How to Make Your Kids Like Books

Since birth until adulthood children are brought up to hate books. Maybe not intentionally I am sure we will all admit children hate books. Well they do. If you are one of the lucky mothers who managed to get their son into reading instead of computer games then I take my hat off to you. My mum on the other hand, wasn't quite as propitious. Some say a child's disliking for books is genetic and that they are just "born less academic". I argue with this. Children are brought up from a young age to relate books to school and hard work. Why would they like them? Everyone has an interest. Everyone. Some of us have many, some just love one specific thing. Some have an obsession. The point is books document these interests. Knowledge.

So how do we make kids take an interest in books? How do you get them off that Playstation 3 and onto a beanbag with a copy of your favourite Siegfried Sassoon? One step at a time.

Tip number one. Disassociate books with school. This is the biggest step really. We need to stop them thinking that books are a form of punishment and make them start thinking that this is a way of making themselves become a better person. Ok that may be a little deep for a 10 year old but they do like learning. Take them to a bookshop. Why do I say bookshop not library? A bookshop for a 10 year old is hands down more fun than a library. Bright colours. Lots of comfy chairs. Generally kids running around screaming. Comics. Cups of tea. You know the ones. Waterstones is a great place to start. Make a day of it.

Tip number two. Let them choose the book. This may seem like a stupid thing to say but the number of parents who force Shakespeare into their teenager's hands and expect them to know every line of A Mid-Summer Nights dream amazes me. So you are in that book shop. Let them go. Tell them to choose any book they like. Yes even a comic (or "Graphic Novel") is fine, however id recommend checking the content. Any book at all.

Tip number three. Sit down and read it with them. I know I know we all have things to do, but try and make the time. This could be the difference between them becoming a Doctor and a cleaner. You know what I mean. It's important so sit down and read it with them. Again in the bookshop is a great idea as it gives you a place that they will begin to relate to books and fun. You could even splash out and buy them some orange juice. Struggling to read things together? How about just looking at some books full of photos. Kids always love pictures from deep space and you can start to explain them or learn for yourself. Macro photos of insects always go down well.

There you have it. My top three tips to help stop your kids hating books. The sooner you start these the better. Books are proven to expand our vocabulary and knowledge. What a great way to spend time with your kids, learn about their interests and help them one day become a better person.

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How to Transform Your Kids' Behavior

Now that Ritalin and other psychostimulants are getting a somewhat bad press in that there is a link with sudden death in ADHD children taking these drugs, attention is being turned to other ways of changing or transforming kids' behavior. Whether your child has ADHD or not, behavior is going to be an issue. I know that many parents are now realising that pills will not teach skills or behavior and that is where the problem has to be tackled - right there in the heart of the home.

Kids' behavior can be problematic in that acting out, temper tantrums, lack of focus and defiant and oppositional behavior all come to the surface and the parent just does not know where to turn. In the case of ADHD, some of these problems can become even more acute. All the experts are now agreed that behavior therapy is really the best way to go. This should be the first treatment option rather than one that should be tried further down the line when parents are at their wits' end.

Some parents want to try family therapy which is fine except that will put too much emphasis on the child's feelings and self esteem rather the actual behavior which is causing all the problems. Behavior therapy takes a different approach and it will certainly involve the child and or teenager in a very different way. When you follow such a course, you can learn how to stop all the arguing and shouting. Instead you will learn ways to deal with each scenario and also even what to say to your child and how to talk to him after a meltdown or temper tantrum. The whole emphasis is on the child learning new behaviors and ways we can reinforce that through a system of rewards.

Who is in control in your house? Learning a few simple strategies form a behavior therapy course can transform your kids' behavior and you can begin to enjoy family life again. Many parents are besieged by their kids' problem behavior and walk on eggshells around them. Instead of screaming, shouting and banging doors, learn some effective techniques which will restore calm and happiness to your home.

Let a consultant child psychiatrist with over twenty years experience teach you how to have more fun and less stress when dealing with kids behavior.

Visit:- for more parenting advice. Robert Locke has written extensively on parenting for many years.

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How to Help Teens Get the Body They Are Seeking in a Healthy Way

If you have a teenager living in the home, then you already know hoe obsessive they can be about looking a certain way. Teens want too fit in so they wear certain clothes that are popular in their schools, they wear their hair the same and they even want the same bodies in many cases. Teen boys and girls have different version of ideal bodies, with the body seeking a more muscular frame and the girls looking to stay fit trim.

While encouraging your child to engage in sports and to get enough exercise is fantastic for building a healthy long term habit for life in your children, when your child begins to have too much of a good thing it can be very damaging. The boys tend to lean toward the bulkier figures that encourage them to lift weights and seek bigger muscles. This is generally because a guy with larger muscles to a teen boy appears to have a more masculine image and they also seem to get the attention of more girls. While most adults may argue that point that all men with large muscles do not have the best images or all the ladies they would like, form a teen boy's perspective, that is exactly what they see. The girls can be even more dangerous with aiming to have a tiny figure and fit into the skinny jeans currently and also to be admired for their smaller frame from other girls in their schools. These perfect body images these boys and girls are looking for can lead to very dangerous behaviors such as taking steroids while in high school and starvation as well. As a parent the best thing you can do is speak openly with your teens about what type of body they would most like and go from there to help guide them to obtain their ideal shape in a safe manner.

Teach your children which foods to consume to stay fit and trim and even take them to grocery store and allow them to make their own choices with your help right there to show them how to read food labels and how to make the wise choices on their own. This ia a great way to teach boys and girls which proteins to consume and which foods to stay away from. Show them the calories they are wasting when they eat the sweets and the junk foods that they do not want to consume when they are looking to have a great looking body that is fit and have some muscular definition to it. Encourage your kids to get exercise along with eating better and to sleep enough as well. Many kids only sleep six hours a night and studies have shown that amount is clearly not enough to live a productive life as a child and to also prevent becoming overweight as a child. Get your children into a regular routine of healthy meals, at least eight hours of sleep at night and that they are staying active a minimum of three days per week. They will get the results they want to have the body they are seeking, in a healthy manner and it will something you both can do together!

Jesus has two growing children and they are constantly redefining themselves. He has read many parenting books but has found that his own experiences are the best thing to learn from. He writes about these different experiences on his website. He also writes about topics such as the Coleman Mosquito Deleto and double sleeping bags.

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How to Help a Teen Manage Their Stress

There is a good deal of stress in everyone's lives these days and that includes children and teenagers. Children and teenagers come under stress from many sources but especially from warring parents and exams. However, children and teenagers are not as well prepared to cope with stress as adults should be.

The death of a parent and bullying at school are also reasons for stress in children and teenagers. The death of a parent can require counseling, bullying calls for adult help, more often than not from school staff. These four cases of stress in children and teenagers can lead to mental health issues like depression, ADHD and aggression.

Other causes of milder stress, which can however be the straw that broke the camel's back, are as follows.

Transferring to a new school, new town or joining a new club, like cub scouts is stressful to a lot of kids. They will not have a lot, if any, friends there and will be unsure of the local customs, which can be nerve wracking. Being on edge like this is very stressful.

Learning how to cope with deadlines is not easy for a lot of young people. Nor is working alone to complete a project. Both of these skills are taught through homework and most children have problems with homework. They hate it. This also causes stress to build up, particularly if the child does not know how to do the homework and there is no one to lend a hand. Perhaps the child does not want to ask or perhaps the parents are incapable of assisting.

Connected with school, if a parent is too assertive about achieving high grades, it can have stressful effects that are opposite to what was intended. Parents have to see the fine line between encouraging and pushing their children to do well in school.

Low self esteem due to a more intelligent or more praised sibling is also the cause of stress. Parents who have a favourite and make this obvious run a serious risk of hurting their other children. Never ever choose a favourite (my 'number one son' or 'my little princess') and if you can not help yourself, then never let it show.

The news can disturb some children, especially gory details like terrorist bombings and natural disasters. These are felt much more deeply of course if they happen locally. Similar to this is if a close family member suffers a terminal illness or even a serious accident like a car accident and the loss of a limb. They may undergo short term stress if they have an illness like mumps or measles or break an arm or a leg as well.

Children quickly pick up on issues between their parents and also on financial problems in the home. Try to keep these things to yourself and do not argue often in front of the children.

You can help in the home by making sure that your children have love and understanding and by not being too demanding. They are only children, but they sometimes have to put up with adult sized stress too. Try to help them not make too big an issue of problems.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently concerned with financial stress. If you are suffering from any kind of stress, please go over to our website now at Stress and Heart Disease.

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How To Make Essay Writing Interesting For Kids?

My eight year old is a fiend. She read To Kill a Mockingbird in an afternoon and right now she's breezing through Chekhov. She types over 90 words per minute and sometimes writes up to twelve or fourteen pages a day. She lives and breathes reading and writing and can't understand why everyone doesn't feel this way.

