary in color depending on your natural skin color. Most lighter skinned women develop pinkish stretch marks, whereas darker skinned women tend to have stretch marks that are lighter than the surrounding skin.

Most women develop stretch marks on their abdomen during pregnancy, however it is also common to get stretch marks on the buttocks, hips, breasts and thighs. In some cases up to 90 percent of women have stretch marks on some part of their body as a result of pregnancy.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks form when your skin is stretched rapidly as happens during pregnancy. Most women develop stretch marks during the later trimesters of pregnancy though some women start to develop them as soon as their bellies start growing.

Stretch marks are actually small tears that form in the tissue that supports the skin and helps it stretch. Stretch marks represent the tearing or separation of collagen from the skin when tearing occurs. Stretch marks are not harmful or painful and usually fade over time.

Who Gets Stretch Marks

Many women believe that using lotions and creams help prevent stretch marks. Realistically speaking however, the number of stretch marks you get depends on how elastic your skin is. The elasticity of your skin usually relates to your genetic makeup. The best thing you can do is find out if your mother got bad stretch marks during pregnancy. If she did, you are probably more prone to stretch marks than other women.

Keep in mind the more weight you gain during pregnancy the more likely you are to have stretch marks. Normally the skin is elastic and capable of stretching quite a bit, however for some women the changes that occur during pregnancy are very drastic. These rapid fluctuations of weight and skin stretching can result in stretch marks.

Women with multiples are more likely to get stretch marks because their bellies usually grow much larger than women with single pregnancies. Other women likely to develop stretch marks include women who gain a lot of weight quickly during their pregnancy and women who carry big babies.

Here are some other factors that may contribute to your susceptibility to stretch marks:

If you developed stretch marks before (like on your breasts during puberty) you are more likely to get stretch marks while pregnant.
If you had stretch marks during another pregnancy you will usually get them again.
If you are overweight or gain more weight than recommended you are more likely to get stretch marks.
The better hydrated and well nourished you are the less likely you are to develop serious stretch marks.

Stretch Mark Prevention

Most women believe that they can prevent stretch marks by using creams and lotions. There are many formulations on the market today that claim to help prevent stretch marks. Some of these may help moisturize your skin and reduce itching. They may help reduce some stretch marks however there are no scientific studies that support this.

You probably know at least one parent however that swears by cocoa butter or some other formulation to prevent stretch marks. If nothing else rubbing these creams into your belly provides your unborn baby with a light and comforting massage. They may also give you peace of mind knowing you did everything possible to prevent stretch marks.

The best thing you can do to minimize stretch marks aside from using any creams or moisturizers you select is gaining the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. Doctors recommend most women gain between 25 and 34 pounds. Gaining much more than this can cause you to develop more stretch marks.

Removing Stretch Marks

Most women worry about stretch marks after they have their baby. Fortunately most stretch marks do fade with time. Usually after 12 moths postpartum most stretch marks are light and less noticeable. Their texture may remain different from the surrounding skin however. Many women notice their stretch marks fading into whitish lines that are minimally noticeable.

Some women have very severe stretch marks that impact their self esteem after pregnancy. There are many treatments available for women that want to improve the appearance of their stretch marks.

If your stretch marks are particularly bad, you may consult with your doctor or a dermatologist. Some topical treatments such as tretinoin cream can help reduce stretch marks. These creams must be used after pregnancy however, because they can cause defects in your unborn baby.

Most of the topical treatments available should be used shortly after delivery, before they start to fade. The more time that passes between the delivery and use of cream, the less likely they are to be effective.

If you are breastfeeding it is important you consult with your doctor before using any stretch mark treatments. Some treatments may impact your milk supply or pass through the breast milk to your baby.

Most of the creams available to reduce stretch marks do not help relieve the sagging skin that also accompanies childbirth. There are some newer treatments including laser treatments however that may improve the skins elasticity and help reduce stretch marks. Some women also consider plastic surgery after they are done having children. A tummy tuck can help hide some stretch marks and reduce sagging skin.

 

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BIRTH STONES

JANUARY

Garnet

Constancy

FEBRUARY

Amethyst

Sincerity

MARCH

Jasper, bloodstone, aquamarine

Wisdon

APRIL

Diamond

Innecence

MAY

Emerald, chrysoprase

Love

JUNE

Pearl, moonstone, alexandrite

Wealth

JULY

Ruby, camelian

Freedom

AUGUST

Sardonyx, peridot

Friendship

SEPTEMBER

Sapphire, lapis lazuli

Truth

OCTOBER

Opal, tourmaline

Hope

NOVEMBER

Topaz

Loyalty

DECEMBER

Turquoise, zircon, lapis iazuli

Success

 

AVERAGE U.S.A. FAMILY FACT'S

  • The television is on for 7 hours and 40 minutes each day in the typical American home.
  • The average American watches four hours of television each day.
  • Fifty percent of all American households has three or more televisions
  • American parents on average spend 'less than 40 minutes each week' in meaningful conversations with their children.
  • Ridiculously, 56% of American children between 8 and 16 have a television in their bedroom.
  • Only 1 in 12 American families require their children to finish their homework before watching television.

If your family resembles the above, why not change these statistics in your household and become
a functional family?

 

CIRCUMCISION

During a circumcision, the prepuce or the foreskin, which is the skin that covers the tip of the penis, is removed. Circumcision is usually performed on the first or second day after birth. It becomes more complicated and riskier in infants older than 2 months and in boys and men. The procedure takes only about 5 to 10 minutes. A local anesthetic (numbing medicine) can be given to your baby to lessen the pain from the procedure.

Are there any benefits from circumcision?

Studies about the benefits of circumcision have provided conflicting results. Some studies show certain benefits, while other studies do not. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision are not significant enough to recommend circumcision as a routine procedure and that circumcision is not medically necessary. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes parents should discuss with their son's doctor the potential benefits and the risks involved when making their decision.

A recent AAP report stated that circumcision does offer some benefit in preventing urinary tract infections in infants. Circumcision also offers some benefit in preventing penile cancer in adult men. However, this disease is very rare in all men, whether or not they have been circumcised. Circumcision may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. A man's sexual practices (e.g., if he uses condoms, if he has more than one partner, etc.) has more to do with STD prevention than whether or not he is circumcised.

Study results are mixed about whether circumcision may help reduce the risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners, and whether it helps prevent certain problems with the penis, such as infections and unwanted swelling. Some studies show that keeping the penis clean can help prevent these problems just as well as circumcision. Infections and unwanted swelling are not serious and can usually be easily treated if they do occur.

What are the risks of circumcision?

Like any surgical procedure, circumcision has some risks. However, the rate of problems after circumcision is low. Bleeding and infection in the circumcised area are the most common problems. Sometimes the skin of the newly exposed glands becomes irritated by the pressure of diapers and ammonia in the urine. The irritation is usually treated with petroleum ointment (Vaseline) put directly on the area. This problem will usually lessen after a few days.

How do I care for my baby's penis after a circumcision?

Gently clean the area with water every day and whenever the diaper area becomes soiled. Some swelling of the penis is normal after a circumcision. A clear crust will probably form over the area. It normally takes 7 to 10 days for the penis to heal after a circumcision.

After the circumcision, you may notice a small amount of blood on the baby's diaper. If the bloodstain is larger than the size of a quarter, call your doctor right away. In addition, you should call your doctor if a Plastibell device was used during the circumcision and the device doesn't fall off within 10 to 12 days. If there is a bandage on the penis instead of a Plastibell, the bandage should be changed each time you change your son's diaper. This will help prevent infection. Signs of infection also signal the need to call your doctor. These signs include a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, redness, swelling and/or a yellowi

Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin, which is the skin that covers the tip of the penis. In the United States, it is often done before a new baby leaves the hospital. There are medical benefits and risks to circumcision. Possible benefits include a lower risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The risks include pain and a low risk of bleeding or infection. These risks are higher for older babies, boys and men.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend routine circumcision. Parents need to decide what is best for their sons, based on their religious, cultural and personal preferences.

 


Daylight Savings Time:      United States

                         Spring >Set Clock Forward (when the leaves start to grow)
                         Fall      <Set Clock Back (when the leaves are falling)

During DST, clocks are turned forward One hour, effectively moving One hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

 DST Begins at 2 a.m.            DST Ends at 2 a.m.   
           Summertime Begins                                         Summertime Ends.
Year:

 2009    March   8     November  1                        March  29    October  25
 2010    March  14    November  7                        March  28    October  31
 2011    March  13    November  6                        March  27    October  30
 2012    March  11    November  4                        March  25    October  28
 2013    March  10    November  3                        March  31    October  27

DREAMS
Your Bridge Between Ego and Subconscious


Dreams provide a fascination and mystery for humankind, interestingly, also that of animals, for all dream.. These nocturnal vivid images seem to arise from some source other than our ordinary conscious mind. Dreams contain a mixture of elements from our own personal identity which we recognize as familiar along with unknown, as the dream images carry a sense of the strange and eerie. The bizarre and nonsensical characters and plots in dreams point to deeper meanings and contain rational and insightful comments on our waking situations and emotional experiences. The ancients thought that dreams were messages from the gods. Today we know that they are messages from a deep source of wisdom and understanding within ourselves. Every dream is a message from some deeper unconscious part of myself to the more conscious everyday part of oneself. While there are many interpretations about what goes on while we sleep, some of common themes occur again and again. These same stories and images have been reported across time and all cultures around the world. Here are some widely accepted interpretations of a few of those universal dream subjects.

 

Common Dream Themes and Their Interpretations

  • Naked in public
    Most of us have had the dream at some point that we're at school, work or some social event, and we suddenly realize we forgot to put on clothes! Experts say this means:

-We're trying to hide something (and without clothes we have a hard time doing that).

-We're not prepared for something, like a presentation or test (and now everyone is going to know -- we're exposed!).<>

If we're naked but no one notices, then the interpretation is that whatever we're afraid of is unfounded. If we don't care that we're naked, the interpretation is that we're comfortable with who we are

Falling


Sometimes in a dream you may jump, slip, or even step off an edge of a building or mountain and feel yourself falling. Usually you wake up before you hit the ground. This is a common dream and it is often said that it represents a feeling of insecurity or anxiety. Perhaps there is a part of your life that you are unable to control. Another common interpretation of falling during a dream is associated with a sense of failure. Maybe you are afraid of losing your job or missing a promotion. These are often situations in which you cannot control the final outcome. If you dream of falling, consider the types of stress that you have in your life. Try to accept the things that you are unable to control, while changing those that you can.

  •  
  •  
  • Being chased
    The ever-popular chase dream can be extremely frightening. What it usually symbolizes is that you're running away from your problems. What that problem is depends on who is chasing you. It may be a problem at work, or it may be something about yourself that you know is destructive. For example, you may be drinking too much, and your dream may be telling you that your drinking is becoming a real problem.
  • Taking an exam
    This is another very common dream. You suddenly realize you are supposed to be taking an exam at that very moment. You might be running through the hallways and can't find the classroom. This type of dream can have several variations that have similar meanings. (Maybe your pen won't write, so you can't finish writing your answers.) What experts say this may mean is that you're being scrutinized about something or feel you're being tested -- maybe you're facing a challenge you don't think you're up to. You don't feel prepared or able to hold up to the scrutiny. It may also mean there is something you've neglected that you know needs your attention.
  • Flying
    Many flying dreams are the result of lucid dreaming. Not all flying dreams are, however. Typically, dreaming that you are flying means you are on top of things. You are in control of the things that matter to you. Or, maybe you've just gained a new perspective on things. It may also mean you are strong willed and feel like no one and nothing can defeat you. If you are having problems maintaining your flight, someone or something may be standing in the way of you having control. If you are afraid while flying, you may have challenges that you don't feel up to.
  • Running, but going nowhere
    This theme can also be part of the chasing dream. You're trying to run, but either your legs won't move or you simply aren't going anywhere -- as if you were on a treadmill. According to some, this dream means you have too much on your plate. You're trying to do too many things at once and can't catch up or ever get ahead.
  • Your teeth falling out
    Many people have dreams that they lose all of their teeth. In this dream, they may feel something strange in their mouth and then spit teeth into their hand, eventually losing all of their teeth. According to some, our teeth are related to our sense of power and our ability to communicate. Losing our teeth not only makes us embarrassed by our appearance, which hinders our communications, but it also lessens our power because we may not speak our minds. It's also associated with feelings about our appearance.

Your Body
To dream about your own body, signifies your level of self-worth and self-esteem. Often times, these qualities are dependent on your physical appearance or how your perceive yourself


Your Face

To see your own face in your dream, denotes the persona you choose to show to the world as oppose to the real you. It may refer to confrontations and your willingness to deal with problems and issues in your life. To dream that you face is flawed or pimply, represents erupting emotions. You may have suffered an attack on your persona or your reputation.


          Your Feet

Seeing  your own feet in your dream, symbolizes your foundation, stability and sense of understanding.   It signifies your need to be more practical and sensible. Keep both feet on the ground. Alternatively, it represents mobility, independence and freedom. Perhaps you have taken a step in the right direction and are contemplating your goals or your next step.  The sole of the foot may be a pun of being or feeling like the only support of some person/situation. To dream that you are washing your feet, indicates that others can easily take advantage of you.

Your Hand(s)
To dream of your hands, represents your relationship to those around you and how you connect with the world. Hands serve as a form of communication. A fist is symbolic of aggression and power. Generally, left hands symbolize feminine, receptive qualities, while right hands symbolize masculine, active attributes. To dream that you hands are injured, denotes an attack on your ego. To dream that your hands are clasped, signifies unity, completeness, acceptance or agreement. To dream that you have unusually large hands, denotes much success in achieving your goals. To dream that your hands are hairy, denotes that you will play a part in falsely incriminating someone. To see blood on your hands, signifies that you are experiencing some sort of guilt. To dream that you are washing your hands, represents a worrisome issue that you need to work through.

Your Heart
To see your heart in your dream, signifies truth, courage, love, and romance. It is representative of how you are currently dealing with your feelings and expressing your emotions. Also consider the saying "the heart of the matter" which implies that you may need to get down to the core of a problem before proceeding.

Your Legs

 Seeing your legs in your dream, signifies that you have regained confidence to stand up and take control again. It also implies progress and your ability to navigate through life. If your legs are weak, then you may be feeling emotionally vulnerable. To see someone else's legs in your dream, represents your admiration for that person. You need to adopt some of the ways that this person does things. To dream that you legs are wounded or crippled, signifies a lack of balance, autonomy, or independence in your life. You may be unable or unwilling to stand up for yourself. Perhaps you are lacking courage and refuse to make a stand. To dream that one of your leg is shorter than the other, suggests that there is some imbalance in some aspect of your life. You are placing more emphasis and weight on one thing, while ignoring other important aspects that need attention as well.

Dreams provide us with a unique view of ourselves that often comes from a deeper and wiser part of our psyche and that tends to counterbalance and moderate our conscious waking perceptions.

 

 

DRUG ADDICTION

 

TREATMENT:

There are many addictive drugs, and treatments for specific drugs can differ. Treatment also varies depending on the characteristics of the patient.

Problems associated with an individual's drug addiction can vary significantly. People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems that make their addictive disorders much more difficult to treat. Even if there are few associated problems, the severity of addiction itself ranges widely among people.

A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment exists. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or their combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings, teach them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help them deal with relapse if it occurs. When a person's drug-related behavior places him or her at higher risk for AIDS or other infectious diseases, behavioral therapies can help to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Case management and referral to other medical, psychological, and social services are crucial components of treatment for many patients. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient, which are shaped by such issues as age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, parenting, housing, and employment, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Treatment medications, such as methadone, LAAM, and naltrexone, are available for individuals addicted to opiates. Nicotine preparations (patches, gum, nasal spray) and bupropion are available for individuals addicted to nicotine.

Medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.

Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, in many different forms, and for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment often is not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at abstinence.

Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patient. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services.

 

There are many addictive drugs, and treatments for specific drugs can differ. Treatment also varies depending on the characteristics of the patient.

Problems associated with an individual's drug addiction can vary significantly. People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems that make their addictive disorders much more difficult to treat. Even if there are few associated problems, the severity of addiction itself ranges widely among people.

A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment exists. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or their combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings, teach them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help them deal with relapse if it occurs. When a person's drug-related behavior places him or her at higher risk for AIDS or other infectious diseases, behavioral therapies can help to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Case management and referral to other medical, psychological, and social services are crucial components of treatment for many patients. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient, which are shaped by such issues as age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, parenting, housing, and employment, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy, medications, or their combination.

 

Treatment medications, such as methadone, LAAM, and naltrexone, are available for individuals addicted to opiates. Nicotine preparations (patches, gum, nasal spray) and bupropion are available for individuals addicted to nicotine.

 

Components of Comprehensive Drug Abuse Treatment

The best treatment programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient.

Medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.

Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, in many different forms, and for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment often is not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at abstinence.

Nearly all addicted individuals believe in the beginning that they can stop using drugs on their own, and most try to stop without treatment. However, most of these attempts result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. Research has shown that long-term drug use results in significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have many behavioral consequences, including the compulsion to use drugs despite adverse consequencesÑthe defining characteristic of addiction.

 

Understanding that addiction has such an important biological component may help explain an individual's difficulty in achieving and maintaining abstinence without treatment. Psychological stress from work or family problems, social cues (such as meeting individuals from one's drug-using past), or the environment (such as encountering streets, objects, or even smells associated with drug use) can interact with biological factors to hinder attainment of sustained abstinence and make relapse more likely. Research studies indicate that even the most severely addicted individuals can participate actively in treatment and that active participation is essential to good outcomes.

There is a balance to be struck, of course, and sitting one-on-one with a professional therapist isn't the only way to get well. Some of the most successful treatment centers in the nation include various therapies in tandem—meditation at some times, hypnotherapy at others. As long as you are exploring the emotional factors behind that addiction, you can be sure you are making progress in your efforts to defuse its terrible power.

Regarding Teens:

Anabolic Steroids—Buying "bulk" is never a good deal when it comes to these substances, which can cause guys to grow breasts and girls to grow beards along with more life-threatening effects.

Brain and Addiction—Discover what's in your head and how drugs of abuse cause changes in the brain.

Ecstasy (MDMA)—This club drug can cause confusion, depression, sleep problems, intense fear and anxiety that can last for days or weeks (in regular drug users) after taking it.

HIV, AIDS, and Drug Abuse—Behaviors associated with drug abuse now are one of the largest factors in the spread of HIV infection in the United States.

Inhalants—Chemicals in common household products can get you "high", but often at a high cost to your health.

Marijuana—Think everyone does it? And a bunch of leaves must be harmless, right? Check the facts.

Nicotine—It only takes eight seconds to reach the brain and start making changes.

Stimulants—This class of drugs can elevate mood and increase energy, but the are highly addictive.

Other Drugs—Looking for information on other drugs not listed here? NIDA has lots of other resources available-just look here.

Finding effective drug addiction help is easier than you think. Seeking help is your first step.

