If your little interrogator has been pulling the line too far, here’s how you can reel it back in.
I was in the grocery store last week, listening to a multitude of beeps from scanners, when a new sound caught my ears. It was a kid, a preschooler, begging for one of those baby bottle suckers with the sugar inside. She wanted the cherry flavor. “Mommy, can I have this?” the little girl asked. “No, honey,” the mother smiled. “But, Mom, I don’t have one.” “We have plenty of sweets at home,” the mom reminded. “But I don’t have this one.” “I said no,” the mother replied, while looking through an entertainment magazine.
With having no luck breaking her mother down verbally, the little girl upped her ante. Her face turned red and words about unfairness and meanness erupted from her mouth.
And then her next strategy: crying. In between her cries and words, she delivered gasps of air, purely for effect.
“Just put it in the cart,” the mom replied. “But you can’t have it until after dinner.”
“Can I just have one bite in the car?” the little girl asked.
“We’ll talk about it when we get in the car.”
The little girl’s tears turned to smiles within less than one minute of her setting eyes on what she wanted.
Now, I’m far from a perfect parent, but I cringed knowing what this mother had just traded. Basically her soul. She traded a nasty temper tantrum for a life of bargaining between her and her little sweet pea. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way, nor should it.
I wanted to hand the mom a laminated card with these five fail-proof sayings burned into the paper. They’ve worked for me for years and remind me of chocolate. Every single one of them is good and I pick which “flavor” depending on my mood.
Next time your mini cross-examiner is giving you the run-down, take charge, be a mom, and above all, be consistent.
If you say no, you better mean it. By changing your mind, your child has gained more than a piece of candy; they’ve gained the knowledge you can be broken down easier than a cardboard box.
Have fun practicing these phrases with your little interrogator:
Their tech-forward parents have so far shelled out more than $11 billion to repair or replace such devices, according to a recent report from SquareTrade, a protection plan for mobile devices and other consumer electronics.
“Teaching tech etiquette alongside the ABCs and 123s is a smart idea for sanity at home. And for the 89 percent of households whose kids have damaged devices, it makes great financial sense,” says Jessica Hoffman, vice president of global communications for SquareTrade. “Kids as young as toddlers are getting significant doses of screen time and, as a result, accident rates are climbing.”
The report also found that 70 percent of elementary school kids own tablets and a whopping 55 percent of accidents happen from children accidentally dropping their devices. Not surprisingly, 20 percent of kids blame someone or something else for the mishap.
“Kids and technology are as popular a pairing these days as peanut butter and jelly,” says Hoffman. “As smartphones, tablets and laptops replace dolls and toy cars as children’s most prized possessions, we recommend that parents do their homework on how best to deal with at-home tech habits, or risk having their child on the device dishonor roll.”
SquareTrade suggests the following five golden rules to keep in mind before letting kids use electronic devices:
• Don’t pack devices into overstuffed, heavy backpacks without proper protective gear. Tablets cannot handle the wear and tear that a book can absorb.
• On rainy days or when you will be around water, use a zip lock bag for your smartphone or tablet.
• No eating or drinking while using devices. Sticky liquids are the most dangerous.
• Limit screen time in the car. Siblings fighting can lead to devices flying out of windows.
• No matter what precautions you take, accidents can still happen. Invest in a protection plan that covers the clumsy drops, juice spills and backpack crushes of daily life.
Repairing a broken device can often cost as much as buying a new one. A good protection plan can cost just a few dollars a month and can buy priceless peace of mind for parents worried about everyday accidents and other “uh-ohs.” So even if your child breaks a device, there’s no need to stress: you’re covered. For information on protection plans, visit www.squaretrade.com.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Tweak habits at home, school and on-the-go to prevent technology breakage.
(StatePoint) Traffic deaths are on the rise, and experts fear the trend will continue this summer during a period known as the 100 Deadly Days. Summer weekends tend to be the most dangerous, with seven out of 10 crashes happening on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer of 2014.
