The following is a guest post by James.
So, you have decided to get your kids off the couch and away from the TV, right? Well, that’s the best idea to tackle obesity at such a young age! But before you start to make them active, there’s one thing to remember and act accordingly – motivation! Kids learn quicker by watching, and this is exactly your secret to make them live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
No! There is no need for you to go along with them to a gym or some training class, if you become their fitness role model. This means that you
simply need to reserve some time for practicing fitness exercises with your
kids. By watching their parents exercising regularly, kids will automatically be motivated to do the same. Even studies have shown that such children are more likely to live a healthy lifestyle.
But there’s a twist here! This time, you will not perform those conventional gym-based exercises. Kids are certainly going to get bored with them, which will simply de-motivate them at some point in time. So, why not think of a few fun ways to remain fit? The increasing fascination of computers and video games has actually arrested your kids in sedentary fun. Why not replace it with active fun? After all, you not only get time to be with your
kids, but you make good use of that time ensuring a healthy life for your kids and boosting their confidence. So, here are some fun fitness ideas that you can affordably employ!
Daily Walking or Skipping
You can start with this idea in the beginning. Take your entire family for afternoon or night walks after meals. At the start, keep a distance of say 2 miles or so to measure the walking ability of your kids. As they get habituated, increase the walking distance but lessen the time to reach the final point so that they manage to walk fast on their way, thus performing a job of an exerciser on a treadmill. If your kids love skipping, keep a skipping
competition daily to count the skips made within the fixed time limit.
Conduct a Dancing Contest
Dancing is always the most loved activity of kids. Now to that, if you add the spice of competition, you just cannot imagine how much you and your kids are going to practice! There is no better cardio workout than the dancing on some cool fitness DVDs. As a tip, let the competition be amongst the friends and relatives, and keep a condition that each group will have at least one parent and kid to participate. This way you keep everybody’s heart pumping!
Hit a Nearby Sports Playground, Park, or Club
The benefit of doing this is that your kids will learn to remain active outside the home. Instead of playing at home, take them to a nearby park or playground where you can play kickball, basketball, soccer, and other running games. Call their friends along with their parents to make the play more interesting and motivating.
Plan an Adventurous Weekend
One fun-based fitness idea is to go hiking or biking on inclined slopes. This is similar to the exercise performed on cross trainers in gyms. The fun here is to enjoy the passing sceneries and attractions. Even water-based adventures are very effective, such as swimming.
Use the powerful tool of visualization to help you imagine with your minds-eye what your dreams and goals are… and then think about it all the time. Keep it in the front of your mind. Focus on the dream becoming a reality. Fantasize about it. This is what I did throughout my childhood. I would go into my thought, possibilities and mind-world to then dream about a great life. Use that incredible imagination that you have to create your future! Once you know what you want to do, you can then focus on the details of how to make it happen!
When you have a bad day, allow yourself to have that bad day. Not allowing in it, but telling yourself, affirming, that in the morning it will be great and you will wake up renewed and excited about your path. Thinking about what you want, combined with the words you use and writing out your goals, will change your life. It works, trust me on that! Just look at my life!
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can realize your goals
successfully. All of the tools already exist within you. You simply need to discover, uncover and make the most of them. You need to have the courage to use them POWERFULLY and DIFFERENTLY!
Remember, you’re the only one who can make or break your success – begin with the end in mind, trust your instincts and go for it!
Tara is a dedicated career woman who works as a full-time entrepreneur, is a devoted wife, and mother of two small children, and is an empowering muse for countless others. She is a person who is committed to the uplifting of individuals’ lives, providing encouragement, and advocating for better, higher, deeper, healthier living all-round!Visit Tara at:http://www.beautifulambition.com/http://tarabrooke.com/
Do you know the difference between having thanks and truly being grateful?
It has been said that you do not know what you have until it is gone, and that is a lesson that could not be more true for me. I used to sort of bounce
through life offering thanks to many around me in a cordial kind of way, but I didn’t really consider what it meant to have a real appreciation for what it was I had.
It took the loss of my employment, my vehicle, and a personal relationship for me to really feel what I no longer had. Those events were a few in a
series of events that moved me to change my entire perspective on life. Of
those, learning to be fortunate and content with even the smallest things still
reigns as an important part of my ongoing refinement process.