Source: NIDA

 

EATING DISORDERS

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa are often depressed. They choose not to eat despite their hunger and their very thin appearance. They often ‘feel fat’ even though they may actually be underweight. They may be thinking of food most of the time but they will not eat because for them eating normally would lead to terrifying weight gain.

The fear of becoming fat can override any sense of hunger so they don’t know when they are hungry, or they deny their hunger pain. They limit their food intake, are very choosy and may not eat many foods. Many also over exercise to lose weight, or work towards keeping a very low body weight. Not all those with anorexia nervosa are thin all the time. Their weight may vary but the anorexic thinking pattern may stay the same.

Sometimes anorexia nervosa begins with a weight loss after a physical illness or from dieting.

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia nervosa often have normal body weight or may be slightly overweight. This is another serious eating disorder where the sufferer has a similar fear of being overweight. The person gets caught up in a binge, purge, fast cycle.

  • Binge eating is uncontrolled eating of vast amounts of food, usually in a short space of time and is usually done in secret.
  • Purging is a way of getting rid of the food eaten in a binge. The most common way to purge is to make yourself vomit. Other ways of purging include laxatives, diet pills, over exercising and going without food.

The binge, purge, fast cycle is a hard pattern to break. People often binge to get rid of feelings they cannot manage, but this usually leads to more difficult feelings of guilt and gaining weight. They may then purge to get rid of these feelings at first and they may experience some relief from purging, but the guilt and self-hatred returns along with a feeling of being out of control. In an attempt to gain control and to feel better, they fast or don’t eat much but then the hunger leaves them more likely to start the cycle over again.

This can happen many times a day leaving people feeling depressed, sometimes suicidal, disgusted at themselves, withdrawn and having a belief that they are not able to control their behavior. They often feel responsible or to blame for this and may feel extremely embarrassed or ashamed.

It is important to realize that both anorexia and bulimia are serious problems and deserve specialized and sensitive care.

What causes an eating disorder?

There is not one single cause for an eating disorder. There is usually a combination of several or many different factors.

Some possible triggers for the disorder to begin may be chemical or hormone changes in the body at adolescence, worries or stress, or pressure from other people who say that to be attractive you have to be thin.

Some of the stresses or pressures that may contribute to eating disorders include:

  • feeling worried about all the new responsibilities that ‘growing up’ brings, for example, not liking the changes in their body (periods, body development) or not wanting to face issues like relating to the opposite sex
  • believing that doing really well is important to being loved and successful
  • being a ‘perfectionist’ and setting standards so high that they can never do as well as they want to, and then feeling they have failed
  • communication problems between family members (this is common in adolescence as young people test limits and move towards independence)
  • rules at home and/or poor communication which can prevent young people from feeling they have some control over their lives
  • stressful times (a major change or stressful situation such as breakdown of a relationship, birth of a child or the death of a loved one). These can make people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, and they may focus on dieting and body image as a way of getting some control back into their lives
  • ongoing teasing or bullying, especially about appearance
  • early childhood experiences such as sexual abuse memories that may be triggered as they and their friends begin to develop sexually
  • sexual contact or violence such as rape or sexual assault
  • messages from the media, television, films and magazines constantly presenting the ‘ideal’ shape as slim and fit. Many women feel their value is judged by what they look like. With a great emphasis placed on being thin, many people believe that they need to be thin to be successful and attractive. There is also a tendency to see fat people (or even people of normal healthy weight) in a negative way.

Why are eating disorders serious?

If left untreated severe anorexia and bulimia can cause long term problems with physical and mental health. Some people will recover completely, others may not, and with some it can be fatal.

Physical effects

While the physical effects can be serious, they are generally reversible if treated in the early stages.

Most of the effects of severe anorexia are related to not getting adequate nutrition.

The physical effects can include:

  • strain on, and sometimes damage to most of the body and internal organs
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • bone loss due to calcium deficiency
  • severe sensitivity to the cold
  • down-like hair all over the body
  • inability to think rationally or concentrate
  • and in girls, the loss of, or irregular periods.

Stress on the body from fasting, overeating and then vomiting can affect the body’s hormonal system and lead to massive changes in mood.

Severe bulimia is likely to cause erosion of the enamel on teeth from vomiting, swollen salivary glands, chronic sore throat and gullet, and the possibility of damage to the throat and stomach.

Other Issues  that are also likely include:

  • difficulties with activities which involve food, for example, not wanting to eat with others
  • loneliness and withdrawal from friends
  • deceptive behaviors relating to food
  • fear of disapproval of others should the illness become known, mixed with the hope that family and friends might step in and give help
  • mood swings, changes in personality, emotional outbursts or depression
  • inability to work, study or attend school due to depression, lack of stamina and inability to concentrate.

Signs of eating disorders

Some people might have unusual eating habits but they are not really extreme. Others can have eating disorder symptoms that don’t fit into either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. For example, some people with anorexia do know how thin they really are but still want to be thinner. Some people make themselves vomit but they don’t binge first. Some may not stop eating, but may restrict the amount they eat or have special rituals or very unusual behaviors around food.

Eating disorders can show up in what people do, but the underlying emotional stresses are not always easy to see.

These signs can have other causes besides an eating disorder but be aware of:

  • weight loss, failure to gain weight when growing, or fluctuating weight
  • tiredness, lack of energy and strength
  • depression or low self-worth
  • obsession with, and/or playing with food
  • being very selective about what to eat
  • obsession with body weight or shape
  • a preoccupation with the preparation of food for others to eat
  • thinking or talking about food all the time
  • over-exercising and being worried if they are not able to exercise
  • avoiding eating with other people
  • secrecy around food
  • regularly going to the toilet after eating or during meals
  • hoarding food
  • fear of losing control of eating
  • irritability and mood swings
  • avoiding friends and family
  • appearing anxious or stressed at meal times about food and amounts of food
  • menstruation (periods) stopping or not starting
  • lack of balance in a young persons life, for example, not stopping exercise (despite injuries).

What parents can do

  • If you pick up a number of signs and are worried, seek help early, even if your child resists they rarely seek help themselves.
  • Gently speak with your child, using open-ended questions, for example, ‘You seem to be really finding things hard, what’s happening for you? Rather than ‘Why aren’t you eating?’
  • Choose a good time to ask your child how she’s going and what is happening in her life.
  • Try not to focus too much on food and weight. Although the person who has an eating disorder is totally focused on eating and weight, it is important to realize that this is not the main problem. The obsession with food takes up all their thinking and helps them block out other things, such as how bad they feel about themselves and their lives. Not eating then causes other problems that then become the major worry.
  • Give praise and encouragement for small achievements as well as large ones.
  • Do what you can to build your child’s self-esteem.
  • Don’t let the eating disorder dominate your relationship with your child. Make sure you see all the good things about her as well.
  • Tell your child honestly that you love and care for her.
  • Seek advice from specialists who understand this illness and can make an assessment and help advise the best things to do.
  • Consider making contact with your child’s school once diagnosed so they can help support your child.
  • Be careful to avoid commenting on other peoples appearances (young people are particularly sensitive to comments from others).
  • Find support for yourself.
  • If your child is uncooperative, still seek advice and support.
  • Be patient it can be difficult for your child who may not understand the problem herself.

What help is available?

Noticing and responding to early warning signs and consulting a doctor is the most important thing to do first. No one wants to believe their child has a serious problem like an eating disorder but getting help early is the beginning of possibly breaking the cycle.

Once the illness has been diagnosed a range of health professionals may play a role in helping your child to recover. They may be doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians, social workers, occupational therapists and dentists.

Sometimes it may be necessary for a young person who is severely malnourished because of anorexia to spend some time in hospital. Outpatient treatment is generally preferred for those with bulimia.

Treatment may include counseling, and sometimes medication to help severe depression or to correct hormonal and chemical imbalances.

Dieticians who are trained in helping young people with eating disorders can help guide new healthy eating habits.

Reminders

  • An eating disorder is a serious problem which can lead to death if untreated.
  • Responding to early warning signs and getting early treatment is one of the most important things you can do.
  • Changes in eating behavior can be caused by a number of illnesses so a physical assessment first is a good idea.
  • There is specialized help around. Help is aimed at recovery and not blaming any one.
  • Remember you can seek advice even if your child is not ready to speak to someone.
  • Try not to panic if people receive good assistance, recovery rates are high.
  • It will require much commitment, motivation and hard work.
  • Be patient … change does not happen quickly.

 

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                                                                   Your Source for Free Stuff!

 

FAMILY VACATIONS


Vacations need not be expensive. Budget an amount and stick to it. If you're driving, set a fixed spending amount. Include all of your expenses, gas, meals, admissions, special activities, etc. Involve your children in the process. Share with them that conserving money on one day allows them to go to a water park on another day. Be creative.


The best bargains in air travel and the cheapest rates for car rentals, hotel rooms and vacation packages, whether you travel in the U.S. or internationally, are on the web. Check sites that specialize in family travel. Family Travel Network also is a good place to find a big list of bargains.

Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations. You can save up to 70% -- and avoid the crowds -- by picking a vacation spot that isn't a tourist Mecca. Check out spots where your dollar will stretch the furthest.

Do Disney on the cheap. Mickey Mouse and friends are really not as expensive as you might think. Walt Disney World has four value resorts, with rooms starting at $82 a night and packages from $1,600 for a family of four that include lodging for six nights and theme park tickets. You can use the free bus system to get to the theme park. Or for real budget accommodations, consider camping for $41 a night at the resort's campground. For more Disney discounts and deals, check out Mousesavers.com.

Travel after peak season. This might not be an option if you have school-age children, this might not work, but families with infants and toddlers can take advantage of discounted rates by traveling in the fall. If you want to head south of the border, off-season comes conveniently during the summer months. Caribbean and Mexican resorts and hotels are much cheaper from April or May through the fall, some have kids-stay-free promotions for children under certain ages during this time.

If your flexible, you can save money by letting the available deals on flights and lodging determine where and when you'll go rather than picking a location and timeframe then trying to find affordable flights and lodging there. For example, Airfarewatchdog.com lets you see the best airfares departing from your city, and you can sign up for e-mail notifications for deals from the airport nearest you. Farecast.com, which predicts whether fares on 2,000 domestic routes will go up or down, has a flexible search option that lets you see a range of prices for flying on different dates and from different airports.

Don't fear flying with infants. Gone are the days when airlines offered discounted rates for all children. But most airlines still let you hold a child younger than 2 on your lap for no charge -- or pay a discounted infant fare for a seat for your tot. Many have flown across the country -- an even the ocean -- with small children and survived the experience. Besides, attending to a baby for a few hours on a plane beats several hours in a car -- especially when traffic is heavy and you need to concentrate on the road.

Pick spots within driving distance. Driving is a good way to save money. But it can be as expensive as flying if you drive a gas-guzzling vehicle and have to pay for a hotel room on the way to your destination. So the key is to pick a destination that's just a few hours' drive away. In addition to saving money, you'll minimize the times you'll hear that inevitable question coming from the back seat: "Are we there yet?"

Consider camping. If you're really pinching pennies -- or just want to keep your kids away from a computer screen for a week -- pitch a tent rather than book a room. It's a great way to experience the national parks. And even places like Disney World have campgrounds. You may even want to send the whole family to summer camp, which can be a great value vacation.


LINKS:

Beaches
Family Travel Network
Aladdin Travel

 

    "Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly"

 

FAITH, FAMILY AND PRAYER
Prayer without faith is like a boat without an oar


Whoso loves, believes the impossible.

                    Elizabeth Barret Browning

When evoking family prayer, it is important to remember that our Heavenly Father loves to talk with children and cares deeply about their problems. Knowing that He protects and rescues us from our fears provides invaluable peace and unity to a family.

THE LORDS PRAYER

 

Our Father, which art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done,

in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive them that trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

[For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.

Amen.

THE 23rd PSALM

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.


We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

 

Luke 18"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said:

'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'

" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. "

A Simple Loving Daily Ritual:

It can be so easy to add gestures that bring powerful prayer to our family life.  One of the simplest and most natural is to trace a cross on a loved one's forehead.  It can speak volumes to a young child, if his or her parents were to give them this gesture of love and prayer.  This ritual can be done everyday, when we depart for the day, or at bed time, or it can be reserved for special prayers of blessing before a big event.  And, it can be a powerful, faith-filled ritual for a husband and wife, as part of an every day pattern, or at times of great intimacy, to touch each other in blessing.

 

                                                    Faith is the glue that holds a family together.

 

A Sons' Story:

Having had a heated argument with his mother, the son stormed out of his parents home, the father staying clear of the argument, fully aware this was between mother and son. The mother followed the son outside trying to make peace, but the son wanted none of it. The mother, just seventy, leaned against the wall and watched her son enter his car and speed away. Within a few miles, the son envisioned his mother leaning against the wall, guilty of one thing, loving her son and wishing for his happiness.
.
The son realized his ridiculous behavior, turned his car around and headed back. He reached his parents home, walked into the house, passed his smiling father, walked into the kitchen, put his arms around his mother and told her that he loved her and was sorry for his angry outburst, she told him that she loved him, this time walking out arm-in-arm with his mother.
.
Four days later his mother died from a heart attack.

Don't wait to tell your parents you love them, because you may never again have the opportunity.

 

FLOWERS OF THE MONTH 

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Carnation
Violet
Jonquil
Sweet Pea
Lily of the Valley
Rose
Larkspur
Gladiola
Aster
Calendula
Chrysanthemum
Narcissus

 

 

BASIC FOOD ALERGENS

While food labels don't include every possible allergen, they do list the top eight, which account for 90 percent of all documented food allergies:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
  • Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Soy
  • Wheat

 

GRIEVING


Grief is the emotions and sensations that accompany the loss of someone or something dear to you. The English word comes from the Old French grève, meaning a heavy burden. This makes sense when you consider that grief often weighs you down with sorrow and other emotions that can have both psychological and physical consequences.

When someone close to you dies, you don’t just lose that person on the physical level, you also face the loss of what might have been. Your pain can involve missing that persons presence: sleeping in a bed that’s half empty, craving a scent or an embrace. But knowing that your loved one will miss all of the milestones in your life often lasts longer than the pain of the physical absence. This may include the children that were never born, the trips not taken, colleges not attended, weddings not danced at — every life marker can be a reminder and an occasion for renewed grief.

When a crisis like a death occurs, the family is thrown into disorder. The family is disrupted and, in order to continue to function, must somehow regain some sort of stability while shifting the various responsibilities among the remaining family members. With a traumatic loss, family members need to answer questions as they attempt to make sense of the death. They may ask questions like: Why did it happen? Why my loved one? How did it happen? What can I do to prevent it from happening again?

In less intense times, the family serves as a primary source of confirmation of the reality of the experience of its members. With a traumatic loss, family members may find themselves particularly in need of this form of family social support.


Grief tends to be mixed with trauma when a loss is sudden and unexpected — a fatal heart attack, an accident, a murder — or its perceived as being outside the normal cycle of life, as in the death of a child. For example, someone who nurses a spouse through a long illness will grieve when the spouse is gone, but the person who witnesses the sudden death of a spouse in a car crash will likely be traumatized as well. A sudden loss can be even more difficult to deal with if you don’t have a socially recognized outlet for mourning, as may be the case with a miscarriage or stillbirth.

While trauma always incorporates grief, the two states are very different in how you experience them and what effect they can have on you. Grief is a normal reaction to loss, with its symptoms diminishing over time. On the other hand, trauma is a disabling reaction that can block the grieving process, disrupt your life, and leave you psychologically vulnerable. If you are coping with a traumatic loss, you may want to think about turning to a counselor or other professional for help.

 



"Losing a Loved One"
Wednesday, July 8, 1998



[The following article is reprinted by permission from VENTURE INWARD, the magazine of the ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH & ENLIGHTENMENT (A.R.E.) and EDGAR CAYCE FOUNDATION, P.O. Box 595, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.]

LOSING A LOVED ONE
By Marshall Kent
VENTURE INWARD, July/August 1998


One March morning my sweet wife was alive and happy. We were talking in bed just before getting up, she to her bath and I to do exercises. We were planning to go skiing that weekend. When I came back to the bathroom to shave, I found her flailing around in the tub unable to speak, eyes casting about things I could not see. After 47 years of affectionate marriage, it appeared that my worst fear was now my reality.

Her eyes couldn't see me. I called, "Gail, talk to me, talk to me, please." There was no answer or recognition. I knew it was a stroke. I pulled her out of the tub onto the bed and called 911. The paramedics were quick, efficient, kind. In the hospital emergency room, after they had her hooked up to various monitors, I sat beside her and held her hand. The look of bewilderment had left her face and even though her eyes were closed she had a look of peace. It seemed as if she needed rest, but something in me made me shake her awake to try to communicate. She opened her eyes and I moved my face to be in front of her vision. Her eyes softened beautifully in recognition. We had previously discussed the probability that if one of us were dying, and he/she would be unable to speak, it would be up to the survivor to carry on both sides of the conversation. This I did.

"Gail, I know you can hear me. Squeeze my hand if you can." I felt the squeeze.

"You look like you are at peace. Are you?" Again a squeeze of the hand.

"Do you feel surrounded by the light of love?" Another squeeze.

"Is a Spiritual Being holding you by the hand?" A very hard squeeze.

It was beautiful and felt holy.


The right side of her face was paralyzed but nonetheless she gave me a lovely half smile and her eyes projected love such as I have never seen. They said, "Thank you, I love you," and much else. The word beatific comes to my mind when I think of her look. I'm so glad I have that vision indelibly in my mind.

The look also said, "I know I am dying and am content. I want you also to be content with my going and you can be." We had often told each other that if we were to die tomorrow, we would feel that we had lived a full and wonderful life and could therefore leave contented. I knew she was leaving life contented, and I can't tell you how much that means to me. Now it was up to me to be content with my life without her and to carry on with my growth as in the past but physically on my own.

I wish I could convey the immense beauty of watching my beloved friend and companion with whom I had experienced so many adventures, so many joys and difficulties, so much, much sharing and feel her finding and sensing the peace of God. It was awesome -- the most tender experience of my life.

The CAT scan showed that she had suffered a massive blood clot that was blocking off large parts of the brain including the speech section. The doctor said there would be a crisis Saturday night or Sunday morning -- she only had a 50-50 chance of surviving -- and if she did survive there would be no way of knowing the extent of the brain damage. At best, she could probably understand very little, which would make any kind of muscular rehabilitation very difficult. He asked me what life support systems he should use, if any, to maintain life. I knew she would want none and told him. He agreed with this decision.

I told one of my sons that she had already decided to leave and would be going quickly. I knew she saw no reason for staying around. She went into a coma before midnight and died 24 hours after her stroke. "You did it your way," I told her. She had left of her own accord before the crisis that was supposed to have occurred later.

Even though one thinks about it, how one will actually react to such a crisis is beyond one's knowing. I often wondered as I got into my 60s whether I would want to go on living if she went first.

