Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nine Things To Do Instead of Spanking

By Kathryn Kvols

Research confirms what many parents instinctively feel when they don't like to spank their child, but they don't know what else to do. The latest research from Dr. Murray Strauss at the Family Research Laboratory affirms that spanking teaches children to use acts of aggression and violence to solve their problems. It only teaches and perpetuates more violence, the very thing our society is so concerned about. This research further shows that children who have been spanked are more prone to low self-esteem, depression and accept lower paying jobs as adults. So, what do you do instead?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kids And Television

American children watch an average of three to fours hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today's television programming is violent. Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may:

1. Become "immune" to the horror of violence
2. Gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
3. Imitate the violence they observe on television and
4. Identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers.

Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later, and young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence.

This does not mean that violence on television is the only source for aggressive or violent behavior, but it is a significant contributor.

Parents can protect children from excessive TV violence in the following ways:

1. Pay attention to the programs their children are watching. Watch some with them.

2. Set limits on the amount of time they spend with the television.

3. Point out that although the actor has not actually been hurt or killed, such violence in real life results in pain or death.

4. Refuse to let the children see shows known to be violent, and change the channel or turn off the TV set when something offensive comes on, with an explanation of what is wrong with the program.

5. Disapprove of the violent episodes in front of the children, stressing the belief that such behavior is not the best way to resolve a problem.

6. To offset peer pressure among friends and classmates, contact other parents and agree to enforce similar rules about the length of time and type of program the children may watch.

Parents should also use these measures to prevent harmful effects from television in other areas such as racial or sexual stereotyping. The amount of time children watch TV, regardless of content, should be moderated, because it keeps children from other, more beneficial activities such as reading and playing with friends. If parents have serious difficulties setting limits, or deep concerns about how their child is reacting to television, they should contact a child and adolescent psychiatrist for help defining the problem.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Look At What I Stumbled Upon

Stumbleupon is much more than just a social network tool known from such sites as friendster or orkut. It provides addition with features like - Link Recommendation (which is the main purpose) - Topic Surfing (which makes it a great research tool) - Channel Surfing aka co-browsing (which means leaving your comments on sites, pages and people) - Web and Photoblogging - Recommend to friend via mail - Bookmark collecting - Community forums - Site promotion - And a lot of fun ! All of this adds up on meeting a lot of friendly people, that have the same interests as you have. Privacy issues might worry you: SU leaves you full freedom of entering details about you. The only thing that leaves a trace of your identity is in my view a collection of which sites you prefer and your probably everchanging IP number. You cannot be connected to your surf-preferences if you dont reveal your identity, as your email address is not visible for other users. So privacy is not really an issue as it may be in other networks you might find, and if you don't care building up a data-minable collection of likes and dislikes connected with other peoples likes or dislikes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

10 Tips For Better Grades In Class

Parental Involvement Is the Answer
Study after study has shown that parental involvement is the number-one determinant of how well all children -- regardless of their background -- do in school. Here are ten ways you can help your kids succeed in the classroom -- and beyond.

1. Create an environment in your home that encourages learning.
This will be a major influence on how well your children do in school. Provide them with many different opportunities to become excited about learning. Make sure that appropriate materials from puzzles to paints to computers are available to stimulate their curiosity.

2. Provide your children with a well-balanced life.
A stable home, filled with love, serves as a solid foundation for getting straight A's. Establish routines so your children get enough sleep, eat regular nourishing meals, and receive sufficient exercise. Limit excessive TV-viewing and the playing of video and computer games.

3. Read to your children every day.
Most of the learning your children do in school involves reading. Read to your kids to teach them about reading, expand and enrich their vocabularies, and broaden their experiences. Reading aloud exposes them to materials that would be difficult for them to read on their own.

4. Encourage them to read extensively.
As your children progress through school, as much as 75 percent of what they learn will come from the printed page. The more children read, the better their reading skills become. Make sure there is a wide variety of interesting reading materials in your home to encourage the reading habit.

5. Show your children how to be organized.
Children who are organized find it much easier to succeed in school. One of the best ways to teach organizational skills is through example. Show your children how to use such organizational tools as assignment pads, calendars, notebooks, binders, and backpacks.

6. Teach them effective study skills.
Good study skills are absolutely essential to get A's. Make sure your children know how to read their textbooks, prepare for tests, memorize facts, and use their time efficiently. Encourage them to have a regular time for studying, and provide a study place that is free of distractions.

