Imagine what it would feel like microwaving a nice bowl of Quaker oatmeal and instead of pouring a few sprinkles of cinnamon, placing one tablespoon of it right down your pie hole without anything to wash it down. Yuck!! Will it go down? Actually, it doesn’t taste so bad but it is rather dangerous as many people have ended up in the emergency room after trying to gulp down spoonfuls of cinnamon in one gulp without the help of any liquids in what’s now commonly known as the “cinnamon challenge.”
While no one has yet died from this prank, this ridiculous game causes people to choke and cough like crazy, it’s caused folks to experience trouble breathing, and it’s even collapsed some lungs along the way! Poison control centers are even aware of this regular call that comes in on a fairly regular basis.
Experts predict it’s only a matter of time when a teen or adult with asthma or other respiratory problem takes the challenge and chokes to death and as a result, alerts have been placed on the American Association of Poison Control Centers website. What people don’t know is the inhalation of cinnamon powder can actually scar lung tissue because it is composed of cellulose fibers which don’t break down easily in the body.
Experts are also suggesting parents warn their kids about this dangerous game and to be extra vigilant concerning what they are looking at while online.
A 16 year-old teen from Michigan started her own website called NoCinnamonChallenge.com as a means to discourage kids swallowing cinnamon after she suffered a collapsed lung and almost died before being found by her father who drove her to a hospital emergency room.
Dejah Reed says she was participating in the cinnamon challenge with her friend and after the fourth challenge, she inhaled a nice clump of cinnamon causing her to lose her breath. Luckily, her father arrived shortly after to find her daughter dying right there in front of his eyes, evidenced by her pale bluish color. She now has developed a terrible case of asthma and carries an inhaler thanks to her idiotic prank.
I’m glad Reed is alive and I must say I’ve seen much stupidity in my life but this one ranks there with some of the worst! She gets my nod for the biggest knucklehead of 2013.
A 16 year old boy in Des Moines, Iowa alleges he was being pelted in the head by a football intentionally thrown by two other boys who were roughly the same age and six feet away as the boy waited on the sidelines waiting to get on the field of play.
The victim apparently told his coach and the coach allegedly never looked into the matter as promised. Eight days after the bullying incident, the boy began experiencing headaches and he eventually suffered paralysis due to a blood clot near his brain stem.
How did this happen? I’ll tell you how. Teachers and other school staff members, as a whole, are not trained on how to deal with bullying cases as they should be, usually due to financial constraints faced by school districts and because principals are not doing enough. School districts simply don’t allocate enough funds for proper training and awareness, and the end result is more of our kids are dying or suffering permanent bodily damage.
Kids bullying others is against the law in 47 of the United States. The exceptions are in Michigan, South Dakota, and Montana but even in these states there are procedures in place to deal with bullying and take action against those who commit these offenses.
What is surprising is how so many schools across the US drop the ball when it comes to taking swift and appropriate action when it’s necessary.
I have certainly heard enough horror stories in my hometown to substantiate the above statement including a handful of cases that proved to be mismanaged by a local school district in court.
I believe each and every principal should be ultimately responsible for bullied children cases at their assigned school because there are many things you can do at that level that really don’t require much of a financial investment. This includes having an occasional bullying children awareness day aside from the prevention measures they already have in place, by continually reminding teachers about the problem via weekly or monthly emails, and by enlisting the help of the school PTSA’s to spread the word on a consistent basis, and by encouraging the local police department to conduct classroom presentations on the subject. If they are not doing this, they are probably not maximizing awareness in their schools and children stand a much higher chance of falling victim to kids bullying them.
What Can You Do As a Parent to Help Prevent Bullied Children at Your Child’s School?
You need to get involved through your the school Parent-Teacher association (PTSA) and voice your concerns in a strong manner. Someone has to stand up for those kids; why can’t it be you? You can also spread the words to other parents that the school needs to create a healthy environment for kids and everyone needs to work in sync to prevent it from occurring and to address it promptly when it does. If you place all the responsibility and burden on school administration, you will most likely fail; they are not always “on the ball” when it comes to kids bullying others and they miss the mark fairly often.
Parents should demand their schools take preventive measures and appropriate action for bullying but they should also carry much of the responsibility themselves to stay on top of incidents when they occur so they can help improve the culture of the school through awareness.
At some point in our lives, we are all subjected to peer pressure situations. I vividly remember my mother telling me all the time how ‘I am who I hang with.’ I took these words of advice to heart and realized at an early age how true these words actually were.