Now I was faced with that very cold fact. My reactions frankly astounded me. It came to me that I could choose another way, a better way, to react to her death than hopeless grief and depression. Deep grief need not be the inevitable result of losing a loved one.

This other way was prepared by several convictions we shared.

First, we believed the purpose of life was to learn and that our Creator was benevolent, even if we humans weren't.

Second, we believed that there was an afterlife, not necessarily like those described by any religion, but an afterlife nonetheless.

Third, we had discussed death and how we would handle it. I knew what her feelings were. I was not to be defeated by it and to regard it as a great learning opportunity.

Fourth, we believed that communication was possible from mind to mind without the use of physical means. Indeed, we had had frequent examples of that between ourselves.


This way of coping with death has been of wondrous help to me. I have felt little or no hopeless grief and depression. I have little difficulty in seeing life as still beautiful. I look forward to each day and activities to enjoy. No, I am not in a continuing state of shock nor am I in denial. Before this sounds too unbelievable, let me say that, yes, I do feel sad and that I would very much choose to have her back with me. In fact, there are tears in my eyes as I write this, but I would be hard pressed to identify what those tears are for. They include sadness but also joy, and perhaps the strongest of all, the feeling of the gracefulness of the whole thing. I can also choke up particularly when I tell others of the beautiful way Gail died.

Hopeless deep grieving to me is that total feeling of loss without any glimmer of light or feeling that it will ever be different: the bottomless abyss. This I have not felt. Sadness is more a temporary feeling that does not consume your entire feelings. This feeling I do have. However, when I cry or choke up, it is only my body that feels this while my inner self is serene and at peace.

When our friends call out of concern for me, their first question is am I keeping busy. It is as though the best thing that could happen to me is to be so busy that I have no time to think that Gail is now dead. In other words, I am not capable of facing the truth and I must attempt to keep truth's realization at bay by much activity. I have always believed that you cannot solve any problem by either pretending it isn't there or sugarcoating it into a different, less difficult problem. Facing the ungarnished truth in my life experiences has always been a successful technique, and I have no wish to abandon my trusted tool in my greatest challenge.


Gail was dead. I had assumed that the first night after her death would be pure hell of longing, grief, and crying, for she and I slept together with great joy in cuddling together. Strangely I went right to sleep and have essentially been doing that ever since. I didn't realize at first how this could be, but had the common sense not to question it and accept it gladly.

We have a small woods on our property where she and I used to go and just sit and watch the birds and deer. After Gail died, I went there often. It was far enough away from the house so that I could cry and talk out loud with no fear of being overheard. The day after she died I went there and started sobbing about her going. It was the closest I came to deep grieving. During this sobbing I heard in my mind this statement, "You are surrounded by God's love and my own. When you are aware of being surrounded by our love, there is no room for fear to enter. You need not fear being alone, or being without me or anything else." At that moment I did feel surrounded by her love and my crying dried up. It was as though love occupied a physical space around me and fear of the future just couldn't force its way in. I understood this intellectually, but best of all I felt it. She, I sensed, was actively partaking in my response to her passing. Her spirit had survived death and was continuing.

Some people will have difficulty with this. Believing in an afterlife is hard enough without throwing in the communication with the deceased person. A valid theory (not necessarily the correct one) is that whatever is coming to me is just from my own inner self and that my conscious mind likes the idea of ascribing it to her, so it builds the rationale to make this the explanation. It doesn't matter whether it is coming from her or not -- somehow I am using the emotional energy generated by her passing to tap inner resources that were previously not easily available to me. I believe it was Gail because when she was alive we had been able to communicate mind to mind without words and we had come to recognize each other's style of thinking. This same thing was continuing now that she was gone. The only difference was that I could no longer confirm it with her verbally.


We had long ago realized that even as we related to each other as two egos, we also related as two spiritual selves. At times the ego selves would buck heads and be difficult, but our spiritual selves were slowly and steadily building a solid joining that death would not sever. We were still joined spiritually even though she had laid aside her body and ego. The spiritual joining we had while she was alive and had grown accustomed to in our married life was still there and thriving. In fact, in many ways I could feel it more clearly as it was not obscured by our egos. Thoughts and understandings came full blown into my mind that were comforting and they felt as if they came from her. But it does not matter who the messenger was as the message itself was the key.

It was not luck that allowed me to feel this way. We had planned it. We had realized and discussed that when one of us died the other would be in a high state of emotional energy. We also knew that when you have such a state of high emotional energy, your mind is able to perceive and penetrate things that normally are beyond you. Trances, altered states of consciousness, meditation, hypnosis, and oracles are all various words we use for getting perception beyond the confines of our usual conscious state. Either she or I would have a golden opportunity to use this high emotional state to learn a great deal that we had previously been unable to tap. We could choose to dissipate this energy into negative depression and grief or deliberately redirect it to positive healing and learning. We should hold ourselves open to receive whatever there was to receive from whatever source. So at her death, contrary to the professional and customary view that I must let grief run its course unhindered, I deliberately tried to focus this emotional energy away from grieving and toward being open to various sensations and thoughts that, I hoped, would crop up unbidden within me. They came, a bonanza of insights and understandings. An appreciation of our essential spiritual nature showered upon me. And this encouragement made it much easier to turn away from grief with peace in my heart.

Some communications were eminently practical, too. Neither Gail nor I wanted a public memorial service or a grave. We wanted to be returned to the soil where our ashes might contribute to something living and without a plaque or such. Just a simple recycling to the living. So for our family memorial gathering on Easter Sunday after she died I wanted to plant a tree and mix her ashes in the soil around the tree.


When we bought our land, we planted a black oak tree which now, 40 years later, is a big lovely tree. We had talked about planting another black oak but never got around to it. Now that seemed most appropriate.

Our local nursery said they had no black oaks and couldn't order one be- cause it was the wrong time of year. I called other nurseries for 100 miles around, with negative results. I reluctantly concluded that we would have to plant a redwood.

We already had a number of redwoods on our hill and one more didn't seem quite what I wanted. However, I had tried my best. I went down to the nursery to select a redwood.

Shopping and I do not mix well. I prefer to walk straight to what I want, buy it, and leave. Gail, when shopping, liked to browse around. While I was walking into the nursery to buy the redwood tree and be gone, a thought came to my mind: "Don't be so silly. What makes you think they know what they have in their own inventory? Walk around." I immediately knew that this was Gail's thinking; it was how her mind worked.

Committed to being open, I changed course and headed up an aisle of plants. At the very end against the fence were three black oaks, one of which had an outstanding shape. I would have picked it out of 100 trees as her tree. It had wonderful character. I laughed out loud and thanked her. It is now planted on our hill and has to be the most pampered tree in the valley.


I believe she arranged the whole thing, including the frustration, knowing that this would get my attention. She also knew I would try my best to accomplish what I thought was right; but -- if it was not to be -- I would also be accepting, assuming that there was something there for me to understand, and there was.

What a lovely, humorous, and gentle way for her to let me know of her presence and help.

I hope you now understand why I call her death beautiful. I feel blessed to have been able to be with her during this transition. I felt inspired to try to do those things we talked about. I want to stay open to whatever might occur and keep my analytical (I have an engineering degree) mind in neutral. There would be plenty of time later to analyze. Now was the time to feel the unseen, hear the unspoken, and know the larger extent of our spiritual selves.

 


  

 

Health Digest &Topics

 

·  Mastocytosis

·  Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

·  Microbes (PDF)

·  Norovirus Infection

·  Parasitic Roundworm Diseases

·  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

·  Pinworm Infection

·  Plague

·  Pneumonia

·  Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases

·  Prion Diseases

·  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

·  Salmonella/Salmonellosis

·  Scarlet Fever

·  Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

·  Severe Step Infections

·  Sexually Transmitted Infections

·  Shigella/Shigellosis

·  Shingles

·  Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

·  Smallpox

·  Strep Throat

·  Streptococcal Infections

·  Strongyloidiasis

·  Syphilis

·  Tickborne Diseases

·  Topical Microbicides (PDF)

·  Transplantation

·  Trichinosis

·  Trichomoniasis

·  Tuberculosis

·  Tularemia

·  Vaccine Research

·  Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)

·  Vaginal Yeast Infection

·  Vaginitis

·  Wegener's Granulomatosis

·  West Nile Virus

·  Whipworm Disease

·  Women's Health

 

LEGAL MATTERS


There are many legal documents that your family would need to settle an estate.

  • Your will. Your original will should be left with the attorney who drafted it. Make sure the attorney has a fireproof vault or bank vault and has a good index of wills. A copy of the will should be kept in a safe place at your home with the attorney’s name, address, and phone number printed on the front of the will; and a second copy should be entrusted to a family member or friend. Because many states do not allow immediate access to personal safe deposit boxes after the death of the depositor, wills should not be kept in safe deposit boxes.
  • Letters of instruction. Letters expressing funeral wishes, distribution wishes of personal items (such as jewelry, tools, or sporting equipment), and listing the location of all critical papers and documents should be kept with the original will, as well as with each copy of the will. Also listed in that location-of-critical-papers letter should be the location of any safe deposit boxes. Write a separate letter to your attorney, surviving spouse, will executor, and a trusted friend or family member and tell them the location of the safety deposit box key.
  • Durable power of attorney. Give a signed copy of the power of attorney to the person named to act on your behalf in financial matters if you become unable to do so. Also give a signed copy to your attorney, to a trusted family member or friend, and keep a copy in a safe place in your home preferably accompanying your copy of the will.
  • Trusts. If you've set up a living trust, the original paperwork should be kept with your attorney. A copy of the trust should be kept in a safe place at home, and copies should be given to all co-trustees and to the successor trustee.
  • Health care proxy and living will. If there are written instructions that express the kind of treatment you desire if a medical condition prevents you from writing or speaking, make sure these instructions are kept in a safe but easily accessible place in your home. In addition, give a copy of the health care proxy and living will to the person you have named to speak on your behalf, your attorney, a trusted family member, and your family physician.
  • Medical information. In addition to a health care proxy and living will, there needs to be kept in a safe place written information explaining any special medical conditions or allergies, types and dosage of medication taken, and a record of illnesses or hospitalizations within the previous five years. Your family physician, a family member, and the attorney should keep copies.
  • Other papers. Be sure that your family knows where to find (1) your old tax records; (2) copies of leases or rental agreements; (3) mortgages, loans, and promissory notes (paid and outstanding, institutional or private); (4) insurance policies, including life, health care, Medicare (or any other Medigap coverage), and long-term care; (5) bank account records, including canceled checks and savings account records; (6) prepaid funeral and/or burial arrangement documents; (7) Social Security benefits records; (8) military records including discharge papers; (9) stock or mutual funds performance documents and annual statements; and (10) the guardianship designation of minor children in the case of the death of both spouses. The location of these critical papers should be listed in the letters of instruction kept with all copies of your will.


Make a detailed list of assets and states where documents relating to assets can be found. The original list should be kept in a safe place in your home or in a safe deposit box. Copies should be given to your attorney, will executor, trust trustee, and a trusted friend or family member. Include the following in your list of assets.

  • Retirement accounts. Include account numbers, beneficiary designations, and companies  where retirement funds are invested.
  • Bank accounts. Include name of bank(s), account numbers, type of accounts, branch locations, debit card numbers, credit card numbers (all credit cards, not just the ones issued by the bank), date account was opened, the name of a bank officer.
  • Brokerage accounts. Include name and phone number of brokerage firm or brokerage contact person, branch locations, name of investment funds with account numbers, and date of initial purchase(s).
  • Deeds, titles, and certificates. Include stock certificate numbers, bond series numbers, automobile and motor vehicle title numbers, and property and real estate deed numbers.
  • Outstanding loans and debts. Include the name of company, institution, issuer of credit, or individual to whom money is owed, amount of initial loan, account numbers if any, and approximate balance of each. These will likely have to be repaid as part of the estate settlement.
  • Life insurance information. Include names of insurance companies, account numbers, type of insurance, amount of coverage, date of issue, and any special consideration (such as double indemnity for accidental death).
  • A family tree. These include names of immediate family members for both spouses for at least one past generation.
  • Vital records. Include individual birth certificate and birth certificates of family members, death certificates of family members, marriage records, baptismal records, and individual passport information.
  • Personal assets. Include all personal items, including serial numbers if available; approximate date of acquisition; and approximate value. These would include electronic equipment, firearms, household accessories, clothing, jewelry, books or works of art, etc.
  •  


Make a list of all professionals that you use or choose to use and keep the list with the original and all copies of your will. A trusted friend or family member should keep an additional copy. Include the name, address, and phone number

Wills and trusts.

  1. A self-drawn will is called a holographic will. The rules governing holographic wills vary from state to state, and you must thoroughly understand the laws of your state to ensure your will is probatable in court. For this reason all wills should be proofread by an attorney.
  2. What if one of my witnesses has died or is unable to serve as a witness? In order for a will to be probated, the judge will most likely require that the will be verified. If you used only two witnesses and the state requires two, both must be alive and able to substantiate the general contents of the will. It is always best to have three or four witnesses. If less than the required are available, you will need to amend your will with a codicil to have other witnesses verify it.
  3. Should I keep my will in a safety deposit box? If you do keep it in a safety deposit box you need to be sure that someone else has access to the box. Since a safety deposit box cannot be opened except by court order, the process can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore you should name your spouse and your attorney or accountant as authorized signatories.
  4. Do I need a new will if I change residences from one state to another? Possibly. You need to have an attorney in the new state review your will to be sure that it conforms to that state’s laws.
  5. What if I own property in more than one state? Generally, your estate is governed by the state in which you reside at the time of your death. Thus a valid will drawn in your state will most likely control the distribution of assets in another state.
  6. Do I need a will if my spouse and I hold all of our property in joint tenancy? Yes, you still need a will. Joint tenancy means that the surviving tenant owns the property if the other tenant dies, but if there are assets owned outside the joint properties they will not be covered. You will need to check with an attorney to determine how jointly owned properties are handled in your state, in case of the death of one of the owners.
  7. Who can I name as my estate executor? You can name anyone you desire to act as executor of your will and estate. That person's duties are to probate the will and distribute the assets according to the dictates of the will. Unless otherwise stipulated, many states require an out-of-state executor to post a bond. Some require that the bond be equal to the value of the estate. If you use a professional executor, there will be a fee involved. This can vary from an hourly fee to a percentage of the estate value. Any such fees should be clearly spelled out in a contract and attached to the will or trust.
  8. What is a trust? A trust is a legal contract to manage someone's assets, before and after death. There are two basic types of trusts: living trusts and testamentary trusts. A living trust is drafted and implemented while the assignee is still living. Within a living trust is another division: the living trust can be either revocable or irrevocable. If it is revocable, the assignee reserves the right to modify the trust as long as the assignee is alive. If the trust is irrevocable, the trust cannot be changed once in force, nor can the property assigned to the trust be recovered by the donor. A testamentary trust is valid when the person dies.
  9. What is the advantage of a trust, if any? A trust is not a public document, like a will, and does not require probate, thus ensuring privacy. In many cases, assets held in trust could be free from estate taxes.
  10. How much tax will my estate have to pay? That depends on the value of the estate at your death. Through a marital deduction allowance, each spouse can leave the other an unlimited amount of assets. However, assets left to someone other than a spouse are subject to estate taxes.
  11. When are the taxes due? Usually within six months of death, the state will require an appraisal of the estate. The taxes are due and payable at that time, although in practice both the state and federal tax collectors will normally work out a plan to convert the assets necessary to pay the taxes so that the estate doesn't suffer a severe dilution through a forced sale. Liquidity, or cash, in an estate is very important, since taxes must be paid in cash. Otherwise, assets must be sold to satisfy the tax obligation.
  12. What if I change my mind after I make a will? You can change your will through the use of a codicil. The codicil is subject to the same laws of probate, so it is important that it be drafted properly. Attach all codicils to the original will and store them together. Remember that only the original will or codicil is probated, so protect them carefully

 

Nothing!

Upon visiting his elderly father. He knocked on the front door, The father opened the front door, The son gasped at his appearance, he was covered head to toe with soot, only his Raccoon eyes and teeth shown through, startled, The son ask "What Happened", The fathers response, "Nothing", The Son was speechless, mind you, this was an understatement.  Upon entering he noticed all the cobwebs that he had missed when last dusting, finally, upon continued questioning the father, he stated that he had attempted to re-light the pilot in the heater. The explosion had blown the soot out of every duct in the house and destroyed the heater.

At the time, the son thought he would explode, but reflecting many years later, the son saw the occassion as a priceless memory

 

LINKS

American Academy of Physicians

American Acupuncturist Association

Amber Alert (US Department of Justice)

American's Most Wanted

Emergency & Disaster Preparedness

Fun Dates

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers

National Sex Offender Registry

Parents Without Partners.org

Seeds of Peace.org

Social Services US Government (HHS.com)

World Clock (poodwaddle.com)

America Yoga Association

Family Vacation Tips

White Hutchinson Group

 

MOVING YOUR FAMILY

Make your move Easier for your family

Moving to a new home is always stressful, and it is also stressful on children. Even the youngest children have problems transitioning to a new home. Here are a few ideas to help make the move easier on those with a family and children.

Tell the children about it as early as possible. Do not surprise them with the information and then move soon after that. Children need time to digest information, ask questions and get used to the idea.

When you tell children about the move, talk about it in positive terms. Help them get excited about new and better schools, better entertainment facilities, shopping malls, new friends etc.

Ensure them that they can keep in touch with their old friends and visit (if this is possible) as much as they want

Make sure to keep a positive attitude about the move, as well as the moving process, which is also stressful. Depending on the age of the child, let them help with the packing of their items. Try to make it fun and exciting.

Finding moving companies can be challenging enough, moving with a family can be even more difficult. There are a lot of changes going on for you and your family. That's why it is critical to spend some time helping your kids cope with the changes going on around them. The advice set out in this guide will help your move go more smoothly.

When to Move School Age Kids
When your kids are school age, you might be tempted to plan your move for the school holidays. In reality, this can actually make things harder for your kids. School is most likely the first place your kids can be assured of making friends. Thus, moving during the school holidays places your child in unfamiliar and new surroundings at a time when their chances of making friends are low.

  • As school resumes, your child may feel even more left out. As the first day return to school is filled with the excitement and hustle and bustle that occurs after a holiday vacation, your child may feel like a stranger.
  • When you schedule your move during the school year, it allows your kids to go from one social setting to another.
  • The teacher and the other kids will be more willing to show your child some extra special attention when they are the only new person.

Does Age Make a Difference?

  • Generally speaking, the younger the child, the better they will cope with the transition of moving to a new home.
  • Very young children and infants may be confused. It is a good idea to try to explain to them what's happening and make it like an adventure.
  • The biggest worry that school age children endure is whether they will make new friends and fit in easily a their new school.
  • Because teenagers' friends provide them with a sense of identity, it is more difficult for teens to feel comfortable with the idea of moving to a new home.