Still, when I mention the word 'essay' she recoils in horror. Up until last month, that is. Getting Adora to write has always been about as easy as getting ----to-----. When children thinking of writing as a form of entertainment they begin to write on their own initiative. However, when it came to essays, I had to get sneaky. To give you some idea of my far she has written 'All Day Candy Eating: the Pros and Cons', 'Taking Back the Power: Why Kids Should Have the Vote and Adults Shouldn't' and 'Why I Hate Fairytales'.

I think she had envisioned essay writing as some Draconian horror along the lines of the book report. My goal was to teach her to think of essay writing as what it really is: the world's best way to lay down an argument.

Adora, like most people, does her best writing when she's really interested in something, or when she's writing for herself or the people she loves most. Every time I told her to write an essay for class she'd come off sounding dull and drab, miles away from her normal vivacious and mischievous tone.

I decided there was no way she could be dull and drab when writing about one of her obsessions, so we switched gears away from the literary essay and settled on what really counts in the minds of most eight year olds: candy. As suspected, Adora found it impossible to be stiff when writing about candy. Her enthusiasm picked up like a good sugar high, and pretty soon the words were pouring out.

When she was done I broke the news: she'd written an essay and enjoyed it. Since then I've tried to broaden her understanding of the concept, pointing out that David Sedaris and Dave Barry are also essay writers, and likening essay writing to arguing, always a favorite pursuit.

Here are three simple tactics for getting kids to think of essay writing as something vital, and a form of entertainment.

If your kids complain about a household rule or request a new gadget, tell them to put it in writing. Have them state their case, giving all the reasons why they are right. In this way they will be practicing the fundamentals of essay writing in a relevant, and possibly rewarding, way.

If your kids are angry or upset with you, a sibling, or a teacher, ask them to write about it, explaining exactly what happened, why they think it's unfair etc.

When they are first starting out, don't stress organization too much. Wait until they have begun to enjoy the writing process before cracking down on errors.

Although we started out silly, Adora has lost her fear of essays and now approaches them with the same zeal she has for fiction and poetry. Now that she has overcome her prejudice she is showing an interest for more academic topics. I'm happy about this, though I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of teaching your children more effective arguing tactics. This may come back to haunt me in her teenage years.....

Joyce Svitak is the co-author of Flying Fingers--Master the tools of learning through the joy of writing Her daughter Adora Svitak published the book at age seven, since then, the book has been translated into Chinese, Korea. It will have a new edition in UK this fall. Adora has toured many schools to present her writing workshop. Please visit her website at for more info.

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How to Help Your Children During and After Divorce

When parents become involved in divorce proceedings, the emotional impact on their children is usually brutal and long lasting. Parents can reduce the emotional impact on their children, by utilizing the following tips:

1. Attempt reconciliation.

2. If reconciliation is possible, do not hesitate to place the divorce proceedings on hold.

3. If reconciliation is possible, do not let your parents, other family members, or friends, keep you from attempting the same.

4. If reconciliation is not possible, do your best not to delay the divorce proceedings.

5. If reconciliation is not possible, quit having sex with each other, because such activity will only taint any resolution of the various issues when the sex stops.

6. Be honest with yourself, your spouse/ex-spouse, and your children.

7. If you are feeling down/depressed, take an inventory of the good things in your life; place your children first on the list.

8. Suicide is not an option. If you have thoughts of suicide, seek help immediately.

9. If your spouse/ex-spouse is abusing you and/or your children, seek help immediately.

10. Stop trying to figure out why your marriage did not work; after a certain point in time, it becomes counter-productive.

11. If you are experiencing a financial crunch during or after the divorce, do not dwell on it in front of your children; try to obtain a higher paying job, or a second job if necessary.

12. Utilize family counseling and individual counseling for your children and yourself.

13. If you and your spouse/ex-spouse cannot agree on a counselor for your children, you should each select a counselor, and then let such counselors select an independent counselor. The independent counselor should then decide on how the counseling sessions should take place; with parents, without parents, etc.

14. Do not make your divorce a public event; save the "dirt" for discussions with your counselor.

15. Put aside your pain and anger, and focus on the best interests of your children.

16. Make your children feel safe and loved at all times.

17. It is best if both parents, as a couple, inform their children of their decision to obtain a divorce, and that neither parent is at fault.

18. Listen to, and address your children's concerns and feelings; let your children vent. Allow your children to ask questions; in answering your children's questions, do not compromise your spouse/ex-spouse's character, integrity, and reputation.

19. If your children are not interested or ready to talk about the divorce, be patient and wait until they are ready.

20. Explain to your children, as often as necessary, that they are not the cause of the divorce.

21. If your children side with your spouse/ex-spouse, do not hold it against them; try to put yourself in your children's shoes; try to understand your children's concerns/feelings.

22. Do not be reluctant to apologize to your children; apologize as often as necessary.

23. Both parents should inform the children's counselors at school of their decision to divorce.

24. Be alert to signs of distress in your children (aggressiveness, depression, mood swings, loss of self-esteem, poor performance at school, etc.), and immediately attend to such distress and/or seek professional help.

25. Provide your children with emotional support, and do not expect them to replace the emotional support you previously received from your spouse/ex-spouse.

26. Play an active role in your children's school and other activities during and after the divorce proceedings.

27. If one of the parties is keeping the marital home in the property settlement, do your best to keep your children's bedroom sets, and as much of the other furniture, in such home; there is enough other things for your children to adjust to; like both of their parents not being under the same roof.

28. Allow your children to make some decisions with your new home so they feel a part of it; for example, where to place furniture and pictures.

29. Do not look at child support as an obligation, but as something that you want to pay for the benefit of your children.

30. Child support is for your children, do not agree to take a lesser amount to appease your spouse/ex-spouse, or as a result of pride.

31. Do not send your children to your spouse/ex-spouse's home in tattered clothes, or their pajamas, to force your spouse/ex-spouse to purchase additional clothing.

32. Do not have your spouse/ex-spouse served with court papers when you know your children will be present.

33. Be patient. If you have children and you and your spouse have settled all issues, it will take at least 5 months after the Complaint has been filed to obtain a divorce. If you and your spouse are having difficulty settling all issues, it could easily take 8 months to 18 months to obtain a divorce.

34. Stay focused on the big issues: custody, parenting time, child support, property settlement, and spousal support. Do not incur needless legal fees to argue, or fight over insignificant issues.

35. Control your attorney.

36. Do not have your attorney file motions to seek psychological evaluations of your spouse and children to simply gain leverage in the divorce proceedings.

37. Do not file for a personal protection order to gain leverage in the divorce proceedings.

38. Do not antagonize your spouse to commit an act of domestic violence to gain leverage in the divorce proceedings.

39. Call the police only when necessary.

40. Call Children's Protective Services only when necessary.

41. Do not make false allegations regarding emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse of your children; false allegations can never be taken back.

42. Do not withhold, or attempt to withhold, parenting time as a means to gain leverage in the divorce proceedings, or to hurt your spouse/ex-spouse during or after the divorce.

43. If your spouse is no longer residing at the marital home during the divorce proceedings, but is paying for the marital home expenses, do not intentionally "run-up" the bills (by running the sprinkler system and by heating the pool around the clock) to increase the expenses that your spouse will have to pay; this simply reduces the amount of money that can be spent on your children and other necessary expenses.

44. If a representative of the Friend of the Court will be interviewing your children with respect to their preference to reside with you or your spouse, do not attempt to prep or sway your children before the interview.

45. Do not have your children write letters to the Court, or the Friend of the Court, on your behalf.

46. Do not bring your children to the divorce proceedings unless requested by the Court.

47. Do not bring parents and/or other family members to the divorce proceedings.

48. Try to resolve your differences short of a trial, between yourselves with the assistance of your attorneys, or through the use of an arbitrator, facilitator, or mediator; a trial deepens/hardens anger and resentment.

49. Honor the agreements you reach with your spouse/ex-spouse regarding divorce issues and/or children issues; placing such agreements in the Judgment of Divorce will avoid confusion.

50. The Judgment of Divorce should contain a detailed parenting time schedule instead of leaving it open; you and your ex-spouse can always deviate from the schedule if you are communicating; it avoids the necessity of having to return to Court if you and your ex-spouse stop communicating.

51. Pay your child support.

52. Pay your child care expenses.

53. Pay your children's medical reimbursements to your spouse/ex-spouse.

54. Each parent should have as much parenting time as possible. Although it may be difficult on everyone, the parents should work toward a 50/50 split with respect to parenting time. The above may not be possible, if each parent lives in a different school district after the divorce, if the children have been abused by a parent, etc.

55. Discuss parenting time with your children only when both parents are present.

56. Spend as much time with your children as possible; never refuse extra parenting time.

57. Parenting time should be exercised on a consistent basis, without long gaps between visits with your children. Show up, and do not be late, for all scheduled parenting time.

58. If you cannot see your children on a consistent basis, you should telephone, write, e-mail, text message, send cards, etc., on a consistent basis.