There is much today that we take for granted and by applying a little shift in
your mindset and philosophy, you can really build upon and honor the wonderful reciprocity that the world has to offer.
Saying And Feeling Are Two Different Things
As a child you were taught to say thank you, almost automatically, and for many it's carried over into adulthood. When you purchase your coffee in the
morning on the go, checking out at the grocery store, or even when it comes to interacting with the ones we love, it’s easy to let those two words just spill
out without much thought about it.
The result is a lack of personal understanding and deeply shared connections. When you fail to understand and feel what it is someone or
something has done for you, it goes unappreciated. A “thank you,” has
become more of a triggered response, ranking right up there with saying
“goodbye,” right before hanging up the phone. It just gets blurted out.
In using a diluted approach to gratitude you miss out on the real worth of an
experience. The details and factors that led up to it, as well as the action and intentions behind it all have a significant purpose. Part of finding and respecting that purpose is in its acknowledgment.
Focus On Why
Instead of giving thanks, give your reasons. Much like in A Love Note To
, providing all the reasons why
you have thanks is one of the simplest ways to tap into true appreciation.
Not just in words alone, but by deeply acknowledging what it is you
appreciate. In doing this you can put yourself in a wonderful state of
harmony. Tell them and express to them the reasons why. Confess what
it is that moves you to feel better inside as a person. What were the
words? What were the actions? Spare no effort in the act of making
3 Places To Express Gratitude
Your thankfulness can be placed anywhere and in any shape, size, or form.
I’d like to share with you my idea of the three places that are most vital to
leading a fulfilling and happy life.
1) With Others
With super-busy lives it's easy to pass up the opportunity to recognize what
those around us have done. It can be in words or even a symbolic gesture,
but make the time to slow down and really focus on the connection and
appreciation you have towards others. Let them know how much they mean to you, and often.
2) With Yourself
A lot of emphasis is placed on what others can or have done for us, but also
take the time to thank yourself. Each thought, decision, and action you
take is a favor to you in its own way and something to be proud and grateful
for. Being grateful for who you are and what you deserve is the mark of
having a healthy sense of self-worth.
3) With The Way It Is.
From time to time things will run awry or not go as planned. Rain delays
exist. Such is life. One of the most profound places we can put
acceptance and thanks is into our misfortunes and failures. Although
perceived as “negative,” instances, these are the circumstances in which we can learn the most from, and being aware of the potential for growth behind those lessons is phenomenal.
No matter how big or small, the practice of expressing your thanks is one to
adore and develop with great enthusiasm. I am thankful for both the
opportunity to share my ideas here, as well as reinforce them within
The following is a guest post by Angelita Williams.
One of the most fundamental aspects of maturing is understanding who you are and what you want/need. It is only through self-awareness that one can create self-improvement and, in turn, find self-satisfaction. That being said, getting to know yourself is no simple task. So much of our daily lives are focused on other things, tasks, and people that it can be really difficult to sit down on focus on ourselves sometimes. Self-awareness, though challenging and at times painful, is the only real way to find stability and happiness. Try these three tactics for personal awareness and self-development to become a more successful and satisfied individual.
Explore What You See in Others
Though we may not realize it, often what we see in the people around us describes something about ourselves. Start to take note of what you recognize in others. The things that you find you dislike in someone may be an indication of what you don't like in yourself. It's the age old story of projection. We project our own insecurities onto others. So, pay attention to what you notice in other people. These are likely things you subconsciously notice in yourself. These things don't always have to be negative either. By taking note of what you see in others, you can gain a better understanding of what you see in yourself. This can help you pinpoint the aspects of yourself you need to improve and the aspects you need to promote. Be aware.
Explore Your Thoughts through Writing
Another wonderful way to impart on an inner exploration is through writing. Try keeping a journal to help you discover things about yourself. Writing can help you explore the thoughts you have that you may not recognize throughout the day. Learning to listen to yourself is an important part of becoming self-aware. Try writing down things that you think throughout a normal day. Keep a simple stream of consciousness journal that can help you recognize your inner voice and respond to it. Also try writing down what you do throughout your days and weeks to gain a better understanding of how you spend your time. This can help you discover what it is you truly enjoy doing and what things make you truly happy. Writing is a wonderful way to frame a better picture of yourself in your own mind. There is no better way to get to know yourself than through your own words.
