The folks at Best Education Degrees pulled together some data about cyberbullying, since “80% of teens (are) on cell phones and…social media sites, and it’s time to understand that technology is connecting teens in ways they can’t escape.” And, as they report, the results can be extremely serious. (Thanks to MomTini reader Stephanie from Illinois for sending this my way).
I’ll share their tips for parents and educators here:
Tips for parents
• Unconditional support.
• Inform the child of options in dealing with the bully.
• Work with school officials.
• Work with the parents of the bully.
• Contact IT providers to get content removed and bullies blocked.
• If necessary, contact the police.
Tips for Educators
• Teach that cyberbullying is wrong.
• Listen and respond to all reports of bullying.
• Have students work on projects against cyberbullying.
• Have a system for complaints to be documented.
• Host speakers on the topic of bullying.
• Ensure that school is a safe place; free from cyberbullying.
…and this great infographic with a snapshot of this epidemic…
Source: Best Education Degrees
Image courtesy of onemorephoto
Guest author and technology guru Kyle Albert sent some interesting stats and tips on how to raise happy kids. Who could with argue with that goal?
Raising Happy Kids
The levels of day-to-day happiness, for some people is slowly decreasing, as we become more dependent on technology. Harris Interactive conducted a survey last April 2013, and it showed that 33% of American adults aren’t happy. Regina Corso, Harris Interactive’s Senior Vice President, said that “our happiness index offers insight into what’s on the minds of Americans today and is a reflection of the state of affairs in our county.” If happiness is indeed a state of mind, how can we raise happy and confident children in this Age of Information?
Do Shared Projects
Before, parents would usually do some sort of shared projects with their kids. It could be a flower pot, a LEGO building set, or even a tree house. Nowadays, kids already have their tablets and smartphones to keep them occupied. Since they’re more digitally-native than most adults, a tech project would definitely pick their interest. If you want your kid to learn more about how electronic devices work, you can start with the LightUp magnetic building blocks. From remote controls to nightlights, you and your kid will definitely enjoy doing these projects together. If you want to start your kids early in programming, Verizon Wireless recommends using apps like Kodable to make learning fun. Doing shared digital projects will definitely create stronger bonds between parent and child.
Enjoy All Forms of Play
Image courtesy of Marcin Banaszek
Some might think that play or playing is only for kids; it’s also a good form of relaxation for adults. Usually, we just let our kids play with their toys, tablets, or handheld gaming devices while we engage in our own “adult time”. However, in Stuart Brown, M.D’s book entitled “Play”, he stresses that play is all around us, and goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it’s missing. Engaging in different form of play with your kids gives you an opportunity to talk to them. It also reinforces your relationship, which creates a deeper form of intimacy with them. Basically, here are the three main forms of play that children can enjoy:
1. Parallel Play – playing alongside another child or their peers
2. Associative Play – playing with another child or a group of children
3. Solitary Play – playing alone and using age-appropriate toys or gadgets
Whatever type of play you want to encourage your child to try out, it’s important to guide them through it. Remember that play helps them build their confidence and develop their social skills.
It’s Okay to Lose Sometimes
Winning is the best feeling anyone could ever experience, but losing can also ruin our day. For most parents, especially the competitive ones, winning is everything. We’ve seen them running to the baseball field, screaming at their child after losing a game. These parents don’t realize that these kids might end up frustrated, impatient, and angry when they grow up. The best thing to do is to assure them that winning isn’t everything, and it’s okay to lose sometimes. Be patient with them and teach them slowly. Encourage them without pushing them too much. Once they learn to manage defeat and frustration, they’ll grow up to be happy adults.
Coach Them to Happiness
Parents will always be the first adult influences of children, and it’s an opportunity for them to establish their emotional stability. Since emotions are contagious, the first step in coaching them to happiness is to smile. When your kids see that you’re smiling, they’ll follow suit. In an article published on Parentables; kids smile at least 400 times a day, while adults only smile 20 times a day. Smiling actually stimulates the reward area of our brain, which is comparable to eating 2,000 bars of chocolate. It’s also good to bring your child to places which make them happy, and visit places that make you happy as well. Have fun together and better yet, laugh together when you’re at these places.
Always Unplug Before Retiring for the Night
The National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 study revealed that 63% of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep on weeknights. Since most of them are usually online an hour before going to bed, technology is affecting their sleeping habits. Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Charles Czeisler said that “invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported that they routinely get less sleep than they need.” Bottom line is to refrain from any screen time two hours before going to bed. Why not read them a bedtime story instead?