Before the Move

  • As you start making plans for your move, remember to focus on what your kids can look forward to.
  • After all, if you see your move as an exciting adventure, your kids will also be very enthusiastic.
  • Right from the start, you might want to take them with you on house-hunting adventures. In cases where it might not be practical to have them tagging along, don't forget to bring back pictures of hot prospects you're considering.
  • After you've found the new home, be sure to take pictures of local places of interest.

Getting the Kids Involved
It's only natural that your kids will want to be involved with what's going on. Some examples of ways to get your kids involved are:

  • Asking them to help plan for and organize your garage sale. They could make colorful posters to stick up around the neighborhood.
  • Allowing them to choose a small number of toys or other items to keep with them on moving day.
  • Empowering them by letting them pack and label a few of their own boxes
  • Making sure they have a special job to take care of on moving day. This will help them feel as if they're making a valuable contribution.
  • Allowing them to decide how their new rooms should decorated and arranged.

What About Childcare?

  • Undoubtedly you will be offered a lot of conflicting advice whether you should keep your kids with you on moving day or arrange childcare.
  • Keep in mind that you are the best judge of what's right for your kids.

Saying Goodbye

  • It is critical that your children have the enough time to say good-bye to the family members and friends they're leaving behind.
  • You should encourage them to exchange contact information. Fortunately, for most of us today, our friends are only a few keystrokes away via e-mail.

Settling In
Understand that it is like that there may be a grieving period for children it may last a few weeks, perhaps even a few months. Here are a few easy things you can do to make moving easier for your kids.

  • Investigate and explore your new neighborhood together. Look for new and exciting things.
  • Go to your new child's school with them before and walk around the new school together to help them find their bearings.
  • Accompany your kids on their route to school until they are comfortable traveling by themselves.
  • Seek out after-school activities where your children can make new friends with similar interests.
  • Don't forget to encourage them to keep in touch with old friends.

Keeping an Eye Out for Early Warning Signs

  • A major change is always difficult for a child. Even the most well adjusted child can have difficulty coping with moving.
  • Be watchful, it's important to pick up on early warning signs that your child may need extra help adjusting.

Here are some things to watch out for

  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems sleeping, or regular nightmares
  • Outbursts of anger or tears
  • Reluctance to stray far from the house or family
  • Difficulty making new friends

Additional Hints for Moving Kids

  • There are children's books that help kids come to terms and understand an upcoming move, and cope with some of the feelings they may be experiencing.
  • If you've got young children, it's important to remove dangerous situations and to child proof your home.
  • The sooner you teach your kids your new address and phone number, the better.

Depending on the age of the child, let them help pick out their new bedroom and any new furniture, if applicable. Also, let them assist with arranging how their new bedroom will be.

Try to keep the attitude that this is a new an exciting adventure. Kids will also become excited if they see you are.

Answer any questions as honestly as possible. When children have negative comments about the move, try to stay positive and do not become angry.

If your schedule allows, try to move after the school year. Teenagers, especially, do not like being the “new kid” and can blend in easier at the beginning of a school year. Younger children are usually not so sensitive about this, but discuss it with the child.

Take children with you to look at the new neighborhood, schools, and home or apartment before the move. Although it may not be convenient, it’s worth the effort because it will ease the transition and help children begin to make the adjustment. If this is not possible, take a camera or video recorder with you when you go. Your children will appreciate the photos and/or video that you bring back, and it will help them begin the transition. You can also use a map to help them understand the new area and the route you will take to get there.

For younger children, you could make the move more fun by turning it into an exciting adventure. Try acting out moving day ahead of time and make it like a game. A conversation could go something like this: "On Friday when you wake up, there will be a big truck in the driveway. We will have breakfast, then go into your room and show the movers which things to put on the truck. Then, after the truck is filled we will get in our car and go to our new home. Then we will tell the movers exactly where to put your things in your new room...."

For older children, a move that involves leaving friends, sports teams and favorite hangouts behind can be extremely difficult. Help them say good-bye to friends by hosting a good-bye party. Give older children a disposable camera and ask them to document your move.

A few things to keep in mind on moving day:

  • If you have infants, make sure that you have a sitter or a friend watch your kids during the moving process.
  • Plan some activity to keep your kids busy. Children in their excitement may disturb the moving process by running and doing things that may distract the moving company's professionals doing their job.
  • Let kids color or put stickers on their own boxes, so they will be immediately recognizable coming off the moving truck when you arrive at your new home.
  • Be sure to pack your kids’ favorite items, such as their toys or games, in a separate bag you plan to carry with you. This way, they will have something to do immediately when you arrive at your destination and will have activities to keep them occupied during the unloading.

 

MOVING YOUR PET

As you prepare for your move, you should plan on preliminary preparation for your pet so they too can be well prepared. There are many things you can to do make the move less stressful for your pet.

Things to consider:

  • Once you've made the decision to move to a new home, you will need to do some research. Certain localities may have stringent requirements or restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations.
  • Don't forget to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Your pet should have a check-up before moving. Be sure to attain your pet's veterinary records so that they can be forwarded to your new veterinarian.
  • Research has found that diabetes in animals can sometimes (rarely) be caused by stress, i.e., moving.

A Short Move

  • For local moves, it probably makes the most sense to transport your pet in the car with you on moving day.
  • Remember to make sure that your pet is safe. Keep your pet in an unused room, or perhaps even outside. And of course, as always, your pet should have plenty of fresh water, and enough toys to occupy their time.

Moving Pets by Car

  • Many dogs and cats may find car travel extremely distressing. Some may even get car sick. You will have to be ready to make many stops along the way. Several small pets (such as birds, guinea pigs, birds, etc.) can be easily transported via automobile. A good, simple way of keeping them calm and quiet is to cover their cage with a cloth.
  • Long distance moves may required an overnight stop. Remember to call hotels in advance to make sure that they will allow your pet to stay in the hotel.

Moving Fish

  • It's wise to visit your local Aquarium or Pet Shop and ask for special fish containers to safely transport your fish. They should be able to offer suggestions on what's best for different types of fish.

Creating A Pet Pack
If you're moving your pet by car, there are several things you should plan on taking with you on moving day:

  • An old bed sheet or blanket will protect your car upholstery.
  • A favorite toy or two, and an old T-shirt or rag with your scent on it.
  • Two plastic containers - one should have fresh water, the other should have food and treats.
  • Medications that your pet may need.
  • A leash for when you make rest stops with your pet.
  • Even if your pet doesn't typically get car sick, it is better to be safe than sorry, bring paper towels, a sponge, and plenty of plastic bags.

Pet Transport
Depending on the temperament and size of your pet, as well as the distance you're moving, it may be make sense to enlist the help of a pet transporter. Reputable pet transporters can organize every aspect of moving your pet from beginning to end. Services provided may include the following:

  • Sensible advice on preparing your pet for the trip
  • Specific details about requirements or restrictions on pet ownership in your new locality
  • Collecting your pet at the airport
  • Boarding your pet until you arrive
  • Delivery of your pet to your new home.

If you will be transporting your dog or cat by air, you must have the following details in order:

  • A recent health certificate provided by your veterinarian
  • A pet carrier that complies with airline regulations
  • Don't forget to confirm rules and regulations with your pet transporter so that you can purchase any pet products that may be needed.
    Trip Tips
  • Always take your dog for a long walk before the trip.
  • Remember to advise your pet transporter of any specific requirements for your pet.
  • You should keep your cat indoors for at least 24 hours at your new home.
  • Never feed your pet too much before the trip.
  • Unless it is absolutely necessary, it is best not to sedate your pet.
  • Always remember to get a new pet ID tag with your new address and contact phone numbers.

 

NICOTINE ADDICTION
A Deathly Health issue

Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine, Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative health consequences. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them want to quit each year. Unfortunately, only about 6 percent of people who try to quit are successful for more than a month

Research has shown how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates reward pathways the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse, and is thought to underlie the pleasurable sensations experienced by many smokers. Nicotine’s pharmacokinetic properties also enhance its abuse potential. Cigarette smoking produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain, with drug levels peaking within 10 seconds of inhalation. However, the acute effects of nicotine dissipate in a few minutes, as do the associated feelings of reward, which causes the smoker to continue dosing to maintain the drugs pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, craving, cognitive and attentional deficits, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite. These symptoms may begin within a few hours after the last cigarette, quickly driving people back to tobacco use. Symptoms peak within the first few days of smoking cessation and may subside within a few weeks. For some people, however, symptoms may persist for months.

While withdrawal is related to the pharmacological effects of nicotine, many behavioral factors can also affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For some people, the feel, smell, and sight of a cigarette and the ritual of obtaining, handling, lighting, and smoking the cigarette are all associated with the pleasurable effects of smoking and can make withdrawal or craving worse. While nicotine gum and patches may alleviate the pharmacological aspects of withdrawal, cravings often persist. Other forms of nicotine replacement, such as inhalers, attempt to address some of these other issues, while behavioral therapies can help smokers identify environmental triggers of withdrawal and craving so they can employ strategies to prevent or circumvent these symptoms and urges.

Teens & Smoking

There are a variety of reasons teens choose to smoke. You may choose to smoke for the following reasons:

  • Peer pressure. You are trying to find a way to fit in with a group of friends, a boyfriend, or a girlfriend.
  • Entertainment. You think it is a fun activity with friends or at parties.
  • Curiosity. You want to see what it is like.
  • Rebellion. You do it because you want to make your own decisions and you know that your family or others do not want you to smoke.
  • Stress. You think it will help you relax and temporarily escape from a stressful situation.

Very few people start smoking after they are 20. Most smokers started smoking when they were teens and could not quit. The main problem with smoking is that it becomes very hard to stop. Before you light up, don't ask yourself, "Do I want to try smoking?" The question you need to ask yourself is "Do I want to be a smoker or a non-smoker?" You can't be both.

You may gain what you are seeking. You may become accepted with a group of friends. You may feel more like an adult, or a rebel, or you have more fun at parties. The problem is that once you start smoking the addiction also starts and your body will start craving and needing cigarettes. You won't be in control of smoking -- smoking will control you. Smoking will start to interfere with every aspect of your life. When you go out to concerts, dinner, dances, and movies, you will always be thinking, "Where can I go to smoke?" You may even have to leave in the middle of a movie or an event to go smoke because your addiction is so strong.

Cigarettes do not smell good. The nicotine in the cigarette is what your body is craving, not the smell of the cigarette. The smell will get into your clothes, your car, and your room -- not to mention your breath. Even if you become used to the smell, non-smokers do not often tolerate the smell very well. Non-smokers can also be harmed by breathing in your smoke and will likely not want to be around you while you are smoking. This means you will be forced to smoke outside (even when it is cold) or in a separate area away from other people. Or, you won't be allowed to smoke in certain places at all. Sadly, you will find yourself deciding not to go to certain events just because you cannot smoke there.

Smoking is Life Altering

Most adults who smoke will tell you that they wish they would have never started. They probably started smoking when they were teens for the same reasons many teens start smoking today. Your parents or other adults aren't trying to prevent you from smoking to ruin your fun. They know that it will make your life much more difficult in the future.

Teens often don't care about how smoking will affect them when they are older. However, you should be aware of the many long-term health problems that come from smoking:

  • About half a million people die every year from cancer, breathing problems, stroke, and other health problems caused by smoking.
  • Almost everyone who has lung cancer is either a smoker or lives with a smoker.
  • Smoking is the major cause of emphysema, a debilitating lung disease that makes you wheeze and pant and be unable to catch your breath.
  • Smokers have a two times greater risk of fatal heart disease and are more likely to have a stroke, which is a sudden damage to the brain from a blood vessel problem.
  • Smokers have a greater chance of having peptic ulcers, bone fractures, sleep disorders and more colds.
  • Smoking affects pregnant women and their unborn children. Smoking mothers have a greater risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

The more cigarettes a person smokes each day, the greater the risk of disease. Fortunately when a smoker stops smoking, many of the above risks decrease, but slowly.

 

Personal/Respectful note: Being a single parent years ago, my eldest (16 year old) daughter was on the phone, I was in the midst of doing the dishes, my behavior not becoming that of a mature (that happened a lot) Dad, my daughter cupped the phone, and told me to go to my room, (considering that I was the one with a few hundred employees, not used to being told what to do) obediently; I did as( fortunately, I had already eaten  dinner) I was told, I learned my lesson well. Upon her younger sister turning "21" her elder sister bought her a bottle of champagne, I was very upset and heatedly told her of my concern of her considering drinking it. She moved right up to my face, standing on her tiptoes "nose-to-nose" and chewed me out, because I did not know her better. Today she is much older, and never has drunk!  God love them both and the Love and respect I have for them both, they did their best to raise me right..        A Dad   

 

PARENTING
#1 Provide a loving environment

If you're a parent, you get plenty of suggestions on how to raise your child. From experts to other parents, people are always ready to offer advice. Parenting tips, parents' survival guides, dos, don'ts, shoulds and shouldn'ts - new ones come out daily.

The truth is there is more than one "right" way to be a good parent. Good parenting includes

A point to always remember when dealing with your child. You are the adult  and you are in charge! It may seem somewhat harsh, but your child will someday be very grateful to you for being the adult.

A few pointers to Good Parenting.

Problem behavior is common among school-age children and takes up a significant portion of a parent's time. At any one time, on average, school-age children have about five or six traits or behaviors that their parents find difficult. These might include not complying with simple requests, avoiding chores, spending too much time watching TV or playing videos, engaging in sibling rivalry or having difficulty completing homework. Other common problems for parents are dealing with a temperamentally difficult child, or coping with a child who either wants too much independence or hasn't achieved enough autonomy. Parents also sometimes encounter the dilemma of a child who prefers friends or activities not approved of by his mother or father.

As a parent, you need to recognize that it is normal to feel worried, confused, angry, guilty, overwhelmed and inadequate because of your child's behavior. That is part of being a parent. It is futile and self-defeating to try to be perfect or to raise perfect children.

Think back to how you behaved, or misbehaved, as a child, about how your parents dealt with your behavior, and how you felt about their disciplinary techniques. They were not perfect, but neither was anyone else. Do not try to overcompensate for their shortcomings by trying to be perfect yourself, and by getting caught up in statements like "I'm not going to make the same mistakes my parents made."

All parents and all children make mistakes in their attempts to communicate and deal with one another and in trying to solve problems. Parents need to trust themselves and their instincts. Mothers and fathers tend to have good intuition and knowledge of their own children. They often know more than they think they do, and they should not be afraid of making mistakes. Children are resilient and forgiving and usually learn and grow through their mistakes. Parents tend to be just as resilient and forgiving.

However, parents who "live for their children" are putting themselves in a very vulnerable position, setting themselves up for possible disappointment, frustration and resentment. They are also being unfair to their family. Parents should not expect to receive all their personal fulfillment from their children or from the parenting role. Parents need other activities to fulfill their self-images, and other sources of love and nurturing. They need time to be adults and time for themselves - and a break from children and parenting responsibilities.

As a parent, you need to develop your own philosophy - one with which you feel comfortable - within a flexible and adaptable framework. Take into account your own expectations, parenting style, and temperament, and how they fit with each of your children and your spouse, and their own unique preferences and temperaments. Your approach and philosophy will vary from youngster to youngster, mainly because of their own particular attributes.

Communicating

  • Be available. Make time in everyone's busy schedule to stop and talk about things. Even 10 minutes a day without distractions for you and your child to talk can make a big difference in forming good communication habits. Turn off the television or radio. Give your undivided attention to your child. Sit down and look at your child while you talk. Those few minutes a day can be of great value.
  •  listen. When you listen to your child, you help your child feel loved and valued. Ask your child about his feelings on a subject. If you are not clear about what your child is saying, repeat what you are hearing to be sure that you understand what your child is trying to say. You do not have to agree with what your child is saying to be a good listener. Sharing his thoughts with you helps your child calm down, so later he can listen to you.
  • Show empathy. This means tuning in to your child's feelings and letting him know you understand. If your child is sad or upset, a gentle touch or hug may let him know that you understand those sad or bad feelings. Do not tell your child what he thinks or feels. Let him express those feelings. And be sure not to minimize these feelings by saying things like, "It's silly to feel that way," or "You'll understand when you get older." His feelings are real to him and should be respected.
  • Be a good role model. Remember, children learn by example. Use words and tones in your voice that you want your child to use. Make sure that your tone of voice and what you do send the same message. For example, if you laugh when you say, "No, don't do that," the message will be confusing. Be clear in your directions. Once you get the message across, do not wear out your point. If you use words to describe your feelings, it will help your child to learn to do the same. When parents use feeling words, such as, "It makes me feel sad when you won't do what I ask you to do," instead of screaming or name calling, children learn to do the same.

 

For healthy self-esteem, children need to develop or acquire some or all of the following characteristics:

A sense of security.
Your child must feel secure about herself and her future. ("What will become of me?")

A sense of belonging.
Your youngster needs to feel accepted and loved by others, beginning with the family and then extending to groups such as friends, schoolmates, sports teams, a church or temple and even a neighborhood or community. Without this acceptance or group identity, she may feel rejected, lonely, and adrift without a "home," "family" or "group."

A sense of purpose.
Your child should have goals that give her purpose and direction and an avenue for channeling her energy toward achievement and self-expression. If she lacks a sense of purpose, she may feel bored, aimless, even resentful at being pushed in certain directions by you or others.

A sense of personal competence and pride.
Your child should feel confident in her ability to meet the challenges in her life. This sense of personal power evolves from having successful life experiences in solving problems independently, being creative and getting results for her efforts. Setting appropriate expectations, not too low and not too high, is critical to developing competence and confidence. If you are overprotecting her, and if she is too dependent on you, or if expectations are so high she never succeeds, she may feel powerless and incapable of controlling the circumstances in her life.

A sense of trust.
Your child needs to feel trust in you and in herself. Toward this goal, you should keep promises, be supportive and give your child opportunities to be trustworthy. This means believing your child, and treating her as an honest person.

A sense of responsibility.
Give your child a chance to show what she is capable of doing. Allow her to take on tasks without being checked on all the time. This shows trust on your part, a sort of "letting go" with a sense of faith.

A sense of contribution.
Your child will develop a sense of importance and commitment if you give her opportunities to participate and contribute in a meaningful way to an activity. Let her know that she really counts.

A sense of making real choices and decisions.
Your child will feel empowered and in control of events when she is able to make or influence decisions that she considers important. These choices and decisions need to be appropriate for her age and abilities, and for the family's values.

A sense of self-discipline and self-control.
As your child is striving to achieve and gain more independence, she needs and wants to feel that she can make it on her own. Once you give her expectations, guidelines, and opportunities in which to test herself, she can reflect, reason, problem-solve and consider the consequences of the actions she may choose. This kind of self-awareness is critical for her future growth.

A sense of encouragement, support and reward.
Not only does your child need to achieve, but she also needs positive feedback and recognition - a real message that she is doing well, pleasing others and "making it." Encourage and praise her, not only for achieving a set goal but also for her efforts, and for even small increments of change and improvement. ("I like the way you waited for your turn," "Good try; you're working harder," "Good girl!") Give her feedback as soon as possible to reinforce her self-esteem and to help her connect your comments to the activity involved.