59. Do not agree to a parenting time schedule that separates your children.

60. Do not agree to a parenting time schedule that is initiated by your children. Under this arrangement, the parent that does not have physical custody of the children will only have parenting time when the children initiate the same. This arrangement gives the custodial parent the opportunity to convince the children to be indifferent or hostile toward the non-custodial parent. This arrangement also gives the children too much control/power over the non-custodial parent. The above may not be applicable if the children have been abused by the non-custodial parent.

61. A shorter distance between your home and your spouse/ex-spouse's home will allow for more flexibility with respect to parenting time; will make it easier for the parents to fill-in for each other; will make it easier for the non-custodial parent to attend the children's school and other functions; etc.

62. Avoid treating your children like a guest in your home; include them in family activities such as making dinner, doing the dishes, cutting the lawn, etc.

63. Avoid structuring every moment of parenting time around an activity or event; a majority of parenting time should involve everyday life.

64. To the extent you can afford it, have clothes and toiletries for your children at both of your homes.

65. If your children need something during or after the divorce proceedings when you are engaging in parenting time, obtain it for them if possible, and work out the economics with your spouse/ex-spouse at a later time.

66. Be flexible with your spouse/ex-spouse as far as parenting time; fill-in for each other when necessary.

67. Do not argue in front of your children.

68. Do not discuss your bedroom issues in front of your children.

69. Do not attempt to convince your children that your spouse/ex-spouse was the cause of the divorce; they will make their own assessment, if they feel the need to do so, as they grow older.

70. Do not attempt to influence your children to be indifferent or hostile toward your spouse/ex-spouse; this is one of the worst forms of child abuse.

71. Never make comments to your children that compare them to your spouse/ex-spouse in a negative way.

72. Never, for any reason, resort to physical violence with your spouse/ex-spouse, or children.

73. Do not abandon your children no matter what hurdles are placed in front of you by your spouse/ex-spouse.

74. Do not talk about custody with your children.

75. Do not talk about child support with your children.

76. Do not talk about the division of property with your children.

77. Do not talk about spousal support with your children.

78. If you are entitled to spousal support, do not turn it down out of pride, accept it, save it, and utilize it to assist your children with college and other expenses.

79. Do not discuss the Court proceedings and rulings with your children.

80. Do not leave any paperwork regarding the divorce in any place at your home where your children will be able to find and read it.

81. If the marital home is being sold as part of the property settlement, do not have your children present when such home is being shown to potential buyers.

82. Do not have your children present when you are moving furniture and other belongings out of the marital home.

83. Do not damage your spouse/ex-spouse's property; it sets the wrong example for your children because they will eventually find out about it.

84. Do not ask your children what your spouse/ex-spouse is doing.

85. Do not ask your children what your spouse/ex-spouse is spending money on.

86. Do not use your children to forward bills or messages to your spouse/ex-spouse.

87. Do not have your children lie for you.

88. Do not fight for extra parenting time simply to reduce child support.

89. Do not threaten your spouse/ex-spouse that you will stop seeing your children if you have to pay child support and child care expenses.

90. Do not over-dramatize your children's deficiencies or illnesses, in an attempt to increase spousal support, because you would rather stay at home instead of also contributing economically to your children.

91. Do not think that you are punishing your spouse/ex-spouse by not exercising parenting time with your children; you are only punishing your children.

92. Do not withhold parenting time because child support is late.

93. Do not pass on a better career opportunity to avoid paying higher child support.

94. Do not convey to your children that you are unable to purchase an item because your spouse/ex-spouse is not paying child support or other expenses, or because you are paying child support and other expenses.

95. Do not give gifts to your children with restrictions. For example, if you buy your child a bike, do not force your child to keep it at your home if he/she wants to bring it to your spouse/ex-spouse's home.

96. Do not let your differences keep you and your spouse/ex-spouse from both attending special events in your children's lives; graduations, weddings, etc.

97. Do not tell your children that they are a "mistake" ("Dad did not want you" or "Mom did not want you").

98. Do not talk badly about your spouse/ex-spouse in front of your children.

99. Do not talk badly about your spouse/ex-spouse to family, friends, or third parties.

100. Do not allow your family, friends, or third parties to talk badly about your spouse/ex-spouse in front of your children.

101. Do not allow your family, friends, or third parties to control the decisions you make with your spouse/ex-spouse regarding your children.

102. Do not allow your family or friends to move into the marital home during the divorce proceedings; it simply adds to the turmoil in most cases.

103. Do not shower your children with gifts to win them over; during the divorce proceedings, all gifts should be from both mom and dad.

104. Do not fake an illness, or dramatize a health issue, to obtain your children's attention and/or sympathy.

105. Do not allow your children to play you and your ex-spouse against each other.

106. Start new traditions with your children.

107. Allow your children to express their love for your spouse/ex-spouse in your presence, and allow your children to have pictures of your spouse/ex-spouse in their rooms.

108. As your children become older, realize that parenting time and responsibilities may have to be altered to meet the changing needs and schedules of your children.

109. Do not make your children feel uncomfortable when you are exercising your parenting time and they want to contact (via phone calls, e-mails, or text messages) your spouse/ex-spouse. Do not check the previous call listing on your children's mobile phones to see how many times they contact your spouse/ex-spouse when you are exercising your parenting time.

110. Do not make your children feel uncomfortable, when they are leaving your home so your spouse/ex-spouse can exercise parenting time.

111. Be civil to your spouse/ex-spouse when he/she is picking up your children to exercise his/her parenting time; do not make your spouse/ex-spouse pick your children up at the curb, at other family member's homes, the police station, or other establishments, because you cannot be civil with one another.

112. Do not interrupt your children's time with your spouse/ex-spouse by excessively contacting them when they are with your spouse/ex-spouse.

113. Figure out a way to be friends with your ex-spouse; try to forgive and forget; you will be parents for life.

114. Try to develop a degree of trust with your spouse/ex-spouse when it comes to issues surrounding your children.

115. Establish a game plan with your spouse/ex-spouse to solve issues surrounding your children; at a minimum, meet alone on a quarterly basis; limit the time of the discussion; stick to the issues; do not bring up the past; try to compromise and come to a resolution, etc.

116. Never stop communicating with your spouse/ex-spouse about your children's educational, medical, religious, and daily issues.

117. If you and your ex-spouse cannot reach an agreement on issues concerning your children after the divorce, consider a counselor, mediator, or parenting-time coordinator who will decide issues after each parent presents their respective views; a counselor, mediator, or parenting-time coordinator will be quicker and cheaper than using the Courts.

118. If you utilize a parenting-time coordinator, make sure that the parenting-time coordinator is qualified; make sure he/she has children of his/her own.

119. If you cannot communicate directly with your spouse/ex-spouse regarding divorce issues and/or your children, use e-mails and text messages to communicate.

120. Attempt to coordinate your children's routines (activities, homework, curfew, bedtime, etc.) with your spouse/ex-spouse while they are with each parent.

121. Have your children's report cards sent to you and your spouse/ex-spouse.

122. You and your spouse/ex-spouse should exchange copies of any schedules regarding your children's school activities, dates of parent/teacher conferences, etc.

123. You and your spouse/ex-spouse should encourage your children to follow the household rules where they are residing.

124. If your children are sick or injured during your parenting time, contact your spouse/ex-spouse as soon as possible.

125. Be supportive of the other parent's role; do not criticize his/her career, the location of his/her home, size of his/her home, etc.

126. Encourage your children to have a good relationship and to spend time with your spouse/ex-spouse; even after your children become adults.

127. If your children are upset with you spouse/ex-spouse, do your best to calm them down.

128. If your children have a complaint about your spouse/ex-spouse, encourage them to bring it to the attention of your spouse/ex-spouse.

129. Assist your children in buying cards and gifts for your spouse/ex-spouse.

130. Do not knowingly schedule your children's special events on days that your spouse/ex-spouse will be out of town so as to keep your spouse/ex-spouse from attending.

131. Coordinate with your spouse/ex-spouse with respect to gift giving for your children's special events.

132. Do not schedule extracurricular activities for your children if they interfere with your spouse/ex-spouse's parenting time unless you obtain their prior consent.

133. If your spouse/ex-spouse has yearly events that they attend with your children, do your best to plan/alter your parenting time so as to not interfere with such events.

134. Support and promote your children's relationships with your spouse/ex-spouse's parents (grandparents), brothers (uncles) sisters (aunts), nieces and nephews.

135. Allow your spouse/ex-spouse or their family members to assist in watching your children while you are at work to reduce child care expenses.

136. If a relative asks your child to assist with a project, make sure the relative speaks with your spouse/ex-spouse, if assisting with such project impacts your spouse/ex-spouse's parenting time, or if you think your spouse/ex-spouse might not approve of your child assisting with such project.

137. On occasion, have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your spouse/ex-spouse and children; give your children a sense of family, even if it is for a short period of time.

138. Move on with your personal life; do not live in the past.

139. Continue to be an adult and parent after the divorce; there is no need to act like a teenager.

140. Let your children know when you are dating, and do not forget about your children when you are dating.

141. Take your time (approximately 1 year) before you introduce a new girlfriend/boyfriend to your children; make sure that the relationship is a serious one before introducing your children to the new girlfriend/boyfriend.