Understand Your Mood Catalysts
One of the most difficult aspects of getting to know yourself is getting to know your moods and what creates and perpetuates them. Learning how to manage and control your mood is the first sign of true maturity and stability. Journaling can play an important role in understanding how your moods work. Try to recognize when your mood changes. Do certain places put you in a worse mood? Are there certain people that always put you in a pleasant mood? These types of questions are important steps in understand what your mood catalysts are and how to control them. There are always going to be things that cause your mood to change; the trick is to know how to control and manage those things.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:
Although I choose to eat a Vegan diet which does not include seafood, it is a very personal choice, and I believe the only person that knows what is best for you, is you! That being said no matter what your diet or lifestyle, as human beings I think we should be as environmentally conscious with our food choices as possible. For that reason I am happy to share with you a lovely guest post and eco-friendly seafood recipe!
The following is a guest post by Kate McLaughlin from Blue Ocean Institute
Be happy with your Seafood Choices!
This year, as you look for new ways to be more eco-friendly, why not resolve to be happy?
Just as you’re thoughtful about other environmentally-responsible choices you make (like recycling, or buying farmers market vegetables), you can be thoughtful about your seafood choices and be happy with the results! When fish are caught or farmed in ways that protect the ocean, that’s something all seafood lovers can be happy about.
For me, being happy is sitting down to a plate of farmed mussels
—these guys are ocean-friendly rockstars.
First off, did you know that half of the seafood produced globally comes from fish farms
? That’s a lot of seafood! Next time you’re at the store, look for signs on the seafood that note whether it’s farmed or wild, and you’ll see there’s more farmed seafood out there than you might have guessed.
Mussels are an ocean-friendly farmed seafood because you don’t have to feed them—they naturally filter their food from the surrounding water. They can filter 10-15 gallons of water a day—that means they’re eating a lot of microscopic plankton. It also means we don’t have to go fishing to catch fish to feed to them (as is the case with some farm-raised seafood, like Atlantic salmon
Mussels are delicious and nutritious on top of all their ocean-friendly qualities (and kids love picking them out of their shells at meal time).
Farmed mussels are just one kind of ocean-friendly seafood that you and your family can be happy about. Learn about other ocean-friendly seafood, at www.facebook.com/BeHappyFish
. Eight conservation organizations in the U.S. & Canada have teamed up to bring you fun and engaging seafood info. There are family- (and ocean!) friendly recipes, trivia to help you get to know ocean-
friendly options, and you and your kids can sign a pledge to support ocean-friendly seafood
or post a pic of your best fish face
showing your support for the ocean.
For now, share this farmed mussels dish with your family, and Be Happy
Linguini with Mussels and Spicy Tomato Sauce
This recipe is by Kristine Kidd, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Food Editor. For
more recipes from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, visit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Recipes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes in purée
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguini pasta
1/4 cup drained capers
2 pounds mussels, rinsed and debearded
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the wine, thyme and tomato paste.
Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce the heat and
simmer until the sauce is thick and flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the remaining 1/2 cup wine and capers to the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels open,
about 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and stir over high heat for 1 minute to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Divide the pasta and mussels among 4 plates. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
*HINT FROM THE CHEF
When you get the mussels home, remove them from the plastic bag,
half fill a bowl with ice and place the shells on top. Serve them that same day. Mussels are cooked through when they open; discard any that do not open.
To prepare mussels for cooking, scrub the shells with a stiff brush. Remove any threads extending from the shell (called beards) by grabbing with fingers or a cloth and pulling towards the hinge end of the shell.