A sense of accepting mistakes and failure.
Your child needs to feel comfortable, not defeated, when she makes mistakes or fails. Explain that these hurdles or setbacks are a normal part of living and learning, and that she can learn or benefit from them. Let your supportive, constructive feedback and your recognition of her effort overpower any sense of failure, guilt, or shame she might be feeling, giving her renewed motivation and hope. Again, make your feedback specific ("If you throw the ball like this, it might help") and not negative and personal ("You are so clumsy," "You'll never make it").

A sense of family self-esteem.
Your child's self-esteem initially develops within the family and thus is influenced greatly by the feelings and perceptions that a family has of itself. Some of the preceding comments apply to the family in building its self-esteem. Also, bear in mind that family pride is essential to self-esteem and can be nourished and maintained in many ways, including participation or involvement in community activities, tracing a family's heritage and ancestors, or caring for extended family members. Families fare better when members focus on each other's strengths, avoid excessive criticism and stick up for one another outside the family setting. Family members believe in and trust each other, respect their individual differences and show their affection for each other. They make time for being together, whether to share holidays, special events or just to have fun.

 

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Parenting

Adolescence can be a challenging time for young people and their families. The teenager is going through rapid physical and emotional changes. Parents and adolescents must make changes in their relationships to adjust to this new stage. The adolescent goes backwards and forwards between wanting freedom and at the same time still needing the security of the family.

Parents want their children to grow to happy independence yet fear for their safety as they watch them try their wings.

Parents also have to cope with the fact that the dreams they have had for their children may not be going to come true. Teenagers have their own dreams.

Good relationships with your teenagers will help you and them to weather the ups and downs, but they will need more effort than in the past.

Parental responsibility laws, in their current form, are a relatively new phenomenon in American jurisprudence. Historically and today, parental responsibility laws also speak to the greater notion of child welfare, the role of the family in society, and the role the state plays when it steps in to act for the parents.

Various types of legislation mandating a minimum level of parental responsibility have been a part of this Nation's history since its inception. The objective of these laws is to impose affirmative duties on parents to provide necessities for the youth in their custody and to ensure they do not abuse or abandon their children. According to P. Thomas Mason, in his article "Child Abuse and Neglect," States have established criminal sanctions against parents who have abused, severely neglected, or abandoned their children since the early years of American history. Other related efforts to establish a minimum standard of parenting include compulsory school attendance laws and criminal nonsupport laws. Growing concern about juvenile crime and the state of America's families has prompted states to enact parental responsibility laws. Such measures are separate from traditional civil liability and contributing to delinquency laws. Recent enactments make parents responsible for the delinquent acts of their children by imposing new sanctions and involving them in juvenile court dispositions. More recent measures require parents to attend juvenile court hearings. Parental responsibility statutes are quite common in the Unites States and increasingly they are emerging as popular legislative tactics in other countries as well. Parental responsibility and the ways these laws and attendant policies impact juveniles, families, and general culture is critically important.

Parental responsiblity for damages

Tort liability for damages caused by delinquent youth is yet another way States traditionally have held parents accountable for the misdeeds of their children. Typically, tort law varies from State to State regarding the monetary thresholds on damages collected, the age limit of the child, and the inclusion of personal injury in the tort claim. Hawaii was the first State to enact such legislation in 1846, and its law remains one of the most broadly applied in that it does not limit the financial bounds of recovery and imposes liability for both negligent and intentional torts by underage persons. Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey also do not place a limit on the amount of recovery. Today, all States but New Hampshire and New York have provisions holding parents civilly responsible for youth crime, with an average maximum recovery amount of $4,100.

Legislation holding parents criminally responsible for the delinquent acts of their children quickly followed the enactment of civil liability and neglect-type statutes. In 1903, Colorado became the first State to establish the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (CDM). Supporters of CDM statutes believe that the conditions within the family are the most predictive component of a child's behavior and that it is the responsibility of the parent to provide sufficient positive guidance to children on the importance of adhering to the values of society at large. This type of legislation quickly gained popular support, and since the enactment of the Colorado initiative, at least 42 States and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation. One of the oldest of such laws, an amended CDM statute from California, includes misdemeanor sanctions against parents who fail ". . . to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection and control over their children."The California law was expanded in 1988 as a component of a larger, anti-gang initiative undertaken by the State. Violation of the provision brings a misdemeanor charge and may include a fine no greater than $2,500 and a 1-year prison term. In 1995, Arizona, Louisiana, and Wyoming enacted comparable laws creating a crime of "improper" or "negligent" parental supervision, with misdemeanor sanctions similar to the law in California.

  Some States have taken action to hold parents liable when children gain access to a firearm, but their provisions vary in language and parental intent requirements. At least nine States hold adults criminally responsible for storing a loaded firearm in such a way as to allow a minor to gain access. Some of these provisions include an enhanced penalty if the minor causes injury or death to himself or another person and create exceptions for parental liability when the minor gains access to a weapon by unlawful entry into the home or place of storage or if the firearm is used in self-defense. In addition, 13 States have provisions that create criminal liability when a custodial adult or parent is aware that his or her child possesses a firearm unlawfully and does not take action to prevent the possession. Typically, penalties levied on parents for violation of safe storage laws are misdemeanors, but parents found guilty of these crimes in California, Connecticut, and Florida are subject to felony charges under some circumstances.

While some States impose criminal liability on parents of delinquent youth, many more have enacted less stringent types of parental responsibility laws in the past 2 years. For example, some accountability initiatives require increased parental involvement in juvenile proceedings. Recent initiatives in Kansas, Michigan, and Texas require parents to attend the hearings of children adjudicated delinquent or face contempt charges. New legislation in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia amends existing laws to require parents to pay the court costs associated with these proceedings.

Some States impose financial responsibility on parents for the costs incurred by the State when youth are processed through the juvenile justice system. New laws from Florida, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia require parents to reimburse the State for the costs associated with the care, support, detention, or treatment of their children while under the supervision of State agencies. Further, measures from Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma require parents to undertake restitution payments when children are not financially able to compensate their victims.

Initiatives to encourage parent and child togetherness are yet another approach incorporated into parental responsibility legislation in some States. In the past 2 years, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas have enacted legislation that requires parents and children to participate in community service activities after the youth has been in trouble with the law. In addition, new laws in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Oregon require parents to attend counseling or other court-ordered treatment programs. Recent legislation in Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin requires adult participation in parent training and responsibility courses. Often, involvement in these types of programs is a diversion option, with participation deferring any further punitive sanction from the court.

While many States have embraced the idea of holding parents responsible for the actions of their children -- at least 36 States have mandated some type of responsibility provision beyond civil liability for parents or guardians of delinquent children -- others are critical of the idea, fearing legal challenges and citing a dearth of empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of parental responsibility initiatives.

 

Parenting Tip: Instead of attempting to be your child's best friend, be a good roll model. Tough love will be rewarded by your child's respect, maybe not at that moment, but will yield exponentially dividends throughout their lives.

 

When Life really is getting you down

"Peace"
With eager heart and will on fire,
I fought to win my great desire.
"Peace shall be mine, " I said; but life
Grew bitter in the weary strife.

 

My soul was tired, and my pride
Was wounded deep: to Heaven I cried,
"God grant me peace or I must die,"
The dumb stars glittered no reply.

 

Broken at last, I bowed my head,
Forgetting all myself, and said,
"Whatever comes, His will be done,"
And in that moment peace was won.

                                                                                                  Henry Van Dyke

Share this with others, If it comforted you? Perhaps it will comfort them.

 

PEER PRESSURE

Peer groups are groups of friends of about the same age. Having a group of friends is one of the most important parts of being a teenager. It is how they learn how to get on in the world and gradually become independent. It is important for parents to understand the value of peer groups for young people. Peer groups can be a very positive influence on your teenagers life. On the other hand, they may influence in a way that is undesirable.

Teenagers can feel under enormous pressure to fit in and behave like their peer group. This is a challenge for them and for parents too!

Peer groups provide:

  • a sense of belonging and feeling valued
  • an increased self confidence because they are accepted by the group
  • a sense of security and of being understood by others who are going through the same experiences
  • a safe place to test values and ideas
  • help in becoming independent
  • practice in getting along with the opposite sex
  • ways to meet new people
  • friendships
  • practice in learning to give and take
  • influence on making decisions about their life.

Peer groups and parents

Problems that peer groups may present to parents:

  • long hours on the telephone, even though they have just seen each other all day at school. Teenagers need to spend lots of time together.
  • long periods on the Internet behind ‘closed doors’
  • your house can seem to be overrun with young people. If they are at your house it says that they feel comfortable with you and you can keep an eye on them.
  • some of their friends may do things that are outside your house rules. They may:
    • smoke, use drugs, swear or play loud music
    • eat food from the fridge or biscuit tin
    • apply pressure to drink parents’ alcohol
    • want to watch banned videos
    • want to have sexual activities in your home
    • mess up the place and then leave.

What parents can do

  • Some parents limit the time of day that their teenagers can have long phone calls. Others arrange ‘call waiting’ on their phone, so that if a call for them comes in, it can be taken. Keep in mind the needs of your teenager and work out what is the best solution for your family.
  • If you have allowed your teenager to have a mobile phone you must realize that it is very difficult to control the amount of time spent on the phone with friends. You could have an agreement that mobile phones are turned off at home between certain hours or ‘handed over’ at home.
  • There are advantages when your teenagers’ friends hang around at your house, so you may need to set some house rules. Making a joke about it can take the sting out of your rules, for example, having smoking and non-smoking zones.
  • Sometimes you can rearrange the use of your rooms so that there is a space for teenagers, and a space for parents and any younger children in the family. This gives the teenagers some privacy that they will be grateful for and protects your sanity.
  • Keep plenty of low cost food, such as bread, cereal, cheese and fruit (in season if available). If necessary label what is to be kept for family meals and what is available for snacks.
  • Be clear about what videos are allowed to be watched at your home and why. Teenagers get a thrill out of watching ‘scary’ videos in a group, so allow some flexibility.
  • Be clear about the family rules for using the computer.
  • If there is pressure on your teenagers to raid your alcohol when friends visit, make the rules clear. If necessary lock it away.
  • Talk with your teenagers and your partner/spouse about your views on sexual activities and what you are willing to allow in your home. You will need to account for the age of your teenagers, the nature of the relationship, where else they would very likely go if they were not at home, and of course your own values. (Remember the law says the age of consent in ACT is 16 years.)

You may not be comfortable about your sons or daughters choice of peer group. This may be because of their behavior or because of some more serious risk, for example, that the peer group are into using alcohol or drugs, skipping school, shoplifting or vandalizing property. This can be a difficult time for everyone and there are no easy solutions, especially if your teenager is determined to stay with the group.

Remember that teenagers are often sensitive and a bit prickly about their choice of friends. Criticizing their friends is almost certain to lose some of your influence. Rather than put them off the friends it may have the opposite effect.

Criticizing their choice of friends is like attacking teenagers personally.

  • Keep the communication open. Be willing to listen. Find out why those friends are important to your teenager.
  • Check whether your concerns about their friends are real. While you might feel very uneasy about them, sometimes it is better not to spend energy worrying about some things like: hairstyle, clothing, where they wear their earrings and what music they enjoy.
  • If you believe that your concerns are serious, talk to your teenager about the behavior not the friends.
  • Encourage your teenager to trust her own sense of what is right. Discuss with her ways of saying ‘No’.
  • Let your teenager know what your concerns are and talk to her about how she will cope if she is pressured to make risky choices.
  • Talk with your teenager about the consequences of any behavior that is worrying you. Look at both the immediate consequences and how this will affect her future, for example, getting into trouble with the police.
  • If you can, encourage opportunities for her to mix with other young people, for example, through sporting or other group activities, but don’t pressure her if she is not interested.
  • Support your teenagers self-esteem but talking with her about the exciting and promising possibilities for the future.
  • Sometimes a young person who seems an unsuitable friend wants to be friends with your child, possibly because your home feels safe and secure. You may be able to offer friendship and support, but if you are really uncomfortable about the friends behavior you need to talk to your teenager about it. You are not likely to be able to break up the friendship if it is strong.
  • Show your teenager that you trust her. If she breaks your trust ask her to suggest ways to earn it again. Mistakes are to learn from.
  • Talk to a professional if you feel unable to change a serious situation.

Know your Childs friends:

  • Get to know your teenagers friends and make them feel welcome in your home.
  • Keep communicating. Listen to your teenagers point of view and ask him to listen to yours.
  • Let him know that you are there to support him, whatever happens.
  • Remember that we are all in peer groups. It would be difficult, even for adults who have much more confidence than teenagers, to go against the peer group, for example, to wear a bikini to work.

 

NOTHING!!
One of life's funnies
(though not at the time)

Upon visiting my elderly father. I knocked on his front door, as he opened the front door, I gasped at his appearance, he was covered head to toe with soot, only his raccoon eyes and teeth shown through, startled, I ask what Happened? his response, Nothing.
My being Speechless is an understatement. Upon entering I noticed all the cobwebs that I had missed when last dusting, finally, upon further questioning, my father stated that he had attempted to re-light the pilot in the heater. The explosion had blown the soot out of every duct in the house and destroyed the heater.                                                              Name withheld

 

      Your Children, Reality, and the Real World!

Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you "earn" both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one ( William H. Gates lll, co-founder Microsoft).

Charles J. Sykes, author & media personality

 

 

SEASONS & CLOCK DATES


SPRING EQUINOX
Spring begins and day and night are equal lengths                   March 20
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ( START)
Move clocks ahead 1 hour 2:00 AM first Sunday of April
("Spring" forward---"Fall" Back)
SUMMER SOLSTICE
Summer begins and sun is farthest north of the equator          June 20
AUTUMN EQUINOX
Fall begins and day and night are equal lengths                       Sept 22
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME (END)
Move clocks back 1 hour 2:00 AM last Sunday in October
WINTER SOLSTICE
Winter begins and the Sun is farthest south of the equator       Dec 21

 

SINGLE PARENTING

Statistics


Your Not Alone:

As of 2000 an estimated 13.5 million single parents had custody of 21.7 million children under 21 years of age whose other parent lived somewhere else.
· The proportion of the population made up by married couples with children decreased from 40% in 1970 to 24% in 2000.
· One parent families numbered over 12 million in 2000.
· Single parent households increased from 9% in 1990 to %16 of all households by 2000.
· Of all custodial parents, 85% were mothers and 15% were fathers.
· Births among unmarried women increased and the proportion of never-married parents increased.
· About one-third of custodial mothers have never been married.
· Single mother families increased from 7 million in 19990 to 10 million in 2000. Today 13.8 million children (23%) under 15 live with single mothers, 2.7 million (5%) live with single fathers.
· The proportion of single mother families grew to 26% and single father families grew to 5% by 2000 (from 12% and 1% respectively in 1970).
· 46% of single mother households contain more than one child.
· Overall, about 26.2% of all children under 21 living in families have a parent not living at home.
· Single fathers are more likely to cohabit (33%) than single mothers (11%).
· The divorce rate leveled off during the 1990's.
· There was growth in divorce among couples with children.
· 48% of single parent male families and 44% headed by females live in suburban areas.
· 58% of single parent male families and 49% of single parent female families own or are buying their homes.
· The proportion of custodial parents in full-time, year-round jobs grew from 45.6% to 53.7%. 30% work part-time.
· Custodial mothers are more likely to work part-time.
· 89% of single fathers are in the work force and 77% of single mothers work.
· The proportion of custodial parents and their children living below the poverty level declined from 33% in 1993 to 26.1% 1999.
· The percentage of custodial mother families in poverty fell from 36.8% in 1993 to 28.7%. Still 2.5 times that of custodial father families at 11.1% in 1999. ( married families below poverty levels was 6.3%).
· The rate of program participation for public assistance decreased from 40.7% to 30.0% for all custodial parents.
· 59% of custodial parents have child support agreements. More custodial mothers (62.2%) have agreements than custodial fathers (39.2%).
· About three-quarters of custodial parents receive some child support.
· More custodial parents are receiving their full support payments .up from 36.9% in 1993 to 46.2%.
· Income is higher and poverty lower for custodial receiving full support payments.
· Average family income for custodial parents is $28,000.
· Child support is more likely received by parents with custody and visitation agreements. (84.8%)
· Over half who do not have joint custody or agreements do not receive any payments.
· Custodial mothers received an average of $3,800 in 1999; those receiving the full amount due averaged $4,900.
· Over half (55.8%) of child support awards have provision for health insurance.
· 59.1% of all custodial parents receive at least one type of noncash support. Nearly two-thirds (65.4%) with child support agreements receive noncash support.
· 5.6 million Children live with grandparents.

RESOURCES

Parents Without Partners (PWP)
U.S. Census Bureau 2000
America's Families and Living Arrangements 2000 (issued 2001)
Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002
Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support 1999 (issued 2002)
Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and divorces 1996 (issued Feb. 2002)
Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002
Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support 1999 (issued 2002)
Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and divorces 1996 (issued Feb. 2002)

 

SLEEP

For Adults:

 Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that can be very serious. In sleep apnea, your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more. These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, enough air cannot flow into your lungs through your mouth and nose even though you try to breathe. When this happens, the amount of oxygen in your blood may drop. Normal breaths then start again with a loud snort or choking sound.

When your sleep is upset throughout the night, you can be very sleepy during the day. With sleep apnea, your sleep is not restful because:

  • These brief episodes of increased airway resistance (and breathing pauses) occur many times.
  • You may have many brief drops in the oxygen levels in your blood.
  • You move out of deep sleep and into light sleep several times during the night, resulting in poor sleep quality.

People with sleep apnea often have loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Some people with sleep apnea don’t know they snore.

  • Sleep apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but even thin people can have it.
  • Most people don’t know they have sleep apnea. They don’t know that they are having problems breathing while they are sleeping.
  • A family member and/or bed partner may notice the signs of sleep apnea first.

Untreated sleep apnea can increase the chance of having high blood pressure and even a heart attack or stroke. Untreated sleep apnea can also increase the risk of diabetes and the risk for work-related accidents and driving accidents.

 

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Excessive daytime sleepiness is a frequent complaint with potentially sever consequences including impaired job performance, automobile accidents, and a reduced ability to enjoy the pleasures of life. Although often thought to be caused by overwork or psychological problems, daytime sleepiness can be a symptom of an several different medical disorders. Recent research has enabled us to find the cause of nearly all cases of excessive daytime sleepiness and begin treatment which can dramatically improve the quality of life.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a disease that causes people to have excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy may have recurrent attacks of this during the day.

Restless Legs Syndrome

This is a disease in which people repeatedly jerk their legs or arms during sleep and wake themselves up. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, or painful. Both conditions can be treated.a

 

Insomnia

There are two types of insomnia. The most common type is called secondary insomnia. More than 8 out of 10 people with insomnia are believed to have secondary insomnia. Secondary means that the insomnia is a symptom or a side-effect of some other problem. Some of the problems that can cause secondary insomnia include:

  • Certain illnesses, such as some heart and lung diseases
  • Pain, anxiety, and depression
  • Medicines that delay or disrupt sleep as a side-effect
  • Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances that affect sleep
  • Another sleep disorder, such as restless legs syndrome; a poor sleep environment; or a change in sleep routine

In contrast, primary insomnia is not a side-effect of medicines or another medical problem. It is its own disorder, and generally persists for least 1 month or longer.