142. When you introduce a new girlfriend/boyfriend to your children, inform your spouse/ex-spouse first so your children do not feel caught in the middle; so they do not feel they are hiding something from your spouse/ex-spouse.

143. When you introduce a new girlfriend/boyfriend to your children, keep it from being a big production.

144. If your new girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse has children, do not place such children ahead of your own children; emotionally or otherwise.

145. Make sure that your children are not the last ones to know that you are planning to remarry.

146. Before you remarry, clearly discuss your future spouse's expectations and role with your children; do not allow your future spouse to replace, or attempt to replace, an active and supportive biological parent.

147. Before you remarry, protect your children's inheritance via a will, trust, pre-nuptial agreement, etc.

148. After you remarry, start new traditions; but do not discard the old traditions, and continue to reserve some time to be alone with your children.

149. Only the biological parent should punish the children. The step-parent should not attempt to impose his or her will, but should conduct him or herself in the same manner as an aunt or uncle.

150. Do not allow your new spouse to take the lead (or be put in the middle) when dealing with your ex-spouse regarding issues that deal with your children.

151. Support your children's relationships with your ex-spouse's new spouse and step-children.

152. Cooperate, compromise, and respect each other.

153. Remember, your children are always watching and listening; set a good example for them.

The author welcomes readers to forward this article to parents involved in divorce proceedings; he also welcomes readers to forward additional tips to his attention so this article can be supplemented based on the experiences of others.

Armand Velardo is a shareholder at Ruggirello, Velardo, Novara & Ver Beek, P.C., which is located at 65 Southbound Gratiot, Mount Clemens, Michigan 48043. Mr. Velardo's practice focuses on family law, business planning, estate planning, personal injury, and commercial litigation. Mr. Velardo has a B.S.B.A. from Wayne State University, a J.D. from Wayne State University, a LL.M. in Taxation from Wayne State University; and he is also a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Velardo can be contacted at (586) 469-8660 (office phone), or at (586) 918-3380 (cell phone), or via e-mail at

Copyright 2004-2010, Armand Velardo, Esq., All Rights Reserved.

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Motivation By Consequences

In 2004 seven badly behaved teenagers were sent to a brat camp in the USA by desperate parents whose lives had been made hell by their own offspring. All seven were from the UK.

At Turnabout, the Brat Camp in Utah, the brats started the rehabilitation process by sitting in a stone circle for three days on their own to reflect on their lives and why they had been sent to the camp by their long suffering parents.

They needed to understand that their poor behavior had already had consequences. Why else would they be stuck in a desert in Utah? Because consequences do not always arrive quickly both adults and youngsters often fail to be aware of them and need time to become aware.

Sitting in the stone circle was a rite of passage for Indian Braves. One of the girls argued that she was not a Red Indian and was not a man. She had missed the whole point of the exercise.

Four girls from the UK group were given an extra day in the stone circle for smoking at night and then for refusing to tell on whoever brought the cigarettes in. Grassing was regarded by the camp leaders as simply being honest.

The boys got a decent meal and a day off the stone circle. They were learning that good behaviour usually produces rewards while poor behaviour usually results in some kind of uncomfortable, boring and even painful experience.

For the first time, the kids felt the need to behave themselves. Some started to think: "We are going to stay in line and get some good food."

They also began to realize that not every one in the world would treat them as indulgently as their parents. Alex was told her hair would have to be died its natural color. She said: "It won't happen."

Four hours later it did happen. There was no getting round the staff. She learned that some people could not be manipulated to indulge her whims.

Eventually the brats moved on to level two of their training but there were still rules to be obeyed. On level two youngsters had to be neat and tidy and ask permission for everything.

Jenny struggled with tidiness. Wayne, the camp leader, taught her to put things away:"I'm not your ma. I may be as pretty as your mum but I will not put things away for you."

He told Jenny to walk around the cabin shouting "I will put my gloves away."

At Turnabout they never ignore a problem. They face up to everything fair and square. Jenny ended up back in the stone circle.

Jenny then pretended that her wrist had been badly sprained but this did not wash with Wayne. There was no escape from the consequences.

Idle chatter was off the menu. Complaining about the food was also against the rules. The brats had to learn that negative talk has bad consequences.

More were beginning to get the message. Jemma commented:

"You've got to be good all the time."

One of the boys had also got the message:"Every rule here, no matter however small, you get consequenced for."

Many adults never get this message. We keep doing silly things and are still surprised by the bad consequences. We all need to learn that the Universe is not an indulgent parent who will let us do whatever we feel like doing and then will protect us from the harmful results. We need to learn that every action we take, no matter how small, has good or bad consequences.

We are even surprised when good things happen when we follow the rules of the universe. Fortunately the universe is impartial. If we start eating right we will be amazed at how much better we feel. Eventually we will realize that the remorseless law of consequences is something we should be grateful for. It can work for us or it can work against us.

Maybe we should all sit in a stone circle every day and reflect on the power of consequences. A few weeks in Utah would do us all some good.

John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams.

They can both be found on his website along with a daily motivational message.

The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now! - Acronyms, Stories, And Pictures...Easy To Remember And Use Everyday To Grab Your Life And Soar With The Eagles"

The book can be found at this URL

The book uses acronyms, stories and pictures to help readers remember 36 laws that can gradually transform your life if you apply them.

You are welcome to publish the article above in your ezine or on your website so long as you do not alter it and keep in the words about the author and the 36 Laws.

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Is Drug Testing a Violation of My Child's Privacy?

This is a question that plagues many parents who are concerned that their child might be using drugs. The concept of drug testing a child seems completely taboo. Given the current climate for drug use, parents have every right to be concerned about their children. Parents are entrusted with raising and protecting their children until they are 18 and can legally make their own decision. I would argue that parents not only have the right, but the responsibility to do everything in their power to either prevent a child from using drugs or detect and deter them from continued drug use.

If you suspected that your child was doing drugs, wouldn't you want to know for sure? If your child was doing drugs, as a parent, you should want to help them. And for those out there who are paranoid parents, finding out that your child does not do drugs may give you a much needed sense of relief. But if you don't know what's going on in the life of your child, there is not much you can do to either help or encourage them.

I do not want to get too far into a psychological evaluation of the life of a teenager, and how it relates to drug use. However, peer pressure plays a large role in drug experimentation. 45% of Canadians have admitted to using drugs at some point in their life. That means that at one time or another, nearly half the population has engaged in illegal drug activity. When all of your friends are using drugs, it becomes increasingly hard to stand your ground and say no to drug use. After all, the mindset is that, one time is no big deal, or no one will ever find out.

As a parent, you can offer your child an "easy out", from a difficult situation. When their friends ask your child to do drugs, they can say "no, my parents test me". Sometimes, that extra excuse is enough for a teen, who would have ordinarily caved into peer pressure, to stay strong. I would recommend having an open and honest relationship with your child about drugs and the influence in their day to day life. Allow your child to ask questions that might be uncomfortable, without the fear that they'll get in trouble.

If you were to drug test your child and discover that yes, they have been doing drugs you know have the knowledge to proceed further. Have a discussion with your child about the results of the test. If you feel like your child needs help with a substance abuse problem, there are several reputable organizations, waiting to help, such as AADAC. (see the link on side bar)

Drug testing should not been seen as a violation of child's right to privacy. Rather, it should be seen as a parenting tool in the fight against drugs. It seems to me, that society has become so paranoid with intruding on kids right to privacy, or hurting their feelings, that basic common sense has gone out the door. Parents don't want to confront their teens on issues because they do not want to upset them, or perhaps they don't want to deal with truth, when it comes out. Either way, it's time for parents to step up to the plate. Teen drug use is at an all time high, but so is parental apathy. Coincidence? You decide.

Rachel Rae
Director of Marketing
SureHire Inc.
T: 1-866-944-4473

#105, 7611 Sparrow Dr.
Leduc, AB T9E 0H3

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Oppositional Teens Wrecking Your Family?

"Oppositional Teens" refers to teenagers and adolescents diagnosed with "Oppositional Defiant Disorder", often abbreviated to "ODD".

These are the kids who take the normal boundary testing and drawing away from parents processes, which are normal, and desirable, to an extreme that can turn your formerly happy home into a war zone of conflict and upset.

Seemingly out of control much of the time, they consistently refuse to obey commands or requests coming from parents or other adults. They're aggressive and stubborn and rigid, and they go out of their way to irritate and bother others. They're always losing their temper, arguing, and refusing to comply. They can be very manipulative. They're touchy and easily angered, and they tend to blame others for their own misbehavior and mistakes.

Sometimes this is new behavior, and sometimes it's an escalation of a behavior pattern in evidence since the child was a toddler.