When we think of peer pressure in teenagers we usually associate it with negativity. However, some forms of peer pressure can actually be positive such as when someone influences them in a well-to-do manner. For every negative influence on your child, there are 5 to 10 positive ones which can help shape your child’s life and it’s your job to guide your child out of the darkness and into the light by staying proactive and becoming involved.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of having to conform with a social group and do something you really don’t want to; it even happens to adults. When it comes to teenagers, it’s extremely easy for them to fall into a cycle of peer pressure to the point where they find it difficult to crawl out.
The effects of preer pressure have caused drug abuse among teenagers to run rampant in today’s world. Recently, in the United States, two states, Washington and Colorado, passed a bill allowing the use of marijuana. You can imagine the negative impact this will have on their teenagers. It’s hard to understand how a parent thinks it’s okay to smoke marijuana in their household and not expect their teenager to fall into the same habit. I don’t know about you, but everyone I know who has a history of smoking marijuana, is extremely unproductive as a human being in their household and most of them have difficulty retaining a job.
Teenagers are heavily influenced by their parents as well as their peers and it makes it so easy for them to fall into the same habits as those around them. We’ve all heard many parents tell their teenagers how people who do drugs are not their friends. This is easy for a parent to say but in reality, teenagers have friends they care about and most are reluctant to give up that friendship unless the person commits capital murder!
Teenagers who are most at risk are the ones who come from unstable homes or homes where they are being raised in a single parent household. It’s important for the parent to communicate their thoughts and feelings on the subject and obtain feedback from their teenager in order to provide the best possible outcome of whether or not the teen is going to do drugs.
We need to teach our children that it’s perfectly all right to say ‘no’ even to a good friend who is involved in some illicit drug activity such as smoking marijuana or popping pills. As parents, we also need to understand the difficult challenges our children face with peer pressure.
The absolute best way to prevent your children from taking drugs is to create a strong bond with them from the moment they are in the womb and all through adulthood. Children who maintain closeness with their parents are less likely to commit crimes or do drugs because they have higher self-esteem and they don’t want to disappoint themselves or their families out of love and respect.
If you are a parent, you have probably noticed how much more homework kids are assigned these days compared to how much we were responsible for as little as two decades ago.
How Much Homework Is Too Much?
Times have changed and requirements for standardized tests as well as pressure placed on teachers by their districts in many states have, in my opinion, spiraled out of control to the point where children find it hard these days to be…well,…children!
Recently, my eight year old son came home on December 21, 2012, with a smile on his face and informed me he had just been assigned a book project which was due on January 9 of the following year, just two days after his return to school from winter recess.
My jaw dropped to the floor and my first instinct was to march right down to the school and let the principal have it! Luckily, I managed to compose myself and I started thinking how wonderful my son’s teacher had been throughout the year and I knew that by raising a stink about it I would be handing up this teacher. I still think it was brainless!
My kids, aged 12 and 8 respectively, come home daily with at least one and a half hour’s worth of homework. I understand how kids need to dedicate themselves and not fall behind, but 1 1/2 hours? Come on! To make matters worse, we as parents, after working hard all day and sitting in traffic, come home knowing we will be tied up for a good 45 minutes looking over their homework and making corrections.
I’m sorry, but this is not the answer to improving grades across the state; in fact, there have been a few studies out that show children are actually being crippled by these unfair demands placed on them by the school system. In many cases, they are just as stressed as a 9 to 5 worker who commutes two hours every day in rush hour traffic! How productive can they really be before they experience a common human reaction to excessive work and stress called ‘burnout.’
The teachers are not to blame here; they are usually severely underpaid as it is and the pressure on them to bring out excellence in their classrooms comes from every angle imaginable.
My two brothers and I went through the public school system when public schools allowed kids to be kids. We didn’t have homework every single day and we certainly didn’t sit down to do it for more than 20-30 minutes on average. I can’t remember one single time when one of our teachers assigned a project to be completed over the holidays. We all graduated college and became productive and successful in our professional lives. We turned out more than just fine!
The school system thinks they are benefiting children. I believe they are hurting them immensely by placing undue stress on them. Why the heck do they need to come home with so much homework if they are at school for 7 to 8 hours a day?
Complete and utter idiocy is what deserves to be called!
If you take the time to help your child read, you will hand your child a lifetime of a gift that will enrich their lives beyond imagination, forever!
I’m a fairly avid reader and I love to read basically anything that comes my way, including an occasional fiction novel. I’m not talking about those sappy romance novels, I’m referring to worthwhile books such as the stunning Harry Potter series or the latest New York Times bestseller, as long as it’s worth my time.
I can think of just a few things more enriching in life than being able to read and comprehend what you’re reading, yet, there are so many young adults who can barely construct a sentence by the time they are 21 years of age in America. Public school districts across the country have clamped down on this and they’re trying their best to encourage kids to read. However, the monkey falls on the backs of the parents; you have to encourage and help your child read and make it a daily habit for this to work.