Insomnia is a common health problem. It can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. Long-term insomnia can cause you to feel depressed or irritable; have trouble paying attention, learning, and remembering; and not do your best on the job or at school. Insomnia also can limit the energy you have to spend with friends or family.

Insomnia can be mild to severe depending on how often it occurs and for how long. Chronic insomnia means having symptoms at least 3 nights per week for more than a month. Insomnia that lasts for less time is known as short-term or acute insomnia.

Secondary insomnia often resolves or improves without treatment if you can eliminate its cause. This is especially true if the problem can be corrected soon after it starts. Better sleep habits and lifestyle changes often help relieve insomnia. You may need to see a doctor or sleep specialist to get the best relief for insomnia that is persistent or for which the cause of the sleep problem is unclear.

 

Irregular Sleep-Wake Schedules

Jet lag and night or rotating shift work cause changes in the body's circadian rhythms and can lead to irritability, daytime sleepiness and depression. The Sleep Disorders Center can offer you help in coping with this disruptive problem. Sleepwalking and Related Symptoms Walking, moving, talking, screaming, and other behaviors in sleep are frightening and may lead to injuries. For example sleepwalking presents a danger of accidental injury and, furthermore, can be a sign of medical illness or psychological stress. Effective therapies are now available for most of these conditions.

FHI For Adults:
Snoring and Laser surgery. Laser surgery is recommended for "social snorers" who have had sleep studies to determine if they suffer from Sleep Apnea. If they do not have a sleep disorder, such as Sleep Apnea, and they habitually snore, this kind of treatment may be beneficial. Doctors who would do the laser surgery without testing for sleep disorders first, should not be considered to do your laser surgery.

Adult Sleepwalking:
Some statistics suggest that 1 percent or less of the adult population may sleepwalk (parasomnia). As indicated before, many experts believe that adults who sleep walk often have strong underlying psychological difficulties that may be responsible in some way for the nighttime behavior. In some reports, fever with illness, sleep deprivation, the excessive use of certain drugs may also make sleep walking worse

Your Child and Sleep

Maintain a consistent bedtime and awaking time.

 

Your child's biological clock has a strong influence on their wakefulness and sleepiness. When you establish a set time for bedtime and wake up time you "set" your child's clock so that it functions smoothly.

Aim for an early bedtime. Young children respond best with a bedtime between 6:30 and 7:30 P.M. Most children will sleep better and longer when they go to bed early.

- Encourage regular daily naps
Daily naps are important. An energetic child can find it difficult to go through the day without a rest break. A nap-less child will often wake up cheerful and become progressively fussier or hyper-alert as the day goes on. Also, the length and quality of naps affects night sleep - good naps equal better night sleep.

- Set your child's biological clock
Take advantage of your child's biology so that he's actually tired when bedtime arrives. Darkness causes an increase in the release of the body's sleep hormone - the biological "stop" button. You can align your child's sleepiness with bedtime by dimming the lights during the hour before bedtime.

Exposing your child to morning light is pushing the "go" button in her brain — one that says, "Time to wake up and be active." So keep your mornings bright!

- Develop a consistent bedtime routine
Routines create security. A consistent, peaceful bedtime routine allows your child to transition from the motion of the day to the tranquil state of sleep.

An organized routine helps you coordinate the specifics: bath, pajamas, tooth-brushing. It helps you to function on auto-pilot at the time when you are most tired and least creative.

- Create a cozy sleep environment
Where your child sleeps can be a key to quality sleep. Make certain the mattress is comfortable, the blankets are warm, the room temperature is right, pajamas are comfy, and the bedroom is welcoming and relative dark. No bright light entering the room, this is not a good sleep environment.

- Provide the right nutrition
Foods can affect energy level and sleepiness. Carbohydrates can have a calming effect on the body, while foods high in protein or sugar generate alertness, particularly when eaten alone. A few ideas for pre-bed snacks are: whole wheat toast and cheese, bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal with bananas, or yogurt and low-sugar granola.

Vitamin deficiencies due to unhealthy food choices can affect a child's sleep. Provide your child with a daily assortment of healthy foods.

- Help your child to be healthy and fit
Many children don't get enough daily physical activity. Too much TV watching and a lack of activity prevents good sleep. Children who get ample daily exercise fall asleep more quickly, sleep better, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed.

Avoid activity in the hour before bedtime though, since exercise is stimulating – they'll be jumping on the bed instead of sleeping in it!

- Teach your child how to relax
Many children get in bed but aren't sure what to do when they get there! It can help to follow a soothing pre-bed routine that creates sleepiness. A good pre-bed ritual is story time. A child who is listening to a parent read a book or tell a tale will tend to lie still and listen. This quiet stillness allows your child to become sleepy.

-Sleepwalking:

Sleepwalking (parasomnia ) is not a normal childhood function, but it should not be viewed as abnormal either. Occasional spells of sleepwalking are of no real cause for alarm, but knowing what to do and when it do it are important. The child may sit up in bed and repeat certain movements, such as rubbing his or her eyes or fumbling with clothes. The child may get out of bed and walk around the room. The child may look dazed, and his or her movements and speech may be clumsy. When you talk to your child, he or she usually will not answer you.

Symptoms

The most important thing you can do is prevent injury by removing dangerous objects from areas that your child might reach. You should keep doors and windows closed and locked. This is especially important if you live in an apartment. If necessary, your child may have to sleep on the ground floor of your home.

When you find your child sleepwalking, you should gently guide your child back to bed. You shouldn't yell or make a loud noise to wake your child up. You shouldn't shake your child. Finally, you should never make your child feel ashamed about sleepwalking.

Usually, no specific treatments for sleepwalking are needed. Most children outgrow sleepwalking. If your child sleepwalks for a long time, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may want to look at the problem more closely. Some medicines can be used to treat sleepwalking. Normal children can sleep walk and they generally outgrow the problem by age 15. Almost 20 - 40 percent in some people's studies, of all normal kids have parasomnia at least once in their lifetimes

 

SPOUSAL RELATIONSHIPS
Never take each other for granted

Prerequisites:
Affection-Compassion, Complements, Helpfulness, Patience, Respect, Togetherness & TRUST

Your marriage should be nurtured forever. Trust, love, respect, compassion, and patience are all important. But even the best marriages can run into trouble. For those who are considering or are involved in adultery, you will more than likely end it, for trust is the basis of a relationship, without trust, you have very little.

Always consider that when it comes to an argument, You don't want to say anything you'll regret. You might be able to apologize once the whole thing blows over, but you can't take your words back.

Different Interest are necessary, for just because you marry, it doesn't mean you must embrace everything about your partner. Sometimes, you forget about how different you two are because you've been together for so long. Don't lose your uniqueness because its the same thing that attracted both you and your partner in the first place. Try to take on different interests and encourage your partner to do the same. Obviously, couples cannot agree all the time, who being right or wrong, doesn't matter, every argument does not need a winner or loser. Whenever something goes wrong, do not rub past issues in. Donut dwell over the past such that you become blind with the wonderful things ahead of your relationship.

Often comprising, aside from honesty, compromising is probably one of the next most difficult things to attain. Compromise requires accepting the fact that we all have needs, wants and desires and that we all cant always have what we want, need or desire at any one given moment in time. Therefore, to make the relationship work, we must be willing to concede our position up to a point in order to allow the other individual to experience some degree of satisfaction in the process. One must heed caution here, as this does not mean that one should become a doormat by totally caving into the others desires or wants at the expense of one's own.

When it comes to a spouse being angry, you usually hear nothing else and you do not care about anything else. If you find that both you and your partner are angry, calm down. Then talk. Be sensitive to each others ups and downs. Talk through the problem and hear each other out. Examining numerous stories of good marriages, the one thing that almost always comes up is to "never go to sleep without settling the argument".

When a couple always spends time with each other, they often forget about courtesy, do consider using  “Please” before each sentence would make it sound so much better and  a "Thank you" goes a long way.

Showing constantly that you both like each other will help keep your relationship fresh. Even something as simple as complementing on your spouses looks or buying little unexpected gifts can help. Look for the things that would make your partner feel appreciated, by the way, a smile will go a long way.

For those who subscribe to violence in their home, perhaps a little reminder, just in case you have forgotten;

"Man's place in the home is to protect and love his wife, not abuse her"

Just in case you have forgotten your vows.
Only a coward would abuse his wife and family.

 

FEMALE TEENAGE CRISES

 
What struggles do teen girls face today? Echevarria discusses "13 Crises," which include having sex, getting pregnant, drinking, smoking, developing eating disorders and contemplating suicide. Echevarria predicts that the vast majority of girls will confront at least one of these before she turns 18. "If parents think their girls won't be faced with one of these crises, they're dreaming," she says. "And because these problems are also things girls don't want to share with parents, a mentor can mean the difference between life and death."

Things girls are more likely to tell a mentor -- but not a parent:

  1. "I had sex last night." 53.1% of all high school students have had sexual intercourse at some point; 14.5% have had sex with four or more partners.
  2. "I had unprotected sex." Nearly half of currently sexually active high school students did not report using condoms during their last sexual intercourse.
  3. "I'm pregnant." 25% of all first births in this country are to teen mothers aged 15-19 years old.
  4. "I've been smoking for awhile." Smoking among teenage girls is rising. If a girl begins to smoke, the habit usually begins between the ages of 10 and 16.
  5. "I got drunk last night." The percentage of eighth graders reporting daily use of alcohol rose by nearly half between 1995 and 1996. Nearly a third of high school seniors reported having been drunk in the past month.
  6. "I want to kill myself." 29% of adolescent girls reported having thoughts of suicide. From 1980 to 1992, the rate of suicide among young white females increased 233 per cent.
  7. "I throw up after each meal." Eating disorders are a particularly pronounced risk for girls, and they're likely to be connected in complex ways to a girl's relationship to her parents.
  8. "My mom doesn't care about me." Nearly half of girls surveyed did not name their mother as the person to whom they would turn for emotional support.
  9. "I hate myself." Nearly one in every four girls surveyed exhibited depressive symptoms; one in ten showed "severe" depressive symptoms. Girls scored notably worse in this area than boys did. "I want the pill." The leading reason adolescents gave for not getting needed medical care or birth control consultation was reluctance to tell parents about a problem or situation.
  10. "He hit me." One study found "disturbingly high incidence of violence," with 18% of girls in grades 5 through 12 reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse.
  11. "An (older male friend or relative) keeps coming on to me/sending me love notes." Most abuse occurs at home, occurs more than once, and occurs as a result of the actions of a family member or friend of the family. Girls may have serious reactions of shame, guilt and self-hatred following these episodes.
  12. "This guy made me do something I didn't want to do." Nearly one in ten older girls answered "yes" when asked whether "a boyfriend or a date has ever forced sex against your will."

About this article: Sources quoted: Child Trends, Inc., Study, 1994; Youth Risk Behavior survey, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1995; Commonwealth Fun survey of 5th through 12th graders, 1997; National Institute on Drug Abuse reports; Carnegie Council on Adolescents report.

 

TEEN DRESS

LSU Study

Teenagers often wear clothes that adults can't stand. In our eyes, many teens' outfits make them look odd, clownish, grungy, too sexy, or downright scary. But the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," is especially true with teens. A really nice, kind teen can be hiding underneath an unusual outfit. Your job as parent of a teenager is to find her inner qualities and focus on who she is, not what she wears

We live in an overly sexualized society. Everything is about sex: music, movies, TV. Even food is often presented as something sexy and alluring. It should hardly be surprising that our teenaged girls are emulating what they see in the larger culture.

In most states you have to be 21 to order alcoholic drinks, 16 to drive a car, and 19 to buy cigarettes. The law recognizes that adult activities require mature responsible behavior. Sex is also adult behavior that may have consequences like pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional trauma, but it is harder to regulate by law!

Parents are often concerned that a daughter is too sexy in her clothing, behavior and language. They believe that by dressing in a revealing way and using slang for body parts and sexual behaviors, she presents herself as too available, and that she may be more susceptible to date violence and mistreatment by boys.

However, the current thinking is that rape and sexual assaults are crimes of power, not sexual desire. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center, as a typical example, notes on their website …The idea that if a girl wears sexy clothing, she is “asking for it” is a misconception. The fact is Rape is NEVER the survivor's fault. NOBODY asks to be raped.

Many people in this field have worked hard to convey the idea that a female owns her body and no one has the right to abuse her no matter what she is wearing or how she acts.

However, there is actually some evidence that many boys still believe girls who present themselves in a sexy way are “asking for it,” and there is a lot of evidence that date violence is increasing among young people. In a recent study led by Dr. Christian Molidor, 36.4% of teenaged girls reported that they had experienced some physical violence in a dating relationship. Girls were more likely to be punched or forced to engage in sexual activity, sometimes because a boy “misread” a girl’s cues. Over half the girls said their boyfriends were drunk when the violence occurred.

Keep in mind that 68% of rapes of teenage girls occur in private homes with males they know.

A parent may also worry that their daughter will attract older boys. Again there is some evidence to back up this common sense idea. In a study by Dr. Christine Kaestle, 13 year old girls were six times more likely to have sexual intercourse if a boyfriend was six years or more older than if she were dating someone her own age. The odds went down as teens got older. But 17 year olds were still twice as likely to have sex with boys over age 23 than with boys closer to their age.

You can also discuss with your daughter the fact that most teenaged girls who do engage in sexual intercourse live to regret it. In an article published in USA Today, almost 80% of the girls ages 14 to 17 lamented their choice. Many of the girls “gave in” because the boys wanted it and for other reasons that indicate low self-esteem on the part of the girls. A full 25% of sexually active girls ages said they felt depressed a lot or all of the time, compared with 7.7% of virgins. More than 14% of sexually active girls had attempted suicide in the previous year.

It is very rough for parents to go up against very sophisticated advertising campaigns by the fashion industry that is convincing young girls to buy revealing clothing. One in three high school girls has her own credit or ATM card, and even pre-teens buy clothing without adults present. When parents do go along, the mall can become a battleground. Many parents complain that most stores only sell sexy clothes (even in pre-teen sizes), and that nothing else is readily available.

Some adults are counteracting the power of the fashion industry through boycotts and protests. Apparently Abercrombie and Fitch went too far with its 1999 Christmas catalog depicting nude teens having group sex, and its spring edition called Surf Nekkid. Parents urged government officials to classify the catalog as pornography, as they began a boycott the store.

Other parents have joined school officials to require school uniforms and dress codes, even in public schools. Barbara Cruz, in her book “School Dress Codes” writes that uniforms keep a focus on academics, not clothing, and decrease verbal abuse and sexual harassment among students.

Your daughter may tell you that her clothing is an expression of her sexuality, she has the same right to express her sexuality as a boy, and that she owns her body and her sexuality. However, even though she using feminist language, chances are that if she’s dressing and behaving in an overly sexy way, she feels just the opposite. She probably feels that her value is depends only on male validation of her physical attractiveness.

The best thing to do is to help her develop her talents and abilities so that her self-esteem depends upon her own achievements rather than her physical attractiveness and what her peer group thinks of her. As she becomes more interested in career choices and making a contribution, she will realize that no one will take her ideas and abilities seriously until she dresses in a more presentable way.

Disputes over the way your teenager dresses is just one aspect of the journey through adolescence.

Young children dress to please their parents, but young adolescents dress to please their friends and older teenagers dress to please themselves. Teenagers are searching for their own identity during adolescence. Experimentation with clothing is just one way they incorporate in this search.

Your teen may, for example, dress like a street urchin in worn out, oversized, old clothes for one school term. Then he or she may change and dress like a teen executive in conservative suits and carry a briefcase for another school term.

Variations of this sort do not signify insecurity. They are simply the visible indication of experimentation with several different identities.

Young men who wear their pants so they appear to be falling off their hips and teenagers who pierce various parts of their bodies are some of the more current and flamboyant displays of the age-old and perfectly normal process of the search for identity.

Some of the reason parents have such a problem tolerating what their teens wear could be attributed to their concern over what their children's dress says about the parents rather than about the teens.

One solution to conflicts over dress may be to consult a third party whose opinion is valued by the parent and the teen. This may be the teen 's older cousin or someone both parties feel dresses fashionably.

Another suggestion may be to strike a compromise.

In such an arrangement, the parent and teen may agree that while the teen is with friends, he or she may make a fashion statement by dressing in clothing the parent considers outlandish. Then when the parent and teenager are out in public together, the teen may wear something he or she considers "boring" and the parent considers appropriate.

Experimentation with dress is only a passing phase. When putting things into perspective, remember there are far worse issues affecting our teens; we should be concerned about those things rather than what clothes they wear.

Today the fad is body art, not only for your child, but you. Obviously, if you have body art, your child will undoubtedly feel, they should to, unfortunately for both of you, body are does not wash off, when you tire of it.

  • Look at other teens. You may think that your teen dresses worse than anyone, but when you look at what others his age are wearing, you might start to think otherwise.
  • Enforce school rules. Learn your teen's school dress code. If she tries to walk out the door wearing something that's against the code, remind her of the rules and ask her to change - and gently say that it wouldn't be fun for her to wind up in detention because of her outfit.
  • Consider your whole teen. There's much more to your teenager than how she dresses. Is she happy? Is she doing well in school? Does she treat people with respect? Does he have healthy hobbies and interests? Is he staying out of trouble? If he's doing relatively well overall, then his outfit is a minor issue - perhaps even a non-issue.
  • Tell the truth. If you see that what your teen wears might endanger her or cause her to miss opportunities, like getting that job she really wants, tell her. Just remember to do so calmly and in the most non-judgmental manner possible.
  •  

Prior to your going into a tirade about your Childs dress, think back to your teens, how did you dress?  did you emulate others dress and attitudes? Find an acceptable line to draw boundaries, but not unreasonable.

 

TEEN DRIVING
#1 Paying Attention While at the Wheel



Fact: Male Teens’ Driving is Riskier with Male Teen Passenger
Teen Boy’s Drive Safer with Female Teen Passenger

Driving 101

Be Very-Very Alert when driving
Drive on your side of the road
Obey speed limits
Drive slowly when children are present
Do not drink and drive
Buckle up
 "NO" text messaging
Watch out for the unpredictable other car
You are responsible for the lives of those riding with you!
Your vehicle is a very dangerous machine.

Statistically, a teen driver is safest when he or she is alone. Putting on makeup is a huge distraction, so is talking on the phone. These should be the primary rules that your teen driver abides by, or the car is parked. Your are not doing your child a favor by defending these actions. Your approval could well mean their being involved in an accident. You are not your Childs buddy, you are their parent, providing mature guidance and supervision.