About the author:
Kate McLaughlin is the Seafood Program Director with the Blue Ocean Institute. Kate has studied fish for more than 10 years—she’s taken kids fishing in the urban parks of NYC, and tracked the salmon on the mighty Columbia River in Washington State. She’s studied river herring in the coastal rivers of Massachusetts, trout in the mountain streams of Montana, and manta rays along the jagged shore of Hawai’i. Kate earned a Master’s Degree in Fisheries from Humboldt State University in northern California. In her work with Blue Ocean Institute, Kate works with seafood lovers, scientists, chefs, and nutrition professionals to communicate the science of seafood.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY friends <3
The following is a guest post by Amber Strocel
Human beings have a way of taking simple things, and making them difficult. Consider the lawn. We cover our yards with grass – a plant that is simply not meant to grow everywhere. There may be too much or not enough sun, or too much or not enough water. We battle weeds and moss and dogs who would poop on our lawns. We spend large amounts of time and money making the grass grow, only to complain about having to mow it. Why do we do this? I honestly don’t know, and I do it too. It’s just what’s expected of us, and so we plant, maintain and complain about our lawns.
Because of our love of complicating things, we often reject simple answers. “It can’t really be that easy,” we say to ourselves. But what if it was really that easy?
Bringing Love Into the World
I love that the name of this blog is “Give Love Create Happiness”. It speaks to Wendy Irene’s mission to bring more love into the world. It also reminds me that love is a very simple answer to many of the problems that we encounter in our lives. I really believe that if we could love more, we would lead happier and more fulfilled lives. We would be offering our best selves to the world, and receiving the best from others in return.
There are lots of different kinds of love. There’s romantic love. There’s the
love that a parent holds for a child. There’s the love we have for our families,
the love we have for our friends, the love we have for the people who inspire us and the love we have for people from our past. Biggest of all, there’s the love we have for ourselves. They’re all important, they all make a difference, and if we can hold all of them, we’ll be helping to create a better life for ourselves and others.
I’m a mom, which means that I spend a lot of time doing things for other people. Preparing meals for my children and getting up in the middle of the night when someone has a bad dream come with the territory. As I do this, it’s easy to let my own needs fall by the wayside. I’m very good at giving love, but I’m not always so good at accepting love. And, somewhat ironically, the person I have the hardest time accepting love from is myself.
How would things look different if I placed the love and compassion I have for myself on equal footing with the love and compassion I have for my children? I imagine that I would beat myself up less for making mistakes. I would offer myself understanding if I hadn’t slept well and I was hungry and it was all making me cranky. I would take better care of myself, and make sure my own needs were met. I would make time for the things that I like to do. As a result, I would probably be a happier person. In turn, I would likely be a more patient mother and wife, and better able to offer genuine love to the other people in my life.
Love is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many of us have spent so long ignoring our own needs that we’re not even sure where to start. It takes time to rediscover where our happiness lies, and to learn how to practice compassion. The good news is that over time you can become better at accepting love, from others and yourself. You just need to be willing to start.
Crafting my Life
I have been on a personal journey
to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life for almost three years now. A big part of that journey has been learning how to offer myself the same love and compassion that I offer to others. It
hasn’t always been an easy lesson for me to pick up. I really was terribly out of practice.
One of my biggest realizations about accepting love came as I considered my children. The best
way to teach something to our kids is to model it in our own lives. I want my kids to grow up loving themselves. This means that I need to learn how love myself, so that I am setting a good example for them. Taking time for myself isn’t something I do because I’m selfish, it’s something that I do to increase my own happiness, which makes me a better mother. It’s also something I do so that my children can see how to take care of their own needs.
My own journey towards living a more authentic and purposeful life has grown into something I call Crafting my Life
. Crafting my Life is a set of online tools
for busy moms who want to create positive change in their own lives. It’s targeted to moms because we have some special constraints in our lives. It’s hard for us to get out of the house to take classes or spend time by ourselves. Crafting my Life is something that you can do on your own schedule, at your own pace, without ever having to leave your house.
We don’t have to make everything in our lives complicated. We can embrace the simple answers, like giving and accepting love. In the process, we’ll be
creating a better world for ourselves and our children. Nothing could be better than that.
--Amber Strocel is a writer, life-crafter, dreamer, and rather shoddy housekeeper who lives in the Vancouver area with her husband and two kids. She’s devoted to simplifying and living a more sustainable life. She helps moms follow their bliss at Crafting my Life, records her daily adventures on her blog Strocel.com, and works as the Content Manager for VancouverMom.ca.
Eating a Vegan diet does not mean that we only eat granola and berries. Here is a wonderful meal that we prepare often. Both of these recipes are from our favourite cookbook, Whole Foods to Thrive
(called Thrive Foods
in the US).