It's not entirely clear what causes ODD. One theory suggests that it's simply incomplete development, and that the child never successfully completed the developmental tasks normally mastered as a toddler. The other main theory holds that the disorder is a learned response to the negative and unpleasant interactions the child has had with parents and other authority figures.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder doesn't usually occur alone. It's estimated that 50-65% of ODD teenagers also have ADD or ADHD. Many of them have learning disorders, or mood disorders such as anxiety or depression, or even bipolar disorder.

A child with ODD should certainly be evaluated for co-existing or underlying disorders. It's easy to imagine that the child with a learning disability might be terribly frustrated, and that frustration comes out as anger and defiance. Thus the key to treating the ODD is understanding and treating the underlying or co-existing causes.

It's important to deal with ODD, because a significant percentage of oppositional teens who have escalated their behavior to the point where they are diagnosed with ODD, will escalate even further, and be diagnosed with Conduct Disorder ("CD"). Conduct disorder is essentially a worse case of ODD, but with cruelty towards animals and other persons, heightened aggression, lawlessness, and property damage added to the mix.

There are several approaches to treatment of ODD. The most effective seems to be training parents to "manage" their child more consistently and more effectively. It's usually called "Parent Management Training", or "PMT". One of the core ideas is for the parent to look for opportunities to catch the child doing something right, and praise and reinforce the behavior. On the other hand, the parent is trained to ignore smaller instances of negative behavior that aren't really important. Parents are taught that it isn't necessary to win every battle, and that there are some battles that aren't even worth fighting.

Residential or Therapeutic Boarding Schools are another possibility, if finances permit. Removing the child from the current environment to a residential facility where trained and skilled clinicians and staff can provide round-the-clock care and guidance, can often accomplish wonders. A good boarding school will involve the parents, and will work to discover the underlying issues, and to deal with them effectively.

Fortunately, most teenagers get through all this more or less successfully, and grow up to become responsible members of society, no matter how unlikely that may seem while you're going through it.

Bob Harvey enjoys writing on health and family issues, and also enjoys uncovering existing resources and helping give them wider distribution. For lots more free information on "Angry Teens", visit Defiant Child Answers

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Most of the adolescents to common problems

There are many problems that could be faced with the youth of today. Even in the more stable houses around the world. Adolescents will be always exposed to elements of confusion, uncertainty, the rivalries of brothers and sisters and their image.

Different people will show their emotions in different ways, but as a parent of an adolescent, it is difficult to the foundations of all the problems they can have the source. You were once a teenager, you remember all the pressures that you will be faced, peer pressure plays a huge role in many of the decisions we make. Many of which we will not know, are the bad decision until it is too late.

But we all learn from the experience and we could argue that we would not become what we are today without these experiences. So let's refresh our memories and look back to some of the difficulties that you may remember address and no doubt your son or your daughter will face at the present time.


Divorce is now a huge unfortunate part of our world, the reason behind this are not clear. In recent years, we have seen the rate of divorce in the rise of the country much different levels unthinkable. In all homes, parents will face disagreement; It is just a part of life. Spend much time with the other has its disadvantages, and too often the arguments arise because we have simply just to the other.

In the household, children see their parents argue is a Charter experience and confusing. It will seem as their parents do mutually like no more and the divorce will soon follow. What the child does not understand, is that, when their parents support, many of the words used are often regretted later in the day.

The child may also feel as if they are the reason that their parents are arguing. This makes for a kind of depression for the child and may decrease their sense of self-esteem to near rock bottom levels. It affects a child or young person much more that it will often affect parents and to that extent, it is important that the family arguments are not visible view of the young person or child.

Sibling rivalry-

Sibling rivalries are another phenomenon common in family houses. There will always be a form of completion between adolescents, which is the best person. The arguments are often trivial topics, such as girlfriends, silver or who is the favorite in the eyes of MOM and dad.

As a parent, you know you love your children both the same and will always, however, for the adolescents in adolescence, they will be always attempt the best, in the eyes of the parent. The words "you don't love me" or "you love him more" will become a common saying in the household. This is an achievement among adolescents to see who can win more popularity or attention of parents.

The cause of rivalry between brothers and sisters between adolescents, all boils down to a brother being jealous of the other. Growing up is a competitive society and ultimately, it will teach the child to be better in everything they do. It is a problem for adolescents, as sometimes the desire to Excel in something, can lead to decisions foolhardy lot, they may regret.

Here are some of the problems encountered by a young person, there is much more than in the growth, the young person may meet. As the teenager will push more old, dating and sex thoughts also begin to stealthily in the mind. The subject is full of peer pressure and many adolescents, this will be a subject that causes many days of regret and remorse for them.

Something that is often said, is that all problems will have to address a young person will never disappear and they will always be a part of the experience of life. They however help us life and have given us the necessary experience to make important decisions later in life.

Steven Harrison

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Is Your Daughter on the Pill?

If your daughter is moody, suffers insomnia, has irregular periods, at times seems really depressed, or is gaining weight, uncertain regarding her future or career, has many short term boyfriends, does not confide in either parent any more, is secretive, or has lost confidence and self esteem -- it may not be explained by the fact that she is a teenager. It may be a serious indication that she is on the Pill.

If this is known to you, the parents, you must also know that in addition to the so called benefits there are some really serious dangers for an underage girl who takes the Pill. When science plays around with hormones and natural chemical changes and circumstances, we are bound to suffer down the track. Instead of any immediate benefit (in this case our daughter not likely to fall pregnant while still a minor) or that her period pain may lessen somewhat, we should be looking further to the known side effects that are likely to affect her later. Perhaps when she marries and will want children and cannot conceive, or does so with less than pleasing results and outcome. Or maybe that it will only result in confining her to years of erratic moods and depression. But you must have considered the consequences that she may also be fated to suffer breast cancer as is often the 'side effect' of underage girls who go too early onto contraceptives.

If your daughter is taking the Pill either by doctor's prescription (and doctors are not always bound to get parents' consent about this) or other means, you may be shocked into considering whether you are required to protect her by ascertaining the facts and dealing with it accordingly.

The Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre in Victoria, Australia had a study completed in 2005 directed by Professor Jayshri Kulkarni, linking some types of oral contraceptive pills with depression. It seems that there is a direct correlation between those women who are taking The Pill and cases of mental depression. In fact there are many women who have realized the connection and have discontinued its use.

The combined progesterone or progestagen and oestrogen pill frequently causes almost instant side effects but other types of the medication cause symptoms that take longer to become evident. The report cites many women in the study experience symptoms of anger, tearfulness , psychic disturbances and sleep disturbances. One of the most common symptoms reported is of breakthrough bleeding.

It must be argued that many women experience no serious after effects of taking the Pill and are able to cope with any inclination to mood changes and depression. However the records are now somewhat overwhelming and demonstrate that the Pill has the capability to cause both cancer and mental illness. This is not the only study that demonstrates the connection. There are hundreds of medical papers and scientific investigations debating the issue and literally millions of posts to the internet about the subject.

We must accept that there is grave doubt about the safety factor and all women should study the medical facts carefully before deciding to continue its use.It is our responsibility to study the medical facts with even more zeal before allowing our daughters to suffer long term damage from premature medication aiming at birth prevention or abortion in order that they may experience sexual activity before they have grown up or are mature in mind and body to be able to conjoin love and sexual activity with its natural purpose of procreation.

Aromatherapy or the science of Osmics is proving immensely popular when applied in self help or in professional healing. It is a delightful way to employ natural perfumes to assist mood and mind states and is particularly helpful as an adjunct to relaxation techniques and stress relief.
As important as the absorption of natural essential oils through massaging into the skin is the vital intake of energy through olfaction and direct absorption to the brain with inhalation. Whereas the popular concept of aromatherapy is associated with massage and relaxation, inhalation of perfumes offers exciting extended possibilities of affecting and benefiting the whole psyche - our mind, moods and nervous system.
Perfumes, music, gemstones and other subtle healing methods have a rightful place alongside the more regularly employed techniques used in naturopathic treatment and spiritual healing.

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Is RealityTV Educational? How Making Changes to Televised Crap Can Help Your Kids Prosper

What is it about reality TV that has us glued to the television screen? How many people can relate too writhing and that of the head shake shiver in a bid to stop peeing our pants, all because we fear missing the next jibe or hint of rudeness blurted from the mouth of a big brother contestant. What of "I'm a celebrity get me out of here," a show where famous celebs are left in the Australian jungle to fend for themselves. The celebrities have to face their fears in somewhat unimaginable circumstances just to put food in their belly. Most jungle edibles digested in camp is not through choice, it is the challenge of the bush tucker trial menu which has us see celebs squirm while eating grubs and kangaroo testicles. Okay, not nice, in fact sickening, but if crunching cockroaches and eating the head of a grasshopper boosts television ratings, then the jungle inhabitants will always be part of our lives.

If reality shows were directed more to helping youngsters, then this nation would be full of highly qualified MENSA boffins, hugely because of the interest kids take in this sort of entertainment.