Teenage drivers-both males and females-were more likely to tailgate and exceed the speed limit if there was a teenage male passenger in the front seat, according to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Conversely, male teenagers were less likely to tailgate or exceed the speed limit when a teenage female was in the front passenger seat.

In addition, female teen drivers were slightly more likely to tailgate if there was a female teen passenger in the vehicle with them.

The study was published on-line in Accident Analysis and Prevention and will appear in a future edition of that journal.

“This study provides information that will be useful for officials in devising teen licensing standards,” said NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D. “The findings indicate that teen risky driving increases in the presence of teen passengers, particularly male teen passengers. But more important, the finding should remind teens-and the adults who care about them-that they need to drive safely, regardless of who is in the passenger seat.”

The study was unable to determine why the presence of teen males increased the likelihood of speeding and tailgating, said the study’s first author Bruce G. Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H, Chief of NICHD's Prevention Research Branch.

Teen Driving Statistics:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.
  • 16 year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age.
  • 16-year-olds are three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than the average of all drivers.
  • 3,490 drivers age 15-20 died in car crashes in 2006, up slightly from 2005.
  • Drivers age 15-20 accounted for 12.9 percent of all the drivers involved in fatal crashes and 16 percent of all the drivers involved in police-reported crashes in 2006.
  • Graduated drivers license programs appear to be making a difference. Fatal crashes involving 15- to 20-year olds in 2005 were down 6.5 percent from 7,979 in 1995, to the lowest level in ten years.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the economic impact of auto accidents involving 15-20 year old drivers is over $40 billion.
  • According to a 2005 survey of 1,000 people ages 15 and 17, conducted by the Allstate Foundation
    • More than half (56 percent) of young drivers use cell phones while driving,
    • 69 percent said that they speed to keep up with traffic
    • 64 percent said they speed to go through a yellow light.
    • 47 percent said that passengers sometimes distract them.
    • Nearly half said they believed that most crashes involving teens result from drunk driving.
  • 31 percent of teen drivers killed in 2006 had been drinking, according to NHTSA. 25 percent had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
  • Statistics show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger (IIHS).

On average, teens drive 1.3 miles an hour faster than the general traffic. Moreover, the average headway for teen drivers was about .17 seconds shorter than for the general traffic (about 10 feet less at 40 miles an hour).

Both male and female teenage drivers were most likely to drive faster than the general traffic and to allow shorter headways if there was a male teenage passenger in the car. In fact, when a male passenger was in the vehicle, a quarter of teenage drivers exceeded the speed limit by at least 15 miles an hour.

Similarly, both male and female teens drove faster and allowed shorter headways in the presence of a male teenage passenger when compared to teens who had either no passengers or a female teen passenger. However, teenage males allowed longer headways in the presence of female passengers.

On average, headways were .3 seconds shorter for male teens drivers with male teen passengers, and .15 seconds shorter for female teen drivers with female teen passengers.

According to a government study, using a various intersections and logging all traffic, the study showed that, of the 14.9 percent of teen males engaging in risky driving, 21.7 percent had a male teen passenger in the vehicle. In contrast, only 5.5 percent of teen male drivers showed risky driving behavior in the presence of a female passenger.

Of the 13.1 percent of teen female drivers showing risky driving behavior, 12.9 percent had a male teen passenger, and 15.5 percent had a female passenger. Dr. Simons-Morton said that most cases of risky driving in this 15.5 percent of risky teen female drivers were due to short headways.

You are cautioned parents and teens to be aware of a tendency that teens appear to have toward risky driving when other teens are in the vehicle with them, and to be extra vigilant against unsafe driving under these conditions.

Risk Factors Conclusion:

  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate hazardous situations or dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations (Jonah 1987).
     
  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of these risky driving behaviors among teen male drivers. (Simons-Morton 2005).
  • Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking (NHTSA 2006a, NHTSA 2006b).
     
  • Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2005, 10% of high school students reported they rarely or never wear seat belts when riding with someone else (CDC 2006b).  

At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers (IIHS 2006).

Recent studies have shown that clearly half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 54% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday


Programs such as GDL can reduce the incidence of fatal crashes for 16 year old drivers by an average of 11 percent. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that when states had comprehensive GDL programs, those with a least five of the most important elements in effect, there was a 20 percent reduction in fatal crashes involving 16 year old drivers.

·  These elements were:

  1. A minimum age of 15 1/2 for obtaining a learners permit
  2. A waiting period after obtaining a learners permit of at least three months before applying for an intermediate license
  3. A minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving
  4. Minimum age of at least 16 years for obtaining an intermediate license
  5. Minimum age of at least 17 years for full licensing
  6. A restriction on carrying passengers.

·     Fatality and injury crash rates for 16-year-old drivers were 20 percent lower in a state with nighttime and passenger restrictions than in a comparison jurisdiction that lacked these provisions for safer teen driving, according to a study released in June 2006 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For the study, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) compared crash rates and crash patterns of teenage drivers in one jurisdiction with nighttime and passenger restrictions during the intermediate stage of GDL with those in another jurisdiction whose GDL program did not include such restrictions. TIRF also surveyed a random sample of 500 crash-free and 500 crash-involved, newly licensed teens and their parents in each of two jurisdictions. The study found that twice as many crash-free teens reported never having violated their states passenger restriction provision, compared with teens that had crashed.

·  One key feature of GDL programs is the passenger restriction which limits the number of passengers a teen driver may have in the vehicle to eliminate distractions. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted these laws with various provisions regarding the ages of passengers and the number a teen driver may transport. According to a 2005 study, when teens drive other teens, they tend to drive faster than other motorists and leave less distance between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them. They speed more frequently when there are other teens in vehicles, especially males. These findings by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the rest was  compiled from data collected at 13 sites on roads in the Washington, D.C. area, where over 3,000 passenger vehicles were observed, including 471 driven by teenagers.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm released a study in June 2007 that found that children are safer when riding in a vehicle with a teen driver who is their sibling rather than a teen driver who is not related to them. Earlier research found that children driven by teens are twice as likely to sustain crash injuries, a finding that prompted legislators in many states to enact passenger restriction laws. The new study showed that children’s risk of crash injury where the teen driver is a sibling is 40 percent lower. This new finding supports the exceptions in some state laws that allow teens to drive family members only.
 
With regard to young drivers, the survey found that among drivers who appear to be age 16 to 24, 8 percent were holding a phone to their ears, down from 10 percent in 2005. Only 0.7 percent of drivers in this age range appeared to be speaking with headsets, down from 1.3 percent in 2005. In 2006, 0.4 percent of these drivers appeared to be manipulating some typed of electronic device, such as a cell phone or video game, up slightly from 0.3 percent in 2005. NOPUS is a probability-based observational survey. Data on driver cell-phone use were collected at random stop signs or stoplights only while vehicles were stopped and only during daylight hours.

A July 2007 USA Today snapshot of a report published by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance, 64 percent of teens said they would stop using cell phones while driving if their license could be taken away if they were caught.

In addition to the states that ban driving while using a cell phone, Washington and New Jersey have enacted laws that prohibit text messaging while driving (DWT). These laws apply to all drivers. Allstate Foundation, found that parents may not be setting a good example for young drivers.  published in March 2007, found that more than half of parents surveyed had not heard of, or were only vaguely aware of, graduating licensing laws.

The study found that although most parents think it is important to set a good example for young people, 71 percent say they have talked on a cell phone while driving with teens in their vehicle. More than one-fourth admitted to running red lights or stop signs, or breaking another traffic law with teens in the car. (Allstate says that in a poll of teenagers conducted in 2005, almost nine in 10 said that their parents exercised the strongest influence on their driving behavior.) Other findings were that 90 percent of parents allow their children to drive between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am, when the odds of having a crash double, and 69 percent of parents permit their teens to drive in bad weather.

The number one cause of teen driving fatalities is lack of experience (82%). The number two cause is directly related to speed (37%)


"It's commonplace these days to hear college students assert that the can have unprotected sex in a hot tub because the temperature in the water will kill the viruses of sexually transmitted diseases,"

 "They are Very, Very wrong".

 

TEEN PREGNANCY

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has reviewed research about parental influences on children’s sexual behavior and talked to many experts in the field, as well as to teens and parents themselves. From these sources, it is clear that there is much parents and adults can do to reduce the risk of teen pregnancy.

Many of these ideas presented here will seem familiar because they articulate what parents already know from experience — like the importance of maintaining strong, close relationships with children and teens, setting clear expectations for them, and communicating honestly and often with them about important matters. Research supports these common sense ideas. We hope that these tips can increase the ability of parents to help their children pass safely into adulthood pregnancy-free.

Sexual abstinence is a choice to limit your sexual activity. Reasons for this choice may be moral, religious, or legal. Another reason may be your health and safety.

The meaning of sexual abstinence is different for different people. The most common meaning is not having sexual intercourse. This includes vaginal and anal intercourse. If you have a partner, discuss with your partner what abstinence means to you. This is especially important if you are starting a new relationship. Talk about the expressions of love and sexuality that are OK for you and those that are not. Examples of behaviors that are OK for you may be holding hands, dancing, and kissing.

Your definition of abstinence may depend on why you are choosing to be abstinent. Your choice may be based on moral or ethical reasons. For example, you may believe that sexual intercourse is an expression of a lifetime commitment to one person. In this case you and your partner will create your list of do's and don'ts according to your beliefs. If the goal is to avoid pregnancy, then you might agree that any sexual activity except intercourse is OK. If you choose abstinence because you want to avoid any sexually transmitted infections, then it will mean that you will avoid any contact between the mouth and genital areas.

Many young people are saying no to sex before marriage. Choosing abstinence can be a statement of personal integrity and an expression of strong self-esteem.

Avoiding premature sexual relationships may help you:

  • Avoid painful emotional situations for which you may not be prepared.
  • Avoid unwanted pregnancy.
  • Avoid potentially damaging or life-threatening diseases.

You and your partner need to discuss and agree on what you mean by abstinence. You should also know how to avoid situations that promote sexual intimacy, such as drinking alcohol or being alone with a possible sexual partner. Plan how you will get out of such a situation if it happens unexpectedly.

Some promoters of abstinence feel that being prepared for safer sex--for example, having condoms on hand just in case you change your mind--means that you are not really planning to stay abstinent. Others feel that you should be prepared. This would mean that if you and your partner unexpectedly find yourselves giving up abstinence, you have condoms to protect against pregnancy and infection.

The choice of abstinence is a very important and very personal decision. Base your decision on what you believe is right for you. If you are unsure or decide against abstinence, make sure you talk with your health care provider about ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

What to Do

  1. Be clear about your own sexual values and attitudes.
    Communicating with your children about sex, love, and relationships is often more successful when you are clear in your own mind about these issues. To help clarify your own attitudes and values, think about the following kinds of questions.

- What do you really think about school-aged teenagers being sexually active — perhaps even becoming parents? Is abstinence best for teens?
- Who is responsible for setting limits in a relationship and how is that done, realistically?
- Were you sexually active as a teenager and how do you feel about that now? Were you sexually active before you were married? What do such reflections lead you to say to your own children about these issues?
- Is abstinence best for teens? What do think about teens using contraception?

2. Talk with your children early and often about sex, and be specific.
Young people have lots of questions about sex, love, and relationships. And they often say that the source they’d most like to go for answers is their parents. Start the conversation, and make sure that it is honest, open, and respectful. If you can’t think of how to start the discussion consider using situations shown on TV or in the movies as conversation starters. Tell teens candidly and confidently what you think and why you believe what you do. If you’re not sure about some issues, tell them about that, too. Be sure to have a two-way conversation, not a one-way lecture. Ask them what they think and what they know so you can correct misconceptions. Ask what, if anything, worries them.

Age-appropriate conversations about relationships and intimacy should begin early in a child’s life and continue through adolescence. Resist the idea that there should be just one conversation about all this — you know, “the talk.” Think 18 year conversation. The truth is that parents and kids should be talking about sex and love all along. This applies to both sons and daughters and mothers and fathers. All teens need large amounts of communication, guidance, and information about these issues, even if they sometimes don’t appear to be interested in what you have to say. And if you have regular conversations, you won’t worry so much about making a mistake, because you’ll always be able to talk again.

Many inexpensive books and videos are available to help with any detailed information you might need, but don’t let your lack of technical information make you shy. Kids need as much help in understanding the meaning of sex as they do in understanding how all the body parts work. Tell them about love and sex, and what the difference is. And remember to talk about the reasons that kids find sex interesting and enticing; discussing only the downside of unplanned pregnancy and disease misses many of the issues on teenagers’ minds.

3. Supervise and monitor your children and adolescents.
Establish rules, curfews, and standards of expected behavior, preferably through an open process of family discussion and respectful communication. If your children get out of school at 3 pm and you don’t get home from work until 6 pm, who is responsible for making certain that your children are not only safe, but also are engaged in useful activities? Where are they when they go out with friends? Are there adults around who are in charge? Supervising and monitoring your kids’ whereabouts doesn’t make you a nag; it makes you a parent.

4. Know your children’s friends and their families.
Friends have a strong influence on each other, so help your children and teenagers become friends with kids whose families share your values. Some parents of teens even arrange to meet with the parents of their children’s friends to establish common rules and expectations. It is easier to enforce a curfew that all your Childs friends share rather than one that makes him or her different — but even if your views don’t match those of other parents, hold fast to your convictions. Welcome your children’s friends into your home and talk to them warmly and openly.

5. Discourage early, frequent, and steady dating.
Group activities among young people are fine and often fun, but allowing teens to begin one-on-one dating much before age 16 can lead to trouble. Let your child know about your strong preference about this throughout childhood — don’t wait until your young teen proposes a plan that differs from your preferences in this area; otherwise, he or she will think you just don’t like the particular person or invitation.

6. Take a strong stand against your daughter dating a boy significantly older than she is.
And don’t allow your son to develop an intense relationship with a girl much younger than he is. Older guys can seem glamorous to a young girl. But the risk of matters getting out of hand increases when the guy is much older than the girl. Try setting a limit of no more than a two (or at most three) year age difference. The power differences between older boys or men and younger girls can lead girls into risky situations, including unwanted sex and sex with no protection.

7. Help your teenagers to have options for the future that are more attractive than early pregnancy and parenthood.
The chances that your son or daughter will delay having sex, pregnancy, and parenthood are significantly increased if their future appears bright. This means helping them set meaningful goals for the future, talking to them about what it takes to make future plans come true, and helping them reach their goals. Tell them, for example, that if they want to be a teacher, they will need to stay in school in order to earn various degrees and pass certain exams. It also means teaching them to use free time in a constructive way, such as setting aside certain times to complete homework assignments. Explain how becoming pregnant — or causing pregnancy — can derail the best of plans; for example, child care expenses might make it almost impossible to afford college. Community service, in particular, can not only teach job skills, but can also put teens in touch with a wide variety of committed and caring adults.

8. Let your kids know that you value education highly.
Encourage your child to take school seriously and set high expectations about their school performance. School failure is often the first sign of trouble and can end in teenage parenthood. Be very attentive to your Childs progress in school and intervene early if things aren’t going well. Keep track of your children’s grades in school and discuss them together. Meet with teachers and principals, guidance counselors, and coaches. Limit the number of yours your teenagers gives to part-time jobs (20 hours a week should be the maximum) so that there is enough time and energy left to focus on school. Know about homework assignments and support your child in getting them done. Volunteer at the school, if possible. Schools want more parental involvement and will often try to accommodate your work schedule, if asked.

9. Know what your kids are watching, reading, and listening to.
The media (television, radio, movies, music videos, magazines, the Internet) are chock full of material sending the wrong messages. Sex rarely has meaning, unplanned pregnancy seldom happens, and no one who is having sex ever seems to be married or even especially committed to anyone. Is this consistent with your expectations and values? If not, it is important to talk with your children about what the media portray and what you think about it. If certain programs or movies offend you, say so, and explain why. Be media literate— think about what you and your family are watching and reading. Encourage your kids to think critically: ask them what they think about the programs they watch and the music they listen to.

You can always turn the TV off, cancel subscriptions, and place certain movies off limits. You will probably not be able to fully control what your children see and hear, but you can certainly make your views known and control your own home environment.

10. These first nine tips for helping your children avoid teen pregnancy work best when they occur as part of a strong, close relationship with your children, that is built from an early age.
Strive for a relationship that is warm in tone, firm in discipline, and rich in communication and one that emphasizes mutual trust and respect. There is no single way to create such relationships, but the following habits of the heart can help:

- Express love and affection clearly and often. Hug your children, and tell them how much they mean to you. Praise specific accomplishments, but remember that expressions of warmth and love should be offered freely, not just for a particular achievement.
- Listen carefully to what your children say and pay thoughtful attention to what they do.
- Spend time with your child engaged in activities that suit his age and interests, not just yours. Shared experiences build a “bank account” of affection and trust that forms the basis for future communication with him about specific topics, including sexual behavior.
- Be supportive and be interested in what interests them. Attend her sports events; learn about his hobbies; be enthusiastic about her achievements, even the little ones; ask them questions that show you care and want to know what is going on in their lives.
- Be courteous and respectful to your children and avoid hurtful teasing or ridicule. Don’t compare your teenager with other family members (i.e., why cant you be like your older sister?). Show that you expect courtesy and respect from them in return.
- Help them to build self-esteem by mastering skills; remember, self-esteem is earned, not given, and one of the best ways to earn it is by doing something well.
- Try to have meals together as a family as often as possible, using the time for conversation, not confrontation

A final note: its never too late to improve a relationship with a child or teenager. Don’t underestimate the great need that children feel — at all ages — for a warm relationship with their parents and for their parents’ guidance, approval, and support.

©2007, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036.

 

Quick Tip: To keep your Garbage disposal in top condition, drop in about 6 ice cubes weekly while unit is running. It will absorb any grease build-up, and down the drain it goes.

 


TEEN RESPONSIBILITY

Taking Responsibility & Earning Freedom

Teens need their independence, but how do you make sure they are safe? Its tough to decide when to give your teen more freedom. Do you hang on to the kite string for as long as you possibly can, or give the kite free air? The decision isn’t easy. One parents decision for his or her teen may not be right for other parents and their teens.

Although every adolescent is different, there are many experiences common to the teenage years. The most common may be the pull and push between dependence and independence.

Teens, at younger and younger ages, are putting themselves at risk for sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS and for pregnancy. And some teens, and even younger children, smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, use other drugs, or commit acts of violence and other crimes. No wonder so many parents are concerned, even frightened; no wonder so many try to control the behavior of their teenage children.

It is important for parents to make rules for their young children. As children get older, however, they need to learn to make some of their own decisions and life choices. Teens need the chance to practice good decision-making skills, and to manage new life experiences. Parents need to give teens the freedom to do just that. But there is a catch: teens must be ready. They need to agree to behave in responsible ways and show that they can handle the freedom. They also need to keep their parents informed. That way, parents know when to lend guidance and supervision, and how to support their teens progress.