“While the statistics point out a dangerous trend, we have the ability to influence outcomes through our choices and behavior,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council (NSC). “Summer is typically a high-exposure period with lots of miles driven and several long holiday weekends. Take your responsibilities behind the wheel this summer seriously and ensure that you get to your destination safely.”
Traffic deaths in the U.S. increased each month during the six months leading up to the summer, compared to the same six month period a year ago.
NSC believes the spike in fatal car crashes is due in part to an improving economy. Lower gas prices and lower unemployment rates often lead to an increase in traffic because more people can afford to drive, and many travel long distances and take vacations.
Certain crash factors, such as speeding and alcohol, are also more common during the summer. A yearly average of 2,781 deaths in June, July and August involve speeding, and 2,846 involve alcohol, according to NSC analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
To help stay safe on the roads this summer, NSC recommends drivers:
• Learn about their vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. Free resources, such as MyCarDoesWhat.org can help drivers understand the ins and outs of such features as blind spot, lane departure warning systems and backup cameras. Visit www.MyCarDoesWhat.org to learn more.
• Buckle up for all trips — short and long, even back seat passengers.
• Designate a non-drinking driver or arrange alternate transportation.
• Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
• Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
• Monitor teens’ driving habits. An NSC survey found many parents are more inclined to loosen household driving rules during the summer. Teen passengers are one of the greatest distractions.
“We believe that by taking the proper precautions, we can make the roads safer and save lives this summer,” said Hersman.
A family was driven from their suburban St. Louis home by thousands of venomous spiders that fell from the ceiling and oozed from the walls.
Brian and Susan Trost bought the $450,000 home overlooking two golf holes at Whitmoor Country Club in Weldon Spring in October 2007 and soon afterward started seeing brown recluse spiders everywhere, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Once when showering, Susan Trost dodged a spider as it fell from the ceiling and washed down the drain.
She told St. Louis television station KMOV-TV in 2012 the spiders “started bleeding out of the walls,” and at least two pest control companies were unable to eradicate the infestation.
At a civil trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, University of Kansas biology professor Jamel Sandidge – considered one of the nation’s leading brown recluse researchers – estimated there were between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders in the home. Making matters worse, he said, those calculations were made in the winter when the spiders are least active.
(StatePoint) Getting kids to be more active and motivated for outdoor adventure can be a challenge in today’s world of cool technology. With so many compelling reasons to stay indoors, like smartphones and streaming video, how do you convince your little ones that the great outdoors is, well, great?
Here are a few ideas to inspire outdoor play and even to use their love of technology to help lure them outdoors:
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Turn a simple day outside into an exciting adventure. Create a thematic challenge that can be carried out in the yard or a nearby playground and set the kids loose for a mental and physical challenge.
Use your kids’ interests to get them motivated to participate, or help foster a new interest by having kids seek out specific items in nature.
Record the Action
Encourage outdoor activity with cameras and wearable devices designed with kids in mind. For example, the affordable VTech Kidizoom Action Cam features a robust, durable design and comes complete with mounts for attaching to a bike, skateboard or scooter. The waterproof case allows kids to take videos and pictures up to six feet underwater — perfect for snorkeling and splashing fun.
The camera, which was named the number one breakout hit on the TTPM Summer Play List, features a 1.4 inch color LCD screen and can take stop-motion videos and time-lapse photos in addition to regular videos and photos. It lets kids get creative with features, effects, frames and photo filters. It also includes three games and a micro USB cable to make it easy to upload photos and videos to a computer. More information can be found at www.VTechKids.com/ActionCam.
Mix Things Up
Your own backyard can be home to new and exciting adventures every day, especially for children with active imaginations. Nevertheless, kids will welcome an opportunity for a change of scenery. From the playground to the pool to the skate park, take kids on mini field trips whenever you get a chance.
For many, a lack of confidence may be a barrier to getting involved in neighborhood pick-up sports and other local activities outdoors. Bear this in mind and strive to build your child’s confidence.
Even if your home possesses a state of the art home theater and all the latest gadgets, with a few simple strategies, you’ll have kids off the couch and begging to play outside.