Famous people are a powerful force to get a message across. I am not disputing that "I'm a celebrity get me out of here," is not entertaining, but where is the learning in this, it is not every day our kids are left stranded in the jungle. We need reality TV to step up the power it has and make reality TV an educational experience. In the big brother house there is nothing to be learned aside from swearing. It accommodates British non-entities who doss around all day back stabbing and arguing, in hope of winning money along with fame, who wants to be famed for this type of behaviour. Behaviours stemming from achievement are a type of fame worthy of recognition.

If reality TV offered incentives then our kids are looking towards a brighter future. I believe India aired a programme called "Scholar Hunt Destination UK" it offered the 14,000 entrants the opportunity to win an all expenses paid place on an undergraduate degree programme in the United Kingdom. The winner secures a place at the University of Warwick studying Engineering. Now that is contributing to society in a way that is beneficial. Television producers need to create in children a hunger for a good education. I just read that reality TV goes against everything we teach our kids about tolerance, of course this may well be true, but it can also have its benefits if tastefully done, like India'`s incentive. However we still have a catch 22 situation, production managers need to give the public choice.

Television is a great ally in helping children and adults further their education. A lot can be learned from Animal Planet - Life In The Amazon Rain Forest or Living Under Water so on. Television can take us around the world without having to leave our armchair, give us perspective on other cultures, and take us all sorts of places we can only ever dream of.

1 Celebrity Love Island, what's this all about? The only thing to be learned from this is, that twelve famous faces embark on 5 weeks of sun bathing and flirting on the beautiful island of Fiji looking for love, so what, who cares, because not all are true to their word while their spouse seeks divorce.

2 Survivor - Mark Burnett takes the recognition for hit television shows like "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," which each regularly pull in 20 million viewers. Wow this is big numbers; imagine if this Burnett was let loose in helping to educate our children, then reality TV may not be so bad after all. Many reality shows have come and gone since producers stranded the first "Survivor" contestants in 2000, but Burnett has proven this by beating his rivals and sticking with what he does best. Every year since its beginning, "Survivor" has won the People`s Choice Award for favourite reality show. It has also been nominated 14 times for an Emmy, coming out on top twice..

The BBC and ITV clashed as talent contests Britain`s Got Talent and I`d Do Anything went head to head in a battle to boost ratings. The UK show Britain`s got talent has seen teen dancer George Sampson crowned the winner of the contest. Let us hope he invests his £100,000 prize wisely. Britain`s Got Talent pulled in 14 million viewers. Bhangra dancers Signature came second and young singer Andrew Johnston was third. The BBCs I`d Do Anything has averaged between five and six million viewers each week. Jodie Prenger was crowned winner and will play role of Nancy in the West End production of Oliver! The 28 year-old, from Blackpool, beat competition from Irish teenager Jessie Buckley to win the public vote.

Let us take rating figures from a couple of reality shows like Survivor and The Apprentice each pulling in 20 million viewers, add them together gives us 40 million. Another 20 million avid fans from Britain`s got talent and I do anything - gives us now a grand total of 60 million, that is an amazing number which producers need to take note of and use constructively. Planning a show that is educational, fun and interesting would certainly help 60 million children who need support in understanding what it is that needs to be understood for them to get on in life.

Kids Entertainment Fun Jokes
Healthy Children

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It Seems Like My Teen Does Not Care About Anything

Have you ever said the words, "It seems like my teenager does not care about anything these days"? Well if so, as the parent of a teenager, you are not alone. I often work with parents who are concerned about their teen's lack of interest in their future or who are concerned that their teenager does not care about things that should be important to them because they are only focused on their friends or on the immediate moment.

Some teenage behaviors that may cause parents to have this concern may include:

1. Grades dropping

2. Disrespect towards teachers or other authority figures

3. Disrespect towards parents

4. Disregard for rules

5. Skipping school

6. Lack of interest in family events they used to enjoy

7. Different ideas about future (i.e. not wanting to go to college)

8. Not being willing or able to save any money if working

9. Calling out sick for work or skipping work to do social things with friends

10. Reckless or risk-taking behaviors

What parents often question is why their teenager is willing to risk potentially ruining their future for " in the moment" excitement or gratification. Parents can become extremely frustrated and discouraged if they are experiencing this which can result in chronic tension and arguing in the home.

If you are a parent in this situation, these are some things to keep in mind:

1. Normal Development. It is a normal part of adolescent development for teenagers to feel like the world revolves around them. It is also normal for teenagers to be focused on living "in the moment" without regard for how it may impact their future. If you see this happening on a small scale, it is likely very normal behavior by your teenager. If it is happening all the time and is really putting your teenager's safety or the safety of others at risk, it is a potentially a more serious problem. In addition, if you feel like it could potentially have serious, negative consequences for your teenager's future (i.e they stop going to school or completing homework), you should intervene and seek outside help if needed.

2. Independent ideas. As teens grow, they will start to have more ideas that may be different from yours. This is normal and should be permitted, encouraged and praised. Teens should be thinking more independently since this is a skill we all need as adults. If you are noticing your teen doing this, it is important to take a step back and think about your teen's individual ideas before responding or harshly reacting to them. What do they want for themselves? What are they working towards? What motivates them? How are their ideas similar and different from yours? Are their ideas bad or destructive or just different? This process is important because much of the time different does not equal bad, it just requires some getting used to. However, if you feel that their "different ideas" result in self destruction, pain for them or others or will significantly, negatively impact their future, you may be looking at a more serious issue and want to intervene and seek help quickly.

3. Possible negative impact. As your teenager starts to act and think more on their own, it is helpful if you, as the parent, can try to remain objective. This means trying to look at what they are doing and saying and see both the positives and negative of this. Your dream for your teenager may not be their dream for themselves. What you want for them may not be what makes them happy or what makes them feel good about themselves. Of course, if you feel there are legitimate, negative consequences to their behaviors, then you should absolutely intervene as needed.

Parents who are in this situation may experience a lot of worry and the suggestions above are easier to understand and agree with when they are not in reference to your own child. However, your being able to take a step back and remain objective can be important in your teenager's overall growth. If you are struggling with this process or are unclear about what is potentially harmful versus something that will just take some getting used to, you should get the support of a friend, other parents of teenagers or a coach to help you manage this complicated situation.

For more information on Life Coaching or coaching for parents please visit [], or email

My name is Karen Vincent. I am a Certified Life Coach as well as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a Masters Degree from Boston University. I have worked with teenagers / adolescents and their parents for the last 15 years in a variety of settings, including outpatient therapy, specialized schools, over the phone and in the home.

Please call for a free Coaching Consultation: 774-245-7775

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Motivating Teens to Do Well in School

The teen years can be a scary time for kids. They no longer have the comfort and safety of elementary school and are now in many different classrooms with all kinds of unknown kids. They don't get much support from their teachers but are expected to perform well anyway. On their own in a big, intimidating world, they often feel lonely and isolated.

The problem is teenagers won't be coming to Mom and Dad saying, "I need you." Their cry for help is often masked as belligerent, aggressive or even passive behavior. They may throw tantrums, refuse to do their homework, complain about school, become apathetic or go "Goth." They desperately want to fit in so they follow the crowd, which may not be the best course for them.

Hoping to put their teen on the right track parents often "lay down the law." They "encourage" their child to study in ways that seem like nagging, punishment and criticism. Instead of creating a love of learning, these methods can backfire turning kids off from school; leaving them with feelings of frustration, depression and hopelessness that they don't tell you about.

Motivating teenagers to go in the right direction can be difficult. However, with effort and skill, you can help them "see the light". The key is to do it in a supportive, loving way.

Here are seven ways to get teens on track:

Shift the Criticism Ratio - In your desire to have your child be the best he can be, you may be focusing more on what needs improvement instead of what's working which can be demoralizing. With kids, you need to take the time to give at least three positive comments for every "suggestion for improvement." These should be specific, sincere and authentic expressions of recognition, and given frequently.

Create a Secure Bond - If you want your children to trust you, listen to you and follow your advice, they have to feel safe with you. It is essential that they know, deep in their heart, you want what's best for them, even when they don't like what you are doing or saying.

Teach a Growth Mindset. - When kids know their brain actually grows and they become smarter by working and struggling through problems, instead of dreading challenges they often embrace them because they are confident they will learn something valuable.

Set a Routine Together - A routine that is followed consistently, every day can get your child into a "groove" of getting their studies done. Work with your child to set up a specific time and place to study every day. It is okay to make minor adjustments when getting started, but once it's set (within a couple of days), stick to it. There may be some moaning and groaning at first, but, in time, it will become as Habitual as brushing teeth and that will make a world of difference.

Have Chores that Contribute to the Family - Instead of dictating what she will do, have your child help decide which chores she would like to do on a daily basis to contribute to the family. These should be things like taking out the trash, washing dishes, setting or clearing the table - maybe making dinner once a week. If she helps choose, she will be more likely to select jobs that are a good fit for her - and she will be more likely to stick with them! World famous scientist George Vaillant found chores to be an astonishing predictor of adult success. After years and years of research, he discovered that doing chores as a child is one of the only early predictors of positive mental health later in life. Educators confirm this by saying, "Kids who are used to doing chores at home - without reminders - without pay, and without arguing are far more respectful and motivated at school."