Raising kids is a balancing act and there’s no manual for it. As kids are getting more tech-savvy, we need to remind them that there’s life outside the digital world. We need to allow them to enjoy physical play, lose at soccer games, enjoy bed time stories, and build projects together. Let’s raise them to be happy kids, and future leaders of a smiling nation.
About the Author:
Kyle Albert, always interested in tablets, latest trends, startup businesses, fashion and design. He is also a keen social media user. Inclined to share and write about technology and how it can help people with their daily lives, how it can make things easier and for personal development as well, may it be for kids, adults, people in every walks of life. You may reach him at his Google+, Linkedin and Twitter.
We get tons of news & tips in every area of parenting – from baby to toddler to teen and beyond. Lately, I’ve been receiving some interesting news and resources on the college front, including admissions, financial aid, and more. So this page will be a collection of #MomTastic college tips and tools. Feel free to send any unique resources my way for consideration at News@MomTiniLounge.com.
One person can make an impact by reducing their carbon footprint, but an even larger impact is made when we share this with friends, family members, and neighbors. One of the most important generations to teach about using less and conserving more is our children. It is important to teach our children conserving habits while they are young so they become lifelong habits that can continue to help the world flourish. Here are 5 easy practices that you can teach your children in order to conserve more as a family.
Recycling is an important part of reducing a family’s carbon footprint. Teaching your kids about recycling can start them early on a lifetime habit that will help keep usable items out of landfills. Helping them understand which types of materials should go in the bin is also important. Setting up a station at home can be as easy as keeping a separate garbage can for recyclables. This can also be great for teaching kids responsibility by adding it to their chore chart, but find a way to make it exciting and fun so they want to take part in helping recycle.
2. Turn Lights and Electronics off
When a child is old enough to turn lights on and off, teach them why it is important to turn them off when no one is using them. In addition, teach them to turn off and unplug electronics when they aren’t being used because these can also use electricity simply from being plugged in. Make sure that you explain it in a way that children can comprehend and care about. Because children don’t think in terms of cost or understand the value of money, don’t explain it to them that it saves you money. Instead, teach them about the ecosystem and how it helps make the planet healthier.
3. Conserve Water
When your kids learn to brush their teeth, you can start teaching them about water conversation by simply turning the water off while they’re brushing. If your kids are older, it’s not too late to educate them on this. Faucets waste 2-3 gallons of water per minute if left on. In addition, teach your children the 7-10 minute shower rule. By reducing running faucets and taking shorter showers it is incredible how much water you will save from wasting annually.
4. Collect Rain Water
Collecting rain water in barrels is great for things such as watering plants, washing the car, etc. Get your kids on board by teaching them the importance of collecting rain water. This can even be turned into a craft where your kids get to decorate their water container that is placed in the yard and get to use it to water their plants in the garden.
5. Start a Self-Sustainable Garden
Having fresh produce right outside your back door is a great convenience and great for the environment. If you don’t have the option to grow vegetables or fruit from home you should choose to purchase food locally. Our food sometimes travels over 1,500 miles before actually making it to our plate. This burns tons of fossil fuels and depletes the ozone system. Teach your children how to have fun waiting and making progress of the crops growth, or allow them to go with you to the local farmers market. The kids will love to be involved helping pick out produce. Encourage them to ask the local farmers questions to get more interested about where the food they eat is coming from
Children whose parents teach them about conservation can become the leaders of the next generation’s conservation movement. When environmental topics come up at school, they can teach other kids what they have learned at home, and how they are currently helping to conserve precious natural resources. As adults, they will have a lifetime of experience with ecological concerns. They will also have good habits ingrained that will help make a difference throughout life. Get your kids started on an eco-friendly path today, and teach your little conservationists how they can make a difference now.
Author Bio: Maya Rodgers is a pet owner, animal lover, and small-time environmental activist who always keeps her ears open for ways to green herself and her family. Always having an interest in bugs, she enjoys working for Terminix in combating families’ pesky pets and returning the comfort to their homes.