7. Urge your children to listen and participate in class.
Listening in class is the easy way for children to learn. Advise your older children to take notes, which will help them concentrate on what is being said. Encourage your children to participate in class -- it will greatly increase their interest in what they're learning.

8. Help your children learn how to tackle homework.
Doing homework reinforces what your children learn in school. Show them how to do it so that homework quickly becomes their responsibility. Help them learn what assignments to do first and how to plan their time. Encourage them not to rush through their homework but to consider every assignment a learning experience.

9. Talk to your children about school.
Your children spend hours in school every day. A lot can happen during that time. Show that you are genuinely interested in their day by asking questions about what they did and talking with them about the papers they bring home. When problems occur, work with your kids to find solutions.

10. Develop a good relationship with your children's teachers.
Good communication between home and school helps children do well in school and makes it easier to address problems. Be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences, visit your kids' classrooms, and volunteer to help their teachers. And don't forget to express your appreciation to teachers for all that they do for your children.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Talking to Your Kids About Building Wealth

The primary task of parenting (besides loving, of course) is preparing your kids for independence. You teach them about life and give them the tools and the wisdom to make the most of their talents and their opportunities.
It's easy when they're young. "Look both ways before crossing the street." "Study hard." "Do your best." But as your kids get older, the issues get more challenging -- sex, drugs, and alcohol come to mind -- and the conversations get a lot more difficult.
Yet too few parents are having the one conversation that's vitally important to their children's future, and which -- when compared to talks about sex or drugs -- is surprisingly easy to begin: The one about building wealth.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Does It Pay For Mom To Work?

The phrase "It costs money to make money" is certainly fitting when used to describe the second income of a working parent who has dependent children. The "working tax" on a second income includes additional income taxes, childcare costs, work-related expenses, and additional household expenses...CBS News

I think it's important these days to have multiple income steams. There are so many opportunities with the Internet at our fingertips. I'm a big fan of affiliate programs because you can usually do them from home. I have several, some high commissions and a few low commissions. The possibility is out there we just have to search it out.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Allowance Tips: Good Money Management Begins with an Allowance

Teach philanthropy at an early age. A portion of a child's allowance — 10 percent — should be allocated to charity. Encourage children to participate in canned good, clothing, or toy drives for charities. Help them to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, outside their community by donating money to help.

Teach saving at an early age. It's important to put something aside for the future. Teach your
children that saving isn't for leftover money. Both the allocations for charity and savings should be made before any discretionary spending takes place. As with the donations to charity suggested above, the child should be encouraged to set aside the same portion of allowance — 10 percent — for savings. Children should have savings accounts by the time they're 8 years old. If older children don't have savings accounts, remember it's never too late to start a savings account for a child.

Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. If children have a special goal, encourage them to find ways to earn the necessary funds. Don't create unnecessary jobs just so they can meet the goal. That's the same as giving them the money. Let them find a job and make the offer. If it meets a need and the price is right, hire them.

Never reward good behavior with tangible gifts. Goodness is its own reward. Your approval and words of praise should be sufficient. Paying for good behavior leaves parents open for juvenile blackmail. Parents don't want to hear, "I'll stop crying if you take me to the toy store," or "I'll come home on time if you buy me a new stereo."

Don't try to compensate your children for your own deprivation as a child. There are some purchases that signify changes of lifestyle and qualify as rites of passage. Allow your children the pleasure and pride that making those purchases for themselves can bring.

Teaching children financial responsibility can be an exciting and fun-filled experience. It's not always easy, but when parents are consistent, the rewards are immeasurable. Parents will be giving their children skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Story of Mother's Day

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.
*(For more information on Lent/Easter check out - Easter on the Net)
During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.

Friday, May 4, 2007

IIs Your Child A Picky Eater?

If it seems like your child's eating only a few bites of plain pasta, you're not alone. Nearly 40 percent of kids under 6 are picky eaters, and while it can be frustrating for you, it's actually a normal developmental stage. At this age, kids' instinctual response to something new is suspicion and caution, and they may be asserting their independence by refusing your offerings. But picky eating won't last forever — most kids grow out of it by age 8 or 9. In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to try to expand his palate.

Encourage adventurous eating!
Wahm Blog - The Ultimate Blogging Resource for Work at Home Moms