Kudos to Tammy since it was her night to cook and she had me walking by snapping photo’s while prepping dinner.
New Caesar Salad
Assemble the ingredients:
Dressing (makes 4 servings, 1 cup of dressing)
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup water (or less to make a thicker dressing)
¼ cup olive oil
2 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar (we like to use balsamic vinegar)
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp miso paste
3 tbsp wakame flakes (bull kelp or dulse also work)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Throw them in the blender or food processor.
Then let the magic of electricity do its work on the raw ingredients.
Toss a few spoonfuls of the dressing with torn romaine lettuce, and add some fresh cracked black pepper.
This is a great tasting simple salad and doesn’t contain the cholesterol in traditional Caesar Salad dressing.
Onto recipe number 2!
Jerusalem Artichoke Purée on Pasta
This is an absolute favourite of ours, I beg Tammy to make it all the time. The key to making this meal work is the Truffle oil that you drizzle on after. If you don’t have it, you need to get it. It is a little pricey for a
bottle of Truffle oil, but the flavour is so intense. With Truffle oil, you only need a little (just enough to make you want more), if you use too much it will overpower your food.
Yes we use canned artichokes. We tried using the raw uncut ones once. It was such a disaster and was so time consuming that we now cheat and use the canned variety.
1 – 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced/diced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup artichoke hearts
1 cup peeled and diced parsnip (less is better than more as too much parsnip can be overpowering)
Vegetable stock (enough to cover)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh or dried parsley
Nutritional yeast is a staple in Vegan pantry’s since it is a powerhouse of B vitamins, including the B12 that Vegan diets often lack. Nutritional yeast, sometimes called noosh, has a cheesy taste and can be added to soups, sauces, or sprinkled over popcorn. It is a product of the molasses making process and is available in most whole food grocery stores._Place the leeks in a sauce pan with the oil over medium-low heat to soften
- Place the leeks in a sauce pan with the oil over medium-low heat to soften
- Add the artichokes and parsnip and cover with vegetable stock.
- Add the nutritional yeast and stir. Simmer until soft.
- Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and purée until smooth.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste.
When this is done, make your pasta of choice. We opted for some pre-made Vegan friendly Sweet Potato and Basil Ravioli.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to serving bowls/plates and drizzle a tiny bit of truffle oil on the pasta. Then add the purée sauce and top with grated nutmeg, and parsley.
Total time to prepare this meal was about 30-40 minutes. The time taken to eat was much shorter and very delicious.
Chad and Tammy are both active professionals living in Victoria, BC, Canada. Between them they have finished 17 Ironman Triathlons around the globe. A year ago they completed their last Ironman and now focus on more simple general health and wellness.
You can follow them on their blog at: http://chad-dalrymple.blogspot.com/Also, Twitter
The following is a guest post by Lisa from ThePartyWorks.com
I’m busy, and my kids are busy. Sometimes there’s little time left to bond as a family. My family spends time together at the dinner table on weekdays making breakfast and watching cartoons on the weekends, but I’ve still had to face the sad fact that quality time is limited. The kids have to do their homework, go to soccer practice, and compete in karate matches. I have to work overtime, study for the online classes I’m taking, cook dinner, and prepare lunches. My husband has to travel a lot for his job, and the time he has to spend with the family is even more limited.
As the days seem to pass by more and more quickly, I realize that my kids are growing up a lot more rapidly than I would have hoped they would. And I also feel as though there’s a pressing need for each member of the family to coordinate schedules and carve out some time to spend together. We’ve started setting aside a few hours every week to dedicate to family bonding, and I think it’s been beneficial for all of us, especially the kids. If you’re struggling to think up simple family bonding activities that will be meaningful but not too time-consuming, consider these:
This is something you can dedicate an hour or two to a week. You can get all of your old family photos together and paste them in a scrapbook. Kids love being able to look at their baby pictures and reminiscing about when they were younger. Be sure to take some recent photos together and include those in your scrapbooks. Your kids may also like to include pictures they’ve drawn, concert and movie ticket stubs, and small things like bookmarks in the scrapbook.