Editor’s Note: Garages are great dumping grounds for all kinds of “stuff.” I think I could have a 10-car garage and still fill every corner over time. We grow to fit whatever space we have. But getting it organized is always on my house bucket list, and I love these tips from the folks at Monkey Bars, a DC-based garage organization company. The picture they sent me (above) looks amazing…and momspirational…Enjoy, and let me know how it works out for you! – Amy
Tackling Your Garage in 5 Easy Steps
Ok, let’s be honest everyone’s garage can get a little bit (very) scary now and again. You organized it once why can’t it just stay that way?! Getting the garage organized can feel really overwhelming if you look at it as a whole. Breaking the process down into a few easy steps can help you mentally manage the project with ease.
Getting your garage organized can be a lot less painful if you follow these simple suggestions. Plus you’ll thank yourself for getting it done come Christmas when you can easily find all your decorations without dying under an avalanche of boxes.
Monkey Bars is a garage storage and organization company serving Washington, DC area homeowners with solutions and tips for an organized garage.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to guest author, Chef Linda Rosario, a food blogger from Chef Needs, for this article on the top foods to boost your child’s memory. I’ve heard that blueberries are “super foods,” and here’s yet one more example. – Amy
During the early years of your child, there are numerous developments that are happening in his or her body systems. One of this is the brain. There are lots of things that can be done in order to possibly maximize the full potential of a child’s brain. Teaching your child how to read, letting him listen to music, allowing him to play with puzzles, playing games, accompanying him in exploring the world helps the brain in its development. But, do you know that foods can help the development of the brain? Yes, they can and they really help a lot. Although it is not 100% that your child will be a top scholar from exclusive schools someday when you do all these things, it is best to do it than none. Below are the top 3 foods that will boost your child’s memory.
The blueberries are number in the list of memory boosting foods. The delicious small berries offer a powerful boosting power on your child’s brain health. Its ability to improve your child’s brain is really one of a kind. It is well packed with flavenoids that does not only improve memory but as well as general thinking and learning. This kind of berries is also full of antioxidants which keep the brain younger and prevent its aging.
To help your child eat this food, you can include it on cereals, yogurts, salads, and others. Any form will also do. It can be fresh, frozen or dried and it will still be the best.
It is a fact that on the first early years of babies, the memory center of the brain develops. In the development of this memory center, the most important nutrient is the choline. But, what is the good source of this choline? Actually, the answer is just eggs, specifically the egg yolks. Just one egg yolk contains about 200mg of choline and it nearly meets or already meets the nutrient needs of a child.
Here is a tip. Be sure to give your child an egg a day. You may try different kinds of egg recipes so that your child will not be tired of eating the food. Eggs also contain lots of cholesterol. You may consult your heath care provider if there are weight issues.
Just eating fish regularly helps your brain a lot, especially when it is still on the process of development. Fishes increase the brain size and as well as slow downs the brain’s aging process. The omega 3 that is found in fishes improves concentration, problem solving skills and of course memory.
If your child can already eat fish, be sure to feed them regularly. It is best to give them 2 servings of fish every week. But, if you can’t because they are not fund of eating it, once a week will already do.
Author Bio: Chef Linda Rosario is a food blogger from Chef Needs, one of the trusted suppliers of bakery display cases. She also loves to paint and dreams of having her own art gallery. Aside from painting and drawing, Linda has a heart for cooking and food.
Who knew…October is National Orthodontic Health Month? Hmmm….doesn’t make sense with all of that sticky candy colliding with metal, but…they’ve got some great resources I wanted to share with you. To kick off our roundup of Halloween treats, thanks to the American Association of Orthodontists for the spooky photo and these free Orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween, including Frightful Finger Cookies featured above and Graveyard Shakes.
Here are some more treats & free resources:
This classic game is especially fun on Halloween when slimy textures can really fool kids. This article from Parents Magazine suggests filling three bowls with cold pasta, peeled grapes and bags of pudding. Blindfold kids and have them stick their hands into the bowl and describe what they feel. Bonus: take photos of kids’ expressions and send them to their parents after the party!
And if you haven’t figured out your costume yet…here’s a quick DIY idea from PBS Kids where you can become a WorldGirl quickly without any sewing:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of American Association of Orthodontists
We received a huge number of safety tips this year, and I wanted to share some of my favorite highlights with you so you can enjoy a fun, yummy, and SAFE Halloween with your kids. We did a segment with FOX News a while back that has some great safety tips, including ones for older kids (checkpoints, etc.). Here are some new tips:
First, from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), whose data shows that Halloween is among the top three holidays producing the most ER visits:
• Never let children carve pumpkins. Adults carving pumpkins should remember to use specifically designed carving knives, rather than kitchen knives, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin. Carve the pumpkin in small, controlled strokes, away from oneself on a strong, sturdy surface.
• Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights. Alternatively, try painting pumpkins for a fun, creative option and removes the risks of carving.
• Halloween costumes should be light and bright, so children are clearly visible to motorists and other pedestrians, and flame-resistant. Trim costumes and bags with reflective tape that glows in the dark.
• Children should wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
• Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
And from Trusted Choice, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers:
I recently participated in the First Annual Snark Free Day, as part of my PR firm‘s collaboration with PRConsultants Group. At our conference last year, as members were complaining about muffins and lengthy sessions, the idea blossomed as a way to cut out snark, cynicism & negativity for just one day…today!
Funny how my worlds are constantly colliding, because as I was pitching this news story locally, I realized that there’s a #MomTastic family lesson as well. There’s TONS of attention to bullying in schools and on playgrounds, but at work, we tend to turn the other cheek. Schools have a zero tolerance policy toward meanies and bullies, but companies are resistant to standing up to it. In fact, in my research, I found that almost half of adult Americans have been bullied or witnessed bullying (Healthy Workplace Campaign). And, to support my schools example, “some 48 states have passed some form of anti-bullying legislation in schools, (yet) there has been no serious effort to enact legislation prohibiting bullying in the workplace” (About.com).
Doesn’t make sense, huh?
We know that the online world creates a fury of unretractable mean comments, and that even face-to-face, people sometimes don’t care so much about the effect of their words.
So, along with my PR friends, we went out to basically clean up communication…one nice word at a time. It was a media hit, with more than 500 news mentions nationwide and still counting…in just one day. Wanted to share some of my local hits, and my hopes that your family will go “snark free” as often as possible:
The PRConsultants Group campaign’s viral component featured a “World Class Jerk,” Jonathan Snark. Pretty funny, and gets the point across cartoon-style:
Many thanks to Washington Family Magazine for letting me know about this great initiative, Healthy Habits Program, just launched to educate kids on hygiene and health and to reduce student absenteeism. Washington Family Magazine reports that the “common cold (alone) results in 22 million lost days of school for students…yet research shows that…hand washing can (reduce) lost school days by 26%.”
The initiative aims to teach kids about “hand/surface hygiene, nutrition, and physical activity,” according to the article. Here’s a link to the National PTA site overview of the program, including links to a free calendar, apps, and more. And the sponsor’s site (program presented by Lysol, in collaboration with the NEA and National PTA) has more kid fun including healthy habits materials and information on school programs.
Very cool invention by a local Mompreneur and friend – LunchSkins are reusable bags and are taking the lunchbox by storm! This is a scary statistic…According to 3GreenMoms, “U.S. citizens use 100 billion plastic bags every year.” BILLION….
I love the line on their site, “reduce your daily lunchprint.” The bpa & lead-free bags are adorable, in all kinds of designs (I’m showing a handful on this post, but they have everything from sports to crabs and everything in between…full line on their website), and you can pop them in the dishwasher, so it’s a great, no hassle way to take a step toward saving our planet. Lunchskins, recently featured on ABC’s Katie show, has saved more than 120 million plastic bags from reaching landfills.
3Green Moms is collecting some quick research from moms like you…If you have a minute by the end of October, please fill out this survey, and you’ll also receive a 20% discount on their website, and be entered to win a $100 or $50 giftcard.
As part of a new comedy premiering Monday Sept. 23, CBS asked Mom Bloggers to share a mom “confession.” Here’s mine…One year at Thanksgiving, I gave everyone at the table food poisoning…everyone, that is, except for the sole vegetarian. So yes, everyone who ate meat was violently ill. It was really embarrassing, and the next year, I went so far in the opposite direction, that the meat was as dry as the desert. Also got 3 meat thermometers as hostess gifts. I’ve since learned to use them correctly!
Here’s a sneak preview at the new MOM series…
MOM is a comedy from executive producer Chuck Lorre starring Anna Faris as a newly sober single mom raising two children in a world full of temptations and pitfalls, and multiple Emmy Award winner Allison Janney as her critical, estranged mother. Christy is a waitress at a posh Napa Valley establishment who is four months clean and doing her best to be a good mom and overcome a history of questionable choices. Her sobriety is tested when her recovering alcoholic mom Bonnie reappears, chock-full of passive-aggressive insights into Christy’s many mistakes. Bonnie joins Christy’s already complicated circle of relationships: her handsome, married boss – and lover – Gabriel; the restaurant’s hot-tempered chef, Rudy; her pretty, 16-going-on-25-year-old daughter, Violet; her sweet but overly honest son, Roscoe; her irresponsible ex and Roscoe’s father, Baxter; and Violet’s clueless boyfriend, Luke. Christy tries to remain positive as she pursues her new path in life, but she faces an uphill battle, surrounded by a dubious support system – and a copious amount of dysfunction.