Teach Problem Solving - Kids who know five ways to solve a problem have better, closer friendships and less conflict in their lives which makes school more enjoyable. When children learn there are specific steps to solving problems, and there are many possible solutions, it can be exhilarating for them because they know they have a choice and real power to determine what happens to them. Also, share some of your struggles with your child, so they know it's a normal part of life.

Make Learning Practical - Take an interest in what your child is learning. Read your child's schoolwork and give Can-Do Recognition. Don't do their work for them - that sends the message they are incompetent - but have them share what they learned in school and listen. This process can be challenging but if you keep at it; pretty soon, your kids will be excited to share what's going on at school and with their friends. Take an interest in what your children are learning and relate it to the real world. Go over your grocery bill and relate it to how many hours of work it took to pay for it, or what it took to buy that new skateboard, bike or car.

The key to success is making each one of these principles a daily habit. It won't happen overnight, but with effort you are both sure to be thrilled with the results.

Also, did you know there is an amazing difference in the impact of how your praise your child? One type of praise can cause your child to give up in defeat when he runs into an obstacle. Another kind of praise can motivate your kids to positive action! Changing a few words can make a night and day difference in your child's life.

If you like to get started learning how to give praise that motivates your kids to succeed please download your FREE EBook at:

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Is It Acceptable For Young Girls To Get Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Whether you're fifteen or eighty, whether you're a man or a woman, assuredly there is at least one type of plastic surgery that you've considered getting at one point in your life. Both sexes desire bodily perfection (or at least something close to it). Thanks to advances in modern medicine and surgical procedures, just about everyone can afford to have their body sculpted in the manner in which they choose; shave a little here, add a little volume there - it's all possible, all it takes is a little cash and a skilled plastic surgeon.

In today's society, everyone wants to be perfect. You can even include me in that category. Who doesn't want to be beautiful and highly regarded amongst one's peers? To that end, the plastic surgery industry thrives on society's infatuation with physical beauty. Unfortunately, that societal pressure for physical beauty affects even young girls.

Most people don't realize it, but there are no hard and fast regulations when it comes to age restrictions and plastic surgery. A sixteen year old girl can purchase implants just as easily as a thirty year old woman. Although that may not sound like there should be any cause for concern, the sixteen year old girl's body is not fully developed while the thirty year old woman's body is fully developed.

While exterior beauty can certainly benefit a person's self esteem and self confidence, a person's true self worth comes from within. If you were to ask a dozen men whether they feel a particular woman is attractive, you will more or less get the same response from all of them. While that knowledge might boost a woman's self confidence, it pales in comparison to how she feels about herself. Elevating her self-esteem and self-confidence to its highest potential requires her to believe in herself. The ultimate goal of a plastic surgery procedure is not only about sculpting the body into a more pleasing form; it's really about helping a person boost their own level of self-confidence.

Women start to visibly age in their early thirties. Once that process starts, most women start giving serious consideration to one form of plastic surgery or another. For men, aging is a much more gradual process, and the effects of it on a man are much more socially acceptable than they are for a woman. The bulk of plastic surgery patients are women in their thirties and forties, and that's not going to change any time soon.

The woman in her thirties or forties who gets plastic surgery is seeking to restore youth to her body. The young woman in her early to mid twenties is typically seeking a properly balanced body. Both women are trying to elevate their self esteem and there's nothing wrong with that. However, when a young girl wants breast augmentation surgery, such as a sixteen year old girl, some people argue that is simply too young.

Both boys and girls in their early teenage years are unhappy with their bodies. It's not until they are eighteen years old that they start to feel exceedingly pleased with the development of their body. And for women, their breasts continue to develop into their early twenties. That fact makes it seem even less necessary for a young girl to get breast implants because how can she know how she truly feels about her body when it's still undeveloped?

The recommended minimum age for a breast augmentation patient is eighteen years old, and that is only a recommendation; if her parents approve of the surgery, even a fifteen year old could get breast implants! In this writer's opinion, that is simply too young. Women should wait until their bodies are fully developed before having cosmetic enhancement surgery of any kind.

Breast augmentation surgery is easily the most performed invasive cosmetic surgery in the world. It's obvious that all women want beauty, but at what point does the health risk outweigh the potential aesthetic reward?

To learn more about plastic surgery age restrictions, you will need to speak directly with a licensed plastic surgeon. Only a licensed doctor can provide you with medical guidance and counsel regarding your health related decisions. Good luck!

Learn more about aesthetic enhancement at these pages of our website: newport beach breast lift and newport beach botox.

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Out Of Control Kids - 5 steps to say no and sticking to it

It is difficult to say "no" to your children and with children of control it is even more difficult. It is also difficult to follow. It is kind of knee jerk reaction. Then you are backed into a corner. You must paste your "no" and this is where the problem begins.

Let's go through this slowly. First of all, you said not to your problem child. The next question, you got it, "why"? A brief explanation is all you need. If you start overexplaining, you are give the power to them. This is what a rebel child wants - power. And it is an easy to go down, because we think it is better to understand and then they will be in agreement with your answer.

But they do you agree with the response. What happens is that you end up compromising. And then you start to change the rules. And when you do this, you lead your kiddo to not accept without a response. This is not good for a teenager in trouble.

And if you play it off, there not only is training to not take a response, you reward him too. Yes, if it made you change the rules for what he wants, he gets what he wants! Therefore the rewards. Here are 5 steps help to paste to your No.

Establish your authority early. Start setting limits very early in life. This also includes good structure. As holding hand 3 yr old of your child through the street. It is your Foundation.
Monitor over-stimulation. If your child is excited, it will seem as from those of the children of the control. And, thus, they have a very difficult time following directions. The best thing to do here is give them a 5 minute break. Then give them a chance to do what they were asked. If they are not able, give them a few minutes more in the room to calm down.
Do not let them turn you around. If you have enough given your child a brief explanation and he began to argue, the absolute thing is said "no, I will not discuss it further." Then on foot. NOT TURN. If you do, give you him the power to turn you around every time.
Said the new rules to your child.The best time to explain the rules "" news of your child is when all is quiet. Tell them 'does not mean'. Help come up with some coping skills, if none is a word that thwart the.
Do not forget these 3 roles of parents: teacher, Coach and limit Setter. All 3 of these roles are essential. The 2 first lead up to be able to do without the third. A note aside, not one of these roles is friend. We are, however, be friendly and express positive feelings for them.

It is the reduction of the base. I hope that you'll get a jump start on your children discipline at an early age, so you do not have to face the problems of children's behaviour. Remember, if you leave leave you by failing to answer that the children, they'll do as adults. This will lead to problems in relationships.

Do you have difficulty saying "no" to your children and to take?

If you're setting limits evil without fighting and want to learn more tips to parents to say "no":

Click on our site to parents find most useful on the change of children's behaviouradvice.

You will also receive other useful techniques and ideas for parents, including the total Transformation of the series of CDs for you help to understand and effectively address your unique child.

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Kids With Oppositional Defiant Disorder Need "Unconventional" Parenting Strategies

Kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder are "unconventional," and they need "unconventional" parenting strategies.

How do I know whether or not I have an "unconventional" child who will need to be parented using "unconventional" parenting strategies?

Please review the following statements. Are they true for you rarely, sometimes or frequently?

1. I have a hard time saying "no" to my child.

2. When I say "no' to my child, "no" eventually becomes a "maybe" which eventually becomes a "yes".

3. I have blamed myself for my child's misbehavior.

4. I sometimes feel guilty about my parenting (e.g., "I haven't done enough" or "I haven't done a very good job").

5. I often feel distant from my child.

6. I feel that my child has no appreciation for all I've done for him/her.

7. I try to be my kid's "friend."

8. I sometimes feel sorry for my child.

9. I have 'gone off' on my kid ...then out of feelings of guilt, I let him have his way.

10. My kid uses guilt-trips on me a lot.

11. My kid usually gets his way in the long run.

12. He can be verbally/physically aggressive.

13. She refuses to do any chores.

14. He is very manipulative.

15. I feel guilty because of having to work and not being able to spend enough time with my kid.

16. I feel sorry for the kid because of divorce or an abandoning father/mother.

17. I don't want my kids to have to go through what I went through.

18. My kid is in charge (the tail is wagging the dog).

19. My kid feels entitled to privileges, but not responsible for his actions.

20. She does not get along well with authority figures.

21. He believes the rules do not apply to him.

22. She is resentful about something that happened in the past.

23. He has attention-deficit problems too.

Do these phrases describe your kid's behavior fairly accurately?

1. Often loses temper

2. Often argues with adults

3. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules

4. Often deliberately annoys people

5. Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

6. Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others

7. Is often angry and resentful

8. Is often spiteful and vindictive

9. Often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others

10. Often initiates physical fights

11. Has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others

12. Physically cruel to animals

13. Physically cruel to people

14. Has stolen other's property

15. Has broken into someone else's house, building or car

16. Often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid work

17. Often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions

18. Has run away from home overnight without returning home for a lengthy period

19. Often skips school

If most of these statements are true for you and your child, then you will (a) benefit from using a set of "unconventional" parenting strategies, and (b) make a bad problem worse if you don't.