Doing good makes you feel good! Kids often love volunteering at animal shelters, cleaning up parks, and helping plant trees. Helping out the community can be a great way for the family to embrace selflessness and spend quality time working together. Before you volunteer, you’ll have to call local non-profits and figure out which ones allow kids to volunteer.
3. Ice Cream Parties
If the whole family loves ice cream, why not throw an ice cream party every once in a while? You can all set aside some time to just eat ice cream and talk at the kitchen table. If you have some extra time, you could even make your own ice cream with milk, sugar, flavoring, rock salt, ice and Ziploc bags. If you want to mix things up, you could have a family ice cream party one week and a root beer float party the next.
--Author’s Bio: Lisa is a visiting blogger and mom who writes about everything from family relationships to Mario birthday party supplies.
The following is a guest post by Kimberly King, author of the children's book, I SAID NO!
As I picked my 5- year -old up at the neighbor’s house I realized that something terribly wrong had happened. My son was exhausted, teary eyed, and literally collapsed in my arms. My son shared with me the story of his night. His friend tried to get him to “do things”, and do things to him. My son knew to tell this child’s mom about the problem. However, the mom just told them to stop “messing around” and go to bed! The other child tried manipulation techniques on my child. “If you do what I want you to do… I will give you $50.00!” He also tried a little peer pressure. “All the really cool kids do this”. Then he said, “If you don’t do this I won’t be your friend”. My son decided he had to figure out how to get away from this situation. He tried to leave the house! But, he could not figure out the dead bolt. He ended up locking himself in a bathroom and told everyone he was sick. He slept on the bathroom floor! This was not an idea solution. This was his way of keeping himself safe.
Sometimes, no matter how safe you think your friends are…there really is no way to know how other parents will handle these types of situations. It is impossible to know what type of parents they might be behind closed doors.
I blamed myself for this night because I left my two children in the care of a good friend.
My choices were limited as I tried to handle an emergency with my new baby. I assumed my friend would take care of my children in the same manner that I had cared for hers. As a result, my child was traumatized by a very long and unpleasant night. I realized that morning that a sexual abuse attempt had knocked at my door. And, I let it in! I felt so guilty and angry! I was so proud and amazed by my son and the safety plan he developed during that night. I never told him that this type of thing could happen with a friend. And, I did not explain to him the techniques sexual abusers us to get their victims to cooperate. The books we read didn’t cover that. I didn’t think I needed to explain to my 5 year old what a threat, bribe, blackmail, peer pressure and manipulation were. Sadly, this is the reality! We cannot prevent everything from happening in our world. We can’t roll them up in bubble wrap and keep them in the house. Sometimes, I really wish I could because this would eliminate all of my various panics and trips to the doctor’s office and ER!
But we can limit the chances our children will experience something like a very bad sleepover by studying up on this topic with our children.
Education and awareness are key for parents as they attempt to keep their children safe. Please visit the non-profit organization “darkness 2 light” and read about the 7 steps for parents on sexual abuse prevention. Read and research! www.d2l.org
What can you do right now, aside from bubble wrap?
Limit the exposure that your child has to other
children or adults without your presence. 2.
Think carefully about the safety of any
- Not only do you need to prepare you children for the possible dangers of adults. But, they need to know that this type of thing can happen with friends, at school, on the bus, at a team sport event, or day car.
- The chances are it will be a friend or somebody they know and trust.
- Choose group situations when possible. This goes for tweens and teens. Your children are always safer with a buddy or a group.
- Think carefully about the safety of situations in which older children have access to younger children. Make sure that multiple adults are present who can supervise.
- Set an example by personally avoiding one-adult/one-child situations with children other than your own. If you do have a play date or sleepover keep a constant eye on all children and do not allow play behind closed doors.
Accept your child will be curious and that is healthy and normal.
- Encourage your child to ask questions.
- Teach your child age appropriate lessons on the body and human sexuality.
- By accepting that children’s natural curiosity about sexuality and gender differences as normal and healthy, parents build a basis for positive attitudes toward sexuality. Parents can then teach their children how to recognize real danger.
- Use scenario discussions and role-playing to clarify what is appropriate and with whom. BE SPECIFIC!