Respect: Respect is a two-way street, but it starts with you. Give your teens the respect that you would like to be given. Give them credit for their knowledge and abilities; pay attention and listen to them. That means showing confidence in your teens, and being supportive.

Responsibility:
Teens are learning to take care of themselves as they prepare for adulthood. That’s what growing up is all about. Give them an appropriate amount of freedom and independence. Encourage and promote responsibility and good decision- making, offering support and gentle help with difficult decisions. Let your teens know they can gain more freedom as they demonstrate increasingly responsible behavior.

Rules and your child:
Part of growing up is learning and adapting to rules about driving and work, rules about drinking and dating, social rules and family rules. Teens will test the rules, but over time most will make these rules part of their lives. This kind of reliability is worthy of recognition and praise. 

Parents should believe in their teens; set high standards for them, encourage them, expect them to achieve their goals, and provide consistent love and support— including practical help so they can achieve the promise that lies within them.

Drawing the line:

Adolescents are striving for independence. As teens prepare for adulthood, parents should encourage independence, while making sure their teens don’t drift too far from a positive course. How should parents react to the choices of their teenage children? In general, extend trust and give children as much freedom of choice as they can handle. Be sure to set limits, too. Your decisions about the baggy jeans and about your sons friends require careful evaluation of all the details. You need to think about your own values, look realistically at where Jason seems to be headed, understand what he is doing or wants to do, and determine how best to promote his safety and growth.

Jason is doing well in school and not getting into trouble. Success in school gives children a sense of accomplishment. They can see a positive future for themselves and are less to his friends and his preferences in clothing, you need to gather more information if you’re   going to make a smart decision. You need to know more about your sons friends: What are they like? Do they use alcohol or other drugs? Are they in gangs? How does your son feel about these kids? How does he feel about drug use? How does he feel about gangs?

Your child and their friends:
Ask your son to invite his friends to your home so you can meet them. You’ll show that you have an open mind. If his friends behave poorly in your presence, your son will notice.

You also need to understand what the baggy jeans mean to Jason. Are they just a style he likes? Or is wearing them a way to identify with a gang? Sometimes teens dress differently just to harmlessly show some independence from the family. Think back to your own adolescence, and remember the fashion changes. There may be some similarities.

Have a discussion with your son about his friends and about the clothing he likes to wear. Sometimes discussions can bridge differences. Maybe your son will be swayed by what you say about the jeans and gangs, or maybe he will convince you that baggy jeans have become a style that has little to do with belonging to a gang.

 

Allergy Tip: Dust mites love to nest in area rugs making  you sneeze and itch. If you are allergic, a simple solution is to place area rugs outdoors in direct sunlight for a few hours until they become warm and dry. Result: Mites dry up and die.



                                                                                            WHEN DISASTER STRIKES


Y
our family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

Family Emergency Plan

  • Identify an out-of town contact.  It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging (also knows as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
  • Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.

Planning to Stay or Go

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available. For information on staying put or sheltering in place, click here.

Emergency Information

Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.

Emergency Plans

Use the New Online Family Emergency Planning Tool created by the Ready Campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council to prepare a printable Comprehensive Family Emergency Plan:

http://ready.adcouncil.org/beprepared/fep/index.jsp

Use the New Quick Share application to help your family in assembling a quick reference list of contact information for your family, and a meeting place for emergency situations:



 

 YOUTH DEPRESSION
NEVER IGNORE A SUICIDE THREAT OR ATTEMPT

Depression can be a temporary response to many situations and stresses. In adolescents, depressed mood is common because of the normal maturation process, the stress associated with it, the influence of sex hormones, and independence conflicts with parents.

It may also be a reaction to a disturbing event, such as the death of a friend or relative, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or failure at school. Adolescents who have low self-esteem, are highly self-critical, and who feel little sense of control over negative events are particularly at risk to become depressed when they experience stressful events.

True depression in teens is often difficult to diagnose because normal adolescent behavior is marked by both up and down moods. These moods may alternate over a period of hours or days.

Persistent depressed mood, faltering school performance, failing relations with family and friends, substance abuse, and other negative behaviors may indicate a serious depressive episode. These symptoms may be easy to recognize, but depression in adolescents often starts very differently than these classic symptoms.

Excessive sleeping, change in eating habits, even criminal behavior (like shoplifting) may be signs of depression. Another common symptom of adolescent depression is an obsession with death, which may take the form either of suicidal thoughts or of fears about death and dying.

Adolescent girls are twice as likely as boys to experience depression.

Risk factors include:

  • Stressful life events, particularly loss of a parent to death or divorce
  • Child abuse - both physical and sexual
  • Unstable care giving, poor social skills
  • Chronic illness
  • Family history of depression

Depression is also associated with eating disorders, particularly bulimia.

Symptoms  

  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Temper (agitation)
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Reduced pleasure in daily activities
  • Appetite changes (usually a loss of appetite but sometimes an increase)
  • Weight change (unintentional weight loss or unintentional weight gain)
  • Persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Episodes of memory loss
  • Preoccupation with self
  • Feelings of worthlessness, sadness, or self-hatred
  • Excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt
  • Acting-out behavior (missing curfews, unusual defiance)
  • Thoughts about suicide or obsessive fears or worries about death
  • Plans to commit suicide or actual suicide attempt
  • Excessively irresponsible behavior pattern

If these symptoms persist for at least 2 weeks and cause significant distress or difficulty functioning, treatment should be sought.

Exams and Tests 

The doctor will perform a physical examination and order blood tests to rule out medical causes for the symptoms.

The doctor will evaluate the teen for signs of substance abuse. Heavy drinking, frequent marijuana (pot) smoking, and other drug use can be caused by or occur because of depression.

A psychiatric evaluation will also be done to document the teen's history of sadness, irritability, and loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities. The doctor will look for signs of potentially co-existing psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, mania, or schizophrenia. A careful assessment of the teenager will help determine suicidal/homicidal risks -- that is, if the teen is a danger to him or herself or others.

Information from family members or school personnel can often help identify depression in teenagers.

Treatment   

Treatment options for adolescents with depression are similar to those for used to treat depression in adults. Treatments may include psychotherapy and antidepressant medications.

MEDICATION

The first medication considered is usually a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Prozac is most often the first choice. NOTE: SSRI's carry a warning that they may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and adolescents. Teens and families should be alert for sudden changes or increased suicidal thoughts. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of such medicine.

Not all antidepressants are approved for use in children and teens. For example, tricyclics are not approved for use in teens.

THERAPY

Family therapy may be helpful if family conflict is contributing to the depression. Support from family or teachers to help with school problems may also be needed. Occasionally, hospitalization in a psychiatric unit may be required for individuals with severe depression, or if they are at risk of suicide.

Because of the behavior problems that often co-exist with adolescent depression, many parents are tempted to send their child to a "boot camp", "wilderness program", or "emotional growth school."

These programs often use non-medical staff, confrontational therapies, and harsh punishments. There is no scientific evidence to support such programs. In fact, there is a growing body of research which suggests that they can actually harm sensitive teens with depression.

Depressed teens who act out may also become involved with the criminal justice system. Parents are often advised not to intervene, but to "let them experience consequences."

Unfortunately, this can also harm teens through exposure to more deviant peers and reduction in educational opportunities. A better solution is to get the best possible legal advice and search for treatment on your own, which gives parents more control over techniques used and options.

Though a large percentage of teens in the criminal justice system have mental disorders like depression, few juvenile prisons, "boot camps" or other "alternative to prison" programs provide adequate treatment.

Outlook (Prognosis)    

Depressive episodes usually respond to treatment, and early and comprehensive treatment of depression in adolescence may prevent further episodes. However, about half of seriously depressed teens are likely to have continued problems with depression as adults.

Possible Complications   

Teenage suicide is associated with depression as well as many other factors. Depression frequently interferes with school performance and interpersonal relationships. Teens with depression often have other psychiatric problems, such as anxiety disorders.

Depression is also commonly associated with violence and reckless behavior. Drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse frequently coexist with depression. Adolescents with additional psychiatric problems usually require longer and more intensive treatment.

Call your health care provider if one or more warning signs of potential suicide are present.

Be alert to the following signs:

  • Withdrawal, with urge to be alone, isolation
  • Moodiness
  • Personality change
  • Threat of suicide
  • Giving most cherished possessions to others

Prevention   

Periods of depressed mood are common in most adolescents. However, supportive interpersonal relationships and healthy coping skills can help prevent such periods from leading to more severe depressive symptoms. Open communication with your teen can help identify depression earlier.

Counseling may help teens deal with periods of low mood. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches depressed people ways of fighting negative thoughts and recognizing them as symptoms, not the truth about their world, is the most effective non-medication treatment for depression. Ensure that counselors or psychologists sought are trained in this method.

For adolescents with a strong family history of depression, or with multiple risk factors, episodes of depression may not be preventable. For these teens, early identification and prompt and comprehensive treatment of depression may prevent or postpone further episodes.

 

Quick Tip: Instead of using paper towels, use a squeegee after washing down the windows. You will not have streaks. Run it across the top horizontally, and then down left to right, (keeping the squeegee slightly angled downward, so the water runs off to the side), after each vertical pull, wipe the squeegee blade. When done, take a dry towel, using your finger and wipe around the edges. Now you are a pro..

 

YOUTH VIOLENCE

FYI

The most important conclusion of the U.S. Surgeon General's report is that youth violence is a solvable problem.

 YOUTH VIOLENCE?

  • The U.S. Surgeon General's report states that the greatest need is for the Nation to "confront the problem of youth violence systematically, using research-based approaches, and to correct damaging myths and stereotypes."
  • The search for solutions to the issue of youth violence is challenging. Research conducted for the U.S. Surgeon General’s report using extremely high scientific standards found that nearly half of the most rigorously evaluated prevention strategies did not achieve their intended outcomes. Perhaps these programs did not work because of a flawed program strategy or because of poor program implementation or a poor match between program and target population. The research also found that a few strategies actually were harmful to participants.
  • Many effective prevention and intervention programs are now in place, however. We have the tools and the understanding now to reduce, or even prevent, much of the most serious youth violence. We also have the tools to reduce less dangerous (but still serious) problem behaviors and to promote healthy development among young people.


WHAT ARE THE MAJOR TRENDS IN YOUTH VIOLENCE?

  • The Surgeon General’s report states that between 1983 and 1993, deadly violence involving guns rose to epidemic proportions. At the same time, the number of young people involved in other forms of serious violence rose slightly.
  • Since 1994, however, gun use and homicide arrests have dropped, and nonfatal serious violence has gone down. By 1999, arrest rates for violent crimes other than aggravated assault had dropped below 1983 levels, but arrest rates for aggravated assault remained almost 70 percent higher than in 1983.
  • Despite the current decline in gun use and lethal violence, the proportion of young people who report their involvement in nonfatal violence remains as high as in the peak years of the epidemic, as does the proportion of students injured with a weapon at school. The number of young people involved in gangs remains near the peak levels of 1996.
  • Young men especially those from minority groups are arrested disproportionately for violent crimes. But self-reports show that differences in violent behavior between minority and majority groups and between sexes may not be as great as arrest records indicate. Race or ethnicity by itself does not predict whether a child or adolescent is likely to engage in violence.
  • Schools around the country are relatively safe compared to homes and neighborhoods. Young people at greatest risk of being killed in school violence are from a racial or ethnic minority, senior high schools, and urban school districts.

WHEN DOES YOUTH VIOLENCE BEGIN?

Scientists have described two patterns for engagement in violence: early onset and late onset. These patterns help to predict the likely course, severity, and duration of violent behaviors over a person’s lifespan. In the early onset pattern, violence begins before adolescence; in the late onset pattern, violent behavior begins during adolescence. According to the Surgeon General’s report:

  • Most children with behavioral disorders do not become serious violent offenders.
  • Most highly aggressive children do not become serious violent offenders.
  • Most youth violence begins in adolescence but doesn’t continue into adulthood.
  • Young people who become violent before age 13 usually commit more crimes, and more serious crimes, for a longer time. Their pattern of violence rises through childhood and sometimes continues into adulthood.

WHY DO YOUNG PEOPLE BECOME VIOLENT?

Research on youth violence has identified certain personal characteristics and environmental conditions that place children and youth at risk for engaging in violent behavior or that seem to protect them from that risk. These characteristics and conditions  risk and protective factors, respectively exist not only within individuals but also in every social setting in which they find themselves: family, school, peer group, and community.

Risk factors can identify vulnerable populations that may benefit from intervention efforts but not particular individuals who may become violent. No single risk factor or combination of factors can predict violence with certainty. Similarly, protective factors cannot guarantee that a child exposed to risk will not become violent.

More research is necessary to identify risk and protective factors, to determine when in a person's development these factors come into play, and to discover why violence starts, continues, or stops in childhood and adolescence. However, research to date offers a solid basis for implementing programs aimed at reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors  and thereby preventing violence.

WHAT RISK FACTORS ARE CORRELATED WITH YOUTH VIOLENCE?

Risk factors for violence are different for youth with the early onset pattern compared to those with the late onset pattern. The most powerful risk factors for children ages 6 to 11 who commit violence at ages 15 to18 are involvement in serious (but not necessarily violent) criminal acts and substance abuse. Table 1 identifies these and other known childhood risk factors. The factors are ranked by the strength of their influence, as determined by statistical research undertaken for the U.S. Surgeon General’s report.

TABLE 1
Early Risk Factors for Those Who Commit Violence at Ages 15–18

Strongest factors

  • Involvement in serious (but not necessarily violent) criminal acts
  • Substance abuse

Moderate factors

  • Male gender
  • Physical aggression (males only)
  • Low family socioeconomic status or poverty
  • Antisocial (violent or criminal) parents

Additional factors shown to play a limited role

  • Psychological conditions, including hyperactivity
  • Poor parent-child relations, including harsh, lax, or inconsistent discipline
  • Weak social ties
  • Problem (antisocial) behavior
  • Exposure to television violence
  • Poor attitude toward or performance in school
  • Medical or physical conditions
  • Low IQ
  • Broken home
  • Dishonesty
  • Abusive or neglectful parents
  • Antisocial peers

Mid- to late adolescence is a period of significant developmental change and a time during which peer influences outweigh family influence. The strongest risk factors for adolescents ages 12 to 14 who commit violence at ages 15 to 18 are identified in Table 2.

TABLE 2
Late Risk Factors for Those Who Commit Violence at Ages 15–18

Strongest factors

  • Weak ties to conventional peers
  • Ties to antisocial or delinquent peers
  • Gang membership
  • Involvement in other criminal acts

Additional factors shown to play a limited role

  • Psychological conditions, including restlessness, difficulty concentrating (males only), and risk taking
  • Poor parent-child relations, including harsh or lax discipline, poor monitoring or supervision, and low parental involvement
  • Aggression (males only)
  • Male gender
  • Poor attitude toward or performance in school
  • Physical violence
  • Crime, drugs, and disorganization in the neighborhood
  • Antisocial parents
  • Antisocial attitudes, beliefs
  • Crimes against persons
  • Problem (antisocial) behavior
  • Low IQ
  • Broken home
  • Low family socioeconomic status or poverty
  • Abusive parents
  • Family conflict (males only)
  • Substance abuse

Source: Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General, p. 60.

An accumulation of risk factors is more important in predicting violent behaviors than is the presence of any single factor. The more risk factors a child or young person is exposed to, the greater the likelihood that he or she will become violent.

CAN OTHER FACTORS LEAD TO YOUTH VIOLENCE?

Some situations and conditions can influence the likelihood of violence or the form it takes. Situational factors - such as provoking, taunting, and demeaning interactions - can spark unplanned violence. The presence of a gun in certain situations can raise the level of violence.

The Surgeon General’s Report found only limited evidence indicating a relationship between serious mental disorders and violence in adolescents or young adults in the general population, but young people with serious mental disorders who also abuse substances or have not received treatment may be at risk for violence.

WHAT FACTORS PROTECT AGAINST YOUTH VIOLENCE?

Protective factors - the personal characteristics and environmental conditions that help protect against a specific risk - provide some explanation as to why children and adolescents who face the same degree of risk may behave differently.

The research evidence about factors that protect against youth violence is not as extensive as is the research on risk factors, and the research must be considered preliminary. Although a number of protective factors have been proposed, only two have been found to moderate the risk of violence: an intolerant attitude toward deviance, including violence, and commitment to school. These factors reflect a commitment to traditional values. Both effects are small.

WHAT ROLE DO CULTURE, ETHNICITY, AND RACE PLAY IN YOUTH VIOLENCE?

Considered apart from other life circumstances, race and ethnicity have not been shown to be risk factors for youth violence.

  • The evidence suggests that the link between race and violence is based largely on social and political differences rather than on biological differences. Ethnicity may account for limited opportunities due to prejudice and ethnic minority families may face acculturation stresses. On the other hand, some features of ethnic cultures may serve as protective factors (Surgeon General, 2001; APA 1993).
  • Prevention specialists generally presume that risk factors for youth violence identified in studies with primarily White participants are relevant also for such culturally diverse groups as African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. Research on the roles that race, ethnicity, and culture may play among young people of specific minority groups is needed to shed light on the risk and protective factors that affect those groups.

The Media and your child.

  • Exposure to media violence can increase children’s aggressive behavior in the short term. Media violence increases aggressive attitudes and emotions, which theoretically are linked to aggressive and violent behavior. Evidence for long-term effects of media violence is inconsistent.
  • Violent behaviors occur infrequently and are subject to multiple influences. Existing evidence is insufficient to describe accurately how much exposure to media violence of what types, for how long, at what ages, for what types of children, or in what types of home settings will predict violent behavior in adolescents and adults.

Families play a critical role in guiding their children’s exposure to the media, including television programs, films and videos, and computer and video games. Community groups such as schools, faith-based organizations, and parent-teacher-student organizations can teach parents and children how to be more critical consumers of media. In addition, Federal agencies can encourage needed research, share research findings with the public, encourage increased interaction between violence prevention researchers and media researchers, and create networks for sharing solutions to social and public health problems

 

 

Quick Tip: Put about one cup of table salt in a large grocery paper bag. Put your silk plant inside the paper bag, roll the top down a couple of times and then shake the bag. The salt will remove the dust from the leaves of the plants. Just shake (you might want to perform the removal of your plant or fern from the bag, outside) the plant a little as you take it out of the paper bag to make sure all the salt is off the silk plant.
Erin D.

 

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Quick Tip: Add 1/2 cup of Baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent or powder, it will give you" whiter whites" and brighter colors.

 

Words can never adequately convey

the incredible impact of our attitudes

toward life.  The longer I live the more

convinced I become that life is 10%

what happens to us and 90%

how we respond to it.

                                                                                               

Charles R. Swindoll

American Clergyman

 

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ToothpasteTip: Instead of purchasing toothpaste at the store, use baking soda and some salt mixed in. It is not a bad as it sounds, works great, and is proportionally about 1/5 the price. One simply dampens the toothbrush in the small bowl mix and you have a great toothpaste. No artificial sweeteners, no dangerous chemicals, just a good toothpaste.

          

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