I strongly believe that if you want to survive in this world and be financially successful, you have to possess a certain amount of knowledge. You can have all the desire and all the strength in the world but if you don’t have the smarts and the wisdom to succeed in life, you will probably fall short. I’m not saying all this wisdom can come from a book but I am saying the more you fill your head with knowledge the better off you will be. Studies show people who
read tend to be intellectually superior to those who don’t. Aside from that, reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is the ultimate work out for your brain.
Helping Your Child Read Should Be a Daily Habit
For many parents, it’s extremely difficult to help their child read on a daily basis but here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction in helping your child get into the lifelong habit of reading:
1. Begin by reading to your children while they are young. There’s nothing that sets off a little kid into La-la land at bedtime than a wonderful, enchanting bedtime story. Your kid’s brain is like a sponge. It will absorbed each and every word and over time, you’ll be surprised at the way your child puts sentences and paragraphs together ss well as the way he or she speaks. Every now and then, let your child read a bedtime story. This is also a wonderful way to bond with your child.
2. Before you do something you love as a family, set some house rules and inform your child they have to read 10 pages of their favorite book before leaving the house. You’re probably going to be met with some resistance early on, but stick to your guns and soonit will become a habit. Alternatively, you can take the book into the car and have them read it while you are driving to your destination. If it’s nighttime, there’s no reason why you can’t get one of those handy-dandy portable reading lights to take alongwith you. If your child happens to be consumed by one of those handheld games such as the Nintendo WII DS, make sure Super Mario doesn’t get in the way of their daily routine.
3. In many school districts across the United States, children are required to read at least a few pages of a book every single day. Make sure that when you help your child read, you encourage him or her by explaining that their brain needs exercise just like their bodies do. Let them know this is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and lead by example. This means there’s no reason why you shouldn’t visit the bookstore with them and buy yourself a book while you buy them theirs.
As you can see, the whole point is to make daily reading a part of your family’s lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to let your children know how much pleasure you get from reading a favorite book and soon the real pleasure will come when you see how high your children’s English grades climb!
Bonding with your children is an absolute requirement when it comes to responsible parenting; it can heavily impact the emotional well-being of your children for the rest of their lives. As a workhorse carrying a ton of responsibilities in your home life, it’s easy to forget this important area of a child’s upbringing.
Lead a More Fulfilling Life Through Bonding
Bonding begins with the baby in the womb and should continue for that child throughout their lives. This is an area that should not be neglected because it basically defines the emotional well-being of all families. A parent becoming closer to his or her children is one of the basics in life that can help lead to a more fulfilling life for ever family member.
Here are two practical tips you can use to easily begin to bond with your children effectively ( I told you it would be easy!):
1. Hug your children every day and tell them you love them. Every now and then, tell them how much you love them. I ask my 7 and 12 year-old kids occasionally, “Do you know how much I love you?” I continue by extending my arms fully out to the side while saying, “This big!” My 12 year-old looks at me like I’m a crazy quack but I can tell how much she likes it when I say this, evidenced by the many times she comes up to me when I least expect it, for no reason at all, and she hugs me and says, “Daddy, I love you.”
Ask your children how their day was. Tell them how happy you are to be home from work because you are there with them. By doing this, you’re creating a strong emotional attachment by giving them unconditional love and helping them connect with you as a human being. You are also giving them a sense of security which is something all children need so they can function healthily in society. In short, you are giving them the gift of helping develop them into a secure, compassionate, loving human being.
2. Praise them when they do good and point out things that are unacceptable. Consistent praise builds their self-esteem in a big way and this is essential in a kid’s life if you want them to feel good about themselves and flourish in life. Try your best not to be too nit-picky when you are pointing out something wrong and offer them the correct point of view in how to deal with those specific instances.
Also, include your children in home activities and stress the importance of togetherness. For example, don’t start eating dinner at the table until all of your children are seated. Including all of your children will help make them feel a “sense of belonging” to the family and will strengthen their self-esteem as well as the family bond. In short, you will be giving your kids a chance to feel good about themselves and be responsible so that they can become anything they want to be in life.
Bond With Your Child As Often as Possible
Something I like to do is to separate one day, every other weekend, for each of my kids and designate it “their day.” On this day they get to choose what they want to eat and where to go. Then, I build a family day around what they want and makes them feel important to the family. That’s what it’s all about; making your child feel a sense of belonging, a sense of worth, and sense of how fulfilling it is to love!
Bonding with your children also benefits you; besides the obvious strong connection you will develop with the kids think about how less stressful a household can be when you have a happy, healthy environment.
So, family bonding for adults = awesome health benefits!