Together with my son we started keeping a journal to recover from this bad night. We soon realized that our story needed to be told to help other kids. “I Said No” a kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts was born. Our book defines the safe boundaries of private parts in a non- icky way. We discuss various scenarios that a child might encounter. We talk about how to deal with inappropriate behavior, bribes, and threats. Children learn that sexual abuse is NEVER their fault. I encourage all parents, educators, coaches, day care providers, babysitters, or anybody that cares for children to take the “STEWARDS FOR CHILDREN” training offered on the darkness to light website. It is a powerful training tool.
Please visit our new blog: www.sexualabuseprevention.blogspot.com
or our website www.kid2kidpublishing.com
--Kimberly King lives in Virginia beach with her three children. She is a mom on a mission to spread the message of sexual abuse prevention to families. Together with her son, Zack, they wrote a book called, "I Said No! A kid- to -kid guide to keeping private parts private. She is a certified "Steward of Children" through the Darkness 2 Light non-profit organization. Kimberly has a Master's Degree in Education from Wheelock College and writes self help books for kids, with kids, from a child's perspective.
Please visit her at : www.kid2kidpublishing.com www.sexualabuseprevention.blogspot.comFollow her on twitter! @Kimberlyfking
The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Bryan, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings.
My name is Elizabeth Bryan and I like to think of myself as a “mom-with-a-mission” – usually that means creating product that improves lives and gives back in some way. I never thought that would also include advocating for carbon monoxide poisoning awareness, but then again, I never thought my family would be victims of something so terrifying.
Becoming a mom and learning to parent can be magnificent, miraculous and completely overwhelming, all at once. From feeding to sleeping to carpools and college, there are so many new things to worry about when we look down at the precious, helpless little beings that we brought into the world. Thankfully, most of the time our worries are imagined, based in unfounded stories created in our own overactive, exhausted mommy minds. Unlike being poisoned by carbon monoxide, which is a real threat – I know, because it happened to my entire family.
It was a freezing cold Manhattan winter and my son was just six-months-old. We were holed up inside with all the windows tightly sealed and the furnaces fully cranked up. My fourteen-year-old stepson left for school each day, and my husband, for a full day’s work. I thought I was coming down with the flu, the baby was sleeping way more than normal, and my teenager was complaining of headaches and nausea. I carted us all off to the doctor who confirmed that we were likely coming down with some strain of something, sending us straight back to our sealed up home for some rest. It wasn’t until about a week later when I meandered down to the basement and had the shock of my life – our CO detector was hanging from its wires, completely disengaged from the ceiling. Grabbing a ladder, I plugged it back in - the searing beeps were deafening and terrifying, and I immediately got myself and the kids outside for fresh air. When the gas company arrived, they confirmed what I already knew - the hot water heater was malfunctioning and giving off CO. It was rising to the upper floors, poisoning all of us. Anyone in the basement for any length of time would have already been dead. We were so fortunate, unlike so many others who tragically die and are hospitalized each year. When installing detectors recently became the law in California, I began working with First Alert by sharing my story.
Once I got really into it, I learned about the multiple sources of CO that we are potentially exposed to on a daily basis. From the dryer to the stove to the heater, the risks are many, and year-round. It occurred to me that there while there are so many things out of our control in this life, dying from CO is not one of them. As women and moms, we are empowered when we protect ourselves and our loved ones as best we can. Since detectors can be purchased at Lowe’s or Target or Sears or ACE for as little as $19.99, it might just be the easiest, most inexpensive way to protect ourselves, especially during the holidays when the risks of accidental poisoning increase because everyone is in one home, all sealed up with many fuel burning appliances being used at the same time.
Every human being on this planet, including you, has purpose and is capable of greatness. Each one of us impacts others in some way, big or small. I am grateful to be alive to share my story, with the hope that you will take every measure to keep your family safe, by purchasing at least one carbon monoxide detector to put outside your sleeping area. That action in itself is changing the world - you never know the impact your life or your children’s will have on others, just like I never imagined how mine could possibly help you. Don’t wait – buy a CO detector today!
To read my full story and become even more empowered and educated with safety tips, click the link below: http://www.firstalert.com/elizabeth_bryan
-- Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your important message, and for inspiring us to keep our family safe by putting a carbon monoxide detector in our home! Check out the family game Elizabeth Bryan co-invented at www.countyourblessingsgame.com