Premieres Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, on the CBS Television Network
Additional links with more information…
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network, all opinions are my own.
Very timely in the midst of back-to-school nights, I recently stumbled upon HooplaHa: Life with a Smile – their site posts all kinds of videos, and they’ve sent me some really cute parenting/family ones that I look forward to sharing with you here.
This video, Great Life Lessons From Famous Teachers, is an incredible compilation from TV & movies, where teachers share assorted nuggets of wisdom. What a great walk down memory lane, and thinking about these tried-but-true lessons as a parent now, so many ring true. Check it out – it’s amazing, and will make you laugh and think at the same time (what a concept, huh?)! Everything from Prof. Dumbledore to Welcome Back Kotter, Mr. Bergstrom (Simpsons), and more, it’s GREAT!
I’d pose the same question HooplaHa does, what’s the best life lesson you learned from a teacher? Add a comment to this post!
The annual PEP Author Talk is a highlight of my parenting education each year. They bring in top-notch experts, and I always leave with new ideas, a great blog post , and Momspiration. Thanks to PEP, we are giving away TWO FREE TICKETS here at The Lounge. We will select a winner at random on Sunday 9/7 — all you need to do is add a COMMENT to this post – include a creative parenting idea to share with our readers.
And here’s the “411″ on this year’s talk if you’d like to buy tickets…
Even though I love boy stuff (we have 3), I suspect this talk will have great information for parents of both boys and girls.
I look forward to sharing more information with you after the talk. ADD a comment to this post, and you may win a pair of tickets!
Thanks so much to JCPenney for the back-to-school shopping spree. They’re featuring their #FirstDayLook clothing, and what a fun way to get kids excited to get back on the school bus and into their routines.
End of summer is always hectic, with that perpetual to-do list (new shoes, haircuts, school supplies, and of course, soaking up the last few minutes of summer fun). And honestly, with 3 boys, we hadn’t focused much on clothes, but when I offered my kids a mom blog-sponsored shopping trip, the car was warming up in the driveway.
The mall was bustling – clearly, we weren’t the only last-minute shoppers, but we were on a mission to shop and report back, so ready, set, shop! There was lots of variety in every level of dress (sports shorts and workout gear to dressy), which is great for teenagers. It’s so funny, but teen fashion changes as quickly as a rapid text, and as soon as I thought pajama pants were the go-to pick, my teenager was insisting on a closet full of khaki pants.
We found lots of great stuff for our own #FirstDayLook, including khakis shorts & pants, belts, bright jeans, fun t-shirts, solids for layering, and button downs, and even a necessity and treat for mom in the housewares section, a self-brew cup for that morning jolt. They had tons of hysterical, teen-centric novelty t-shirts … Can you say #attitude? Also, our backpacks take a lot of abuse with the heavy binders, sharp pencils, etc., and JCPenney had a great variety of plain (black, grey) and patterned options to choose from.
The departments were really easy to shop, with tons of sale items that thanks to our mild weather, are still very much in season. The jeans selection, in particular, was really well-stocked and organized. It was like a buffet of jeans: regular, straight, skinny, relaxed, loose, etc., and a rainbow of colors – it’s clearly not just blue jeans anymore!
And thinking about stocking up for the school year, I also found some great wrapping paper and gift bags, always good to keep around for last-minute gifts and birthday parties.
Here are some photos from our #MomTastic #FirstDayLook shopping trip:
Ever the goofball, mid-air in his new outfit…Thumbs up for clothes or school?
The brothers…ready to start the year.
I love this picture, not only because he’s such a cutie, but check out all of the jeans in the background. They had TONS! It’s hard to get kids to start thinking about jeans, when they want to wear shorts until the first snowflake falls (!), but it’s great to have a few pair on hand that they haven’t grown out of so you’re not sending them out in the cold looking like they’re wearing Capri pants!
Ad: Come find your #FirstDayLook at jcpenney. For back-to-school and every day, we bring you the quality and comfort you want with the style and affordability you deserve.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by JCPenney via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of JCPenney.