Most parents who have kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder are therapy-drunk. What I mean is their child has been in anger-management therapy for his violent outbursts, the family has had family therapy in order to develop conflict management skills, mom and dad have had couples therapy (or marital counseling) to resolve communication problems, mom has had individual psychotherapy for her depression. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. You don't need any more therapy!

I find that when parents have a few simple parenting-tools in dealing with the out-of-control teen, they actually do a much better job of influencing him/her to change his behavior than a judge, probation officer, cop, counselor, psychotherapist, etc.

Can I give you an idea real quick? A change agent is someone who influences another person to make some improvements in his behavior. You can learn how to be the change agent -- and you'll do a much better job than others because you're the kid's parent, and you will see him/her nearly every day as long as he/she continues to live at your house. A therapist would only have about 12 hours of "influence time" if he/she were doing "family therapy" with you and your kid will have thousands of hours of influence time.

You managed your child up until he/she reached puberty. Then your kid fired you as the manager and said, "I'll take over from here." The best you can do now is to be re-hired as a consultant.

You can't control your kid, but you can influence him or her. And if the parent fails to influence the child, the world will CONTROL the child -- and the world is not concerned about what is right or fair.

Know that your child WILL resist any parenting changes you implement. For a while, it may seem as though things are getting worse. This is because your child is adjusting to the changes you make. But don't be fooled!!! Your oppositional child will try very hard to make you believe that your parenting changes are not working and that your discipline has no effect.

No Half Measures! --

When parents implement "unconventional" parenting strategies, the change cycle looks something like this:

1. Initially, things get worse (i.e., your kid does not like your new parenting strategies and begins to act-out even more)

2. After a few weeks, problems between parent and child eventually occur less

frequently, but with the same intensity (e.g., instead of five heated arguments a week, there are only two)

3. Problems between parent and child occur less frequently AND with less

intensity (e.g., only one argument a week that is not very heated)

Will problems go away totally -- and stay away forever? No. But problems are likely to occur with less frequency and severity over time. And you will be able to cope better due to a reduction in your stress-level.

You literally have the toughest job in the world, because you are helping with the development of a human being (your child). And humans are the most complex things on earth - more complicated than computers (after all, humans created computers), more complicated than spacecraft (after all, humans created space craft). And humans are especially complicated when they are teenagers with oppositional defiant tendencies. So this week when you begin to doubt yourself or feel discouraged or feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that this is not an easy job for anyone.

For more information on "unconventional" parenting strategies, please visit

Mark Hutten, M.A., is a family therapist and a probation officer who works with teens and pre-teens experiencing emotional/behavioral problems associated with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. He works with these children and their parents ? in their homes. You may visit his website here:

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Top 10 Reasons Why Home Swapping is Ideal For Family Vacations

10. You don't have to ask for a room away from the noisy elevator.

Concern about where your room will be located - close to or far from the elevator, 2nd floor or 8th floor, smoking section or non-smoking section - is par for the course when you vacation in a hotel. When you stay in a vacation home, however, the whole house is yours. No need to worry about noisy guests, rooms that smell of smoke, a view of the parking lot, or being too far away from the ice machine. Every room in a vacation house is conveniently located and as quiet as you'd like it to be!

9. In a vacation home, there is no extra charge for room service.

Although I'll agree that room service has a few benefits, I'd prefer not to have to pay $5 for that cup of orange juice my daughter is asking for. Home swappers enjoy a kitchen that is open 24/7, which is especially convenient for families with children who wake up hours too early for breakfast at a restaurant and for anyone who occasionally enjoys a midnight snack. Home swapping enables families to eat some meals at home, saving money on your vacation and adding oodles of convenience.

8. When you stay in a vacation home, your kids can have their own beds.

Remember the last time you stayed in a hotel room with your kids? If your kids are anything like mine, the decision about who is going to share a bed with the "sheet stealer" takes a great deal of negotiating. In a vacation home, my kids typically have their choice of rooms, and they each get their own bed. "Can I have the sailboat room?" asks my youngest. "I get the top bunk," states my oldest. More often than not, they all end up staying in the same room. Because it's part of the fun of vacation. And there's never any arguing about sheet stealing.

7. No need to sit in the hallway or on the floor of the bathroom waiting for your kids to fall asleep.

A friend of mine recently confessed to me that she and her husband typically sit on the floor of their hotel room's bathroom or in the hallway outside their hotel room - on the floor - while they wait for their kids to go to sleep. They have to whisper, of course, and sometimes it can take 30 minutes or longer before their kids are sleeping deeply enough that they can return to the room. Even then, they must keep the lights and noise to a minimum so as not to wake up the kids and be forced to start the whole process again. Ever try watching Saturday Night Live's Weekend Report without laughing aloud? It's not easy. When you house swap, there's no need to be relegated to the floor of a barely-lit bathroom. The sofa in the living room, the chaise lounge on the deck, or the bed in the master bedroom is certainly more comfortable than a tile floor. Your body will thank you for vacationing the home exchange way!

6. Home exchange gives you a home away from home.

After a long day of seeing the sights, playing on the beach, or experiencing your latest adventure, there's no match to returning to a comfortable and spacious home that you can call your own (at least for the week you are staying there). We all know that kids need a place to call their own. A space to relax or a space to play. Having a home to return to at the end of a day of vacation fun cannot possibly be matched by any hotel room.

5. A unique place for your next staycation.

In this economy, many families are opting for a staycation rather than a vacation. Typically, a staycation involves spending vacation time visiting attractions and events that are close to one's home in order to vacation within a budget. With home exchange, you can have the best of both worlds. Rather than using your own home as a home base, you can use a home swap house as your home base. Visit some of the attractions and experience some of the events that are close to your home swap house, and spend time in the vacation home playing games, watching movies, and making pizza and popcorn. Your family gets some together time, and you all get to enjoy being somewhere other than your own home.

4. Avoid the four-suitcases-full-of-dirty-laundry problem upon your return home from vacation.

If you've recently returned from a hotel-stay vacation, you probably still have the massive line-up of laundry loads fresh in your mind. Or, maybe there are multiple loads still sitting in front of your washing machine.... At the end of a week-long vacation, most families are stuck with several suitcases full of dirty laundry. As if we're not busy enough when we return from vacation - responding to all of the emails, voicemails, and Facebook messages received while away, reading through mail and paying bills, unpacking the baby and child gear, toys, and toiletries, and trying to revive our water-starved plants - the laundry simply won't do itself. When you vacation with home exchange, you can arrive home with suitcases full of clean laundry. When I'm home swapping, I do a load of laundry every night or every other night (depending to a great degree on how many times the boys put their knees down in mud and whether the kids decided to use napkins or their shirts that day). Yet another benefit of home exchange - clean laundry and more time to catch up with your life when you return from vacation.

3. Your teenager - and you - can have some privacy.

Staying in confined spaces with teenagers can often be difficult - for teenagers and their parents alike. Teenagers value their privacy, and parents know the value of a little personal space as well. When you swap homes for vacation, teenagers can have their own bedrooms, and usually their own bathrooms as well. This makes the time you do spend together on your vacation much more harmonious for everyone.

2. Home swapping enables you and your family to experience your vacation destination as a local.

When you stay in someone's home, you can live like a local rather than a tourist. To the extent you want, you can shop in the shops, eat at the restaurants, and stroll the streets away from the tourist spots. Home swap hosts often leave lists of local dining, markets, and happenings for their home swap partners. You'll be able to offer your family a unique opportunity to view a culture from within its boundaries. You might even meet some neighbors! They're sure to give you a friendlier welcome when you are staying in the home of their friend. More than a few times, my children have befriended some of our home swap neighbors' children. Their stories of playing with these children have become some of their longest-standing memories of our trips.

And the number one reason why home exchange is ideal for family vacations....

1. Home exchange makes travel affordable!

There's no getting around what many see as the most important benefit of home exchange - avoiding the high cost of lodging. Hotels and vacation rentals can cost thousands of dollars per week. This certainly limits vacation opportunities for most of us, especially "ITE" (in this economy). If you didn't have to worry about the cost of lodging, would you be more likely to travel wherever your vacation dreams take you? Would you be more likely to take your children to all of those places you've always wanted to take them? You can travel in the U.S. or around the world without having to check hotel prices. And you can spend more of your vacation budget on exploring the sites and experiencing all your vacation destination has to offer.

The Vacation Exchange Network is the premier vacation home exchange program, with vacation homes and second homes all over the United States and around the world. We are the only program offering full-service coordination and the flexibility of exchanging where and when you want without having to find someone to use your home. We exclusively list vacation homes and second homes in fabulous vacation destinations so that every home exchange feels like a real vacation.

Come visit our blog for fascinating home swap stories, spotlights on vacation homes available for exchange, and interesting tidbits about travel in general and with families.

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