July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Monday, June 25, 2012

Did you know…

  • At least 91% of Americans own cell phones  
  • There are more than 285 million cell phones in use in the U.S.  
  • 3 out of 10 people prefer cell phones over landlines

While a majority of us experience a range of rude behaviors on a daily basis, the one transgression that seems to occur most often is accompanied by a ring tone: People talking on cell phones, in public places, in a loud or annoying manner.

  If you agree that cell phone rudeness is on the rise and would like to help eradicate this growing epidemic, please spread the word about National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Here are some helpful tips to share.

  1. Be all there. When you’re in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, it’s best to put your phone on silent mode.
  2. Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.
  3. Keep your cool. Don’t display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.
  4. Learn to vibe. Use your wireless phone’s silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you don’t disrupt your surroundings.
  5. Avoid “cell yell.” Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don’t recognize how distracting they can be to others.
  6. Follow the rules. Some places, such as some restaurants or courtrooms, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.
  7. Excuse yourself. If you’re expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you’re with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.
  8. Send a text message when you want to send a quick message. But remember not to text while having a conversation with another person. It’s important to give others, especially clients and customers, your full, undivided attention.
  9. Watch and listen discreetly. Multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. Use earphones to avoid distracting others in public areas.
  10. Don’t text and drive. Don’t put your life or those of others at risk. Pull over if you absolutely must send a message or wait until you reach your destination.

Borrowed from JacquelineWhitmore's Blog.

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

Monday, June 18, 2012

How can you know what to expect of your child at what age? If you ask your child to put the forks on the left side of the plate, does she know what you mean and is she physically able to do it? If not, take a step back. Maybe you'll simply start by having your child get the silverware to the table. The point is, he says, you want an immediate payoff for you and your child.

Dividing household chores and getting them done isn't always easy, but there are ways to make chores feel a little less like work. Most parents, however, underestimate what their kids are able to do. "Keep in mind that a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily run the dishwasher." In general preschoolers can handle one or two simple one-step or two-step jobs. Older children can manage more.

And, as your children grow up and get busy, don't let them off the hook. Tell them, "I hope you get so quick with your chores that they don't interfere with everything else."

Here is a sample of chores provided that will work for many children in these age groups.

Chores for children ages 2 to 3

• Put toys away.

• Fill pet's food dish.

• Put clothes in hamper.

• Wipe up spills.

• Dust.

• Pile books and magazines.

Chores for children ages 4 to 5

Any of the above chores, plus:

• Make own bed.

• Empty wastebaskets.

• Bring in mail or newspaper.

• Clear table.

• Pull weeds.

• Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.

• Water flowers.

• Unload utensils from dishwasher.

• Wash plastic dishes at sink.

• Fix bowl of cereal.

Chores for children ages 6 to 7

Any of the above chores, plus:

• Sort laundry.

• Sweep floors.

• Set and clear table.

• Help make and pack lunch.

• Weed and rake leaves.

• Keep bedroom tidy.

• Pour own drinks.

• Answer telephone.

Chores for children ages 8 to 9

Any of the above chores, plus:

• Load dishwasher.

• Put away groceries.

• Vacuum.

• Help make dinner.

• Make own snacks.

• Wash table after meals.

• Put away own laundry.

• Sew buttons.

• Make own breakfast.

• Peel vegetables.

• Cook simple foods, such as toast.

• Mop floor.

• Take pet for a walk.

Chores for children ages 10 and older

Any of the above chores, plus:

• Unload dishwasher.

• Fold laundry.

• Clean bathroom.

• Wash windows.

• Wash car.

• Cook simple meal with supervision.

• Iron clothes.

• Do laundry.

• Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home).

• Mow lawn.

• Clean kitchen.

• Clean oven.

• Change bed.

• Make cookies or cake from a mix.

Taken from www.webmd.com/parenting

America Kids Sports Month!

Monday, June 11, 2012

June is Sports America Kids Month! The beginning of summer is the perfect time to think about how good sports are for kids. Is your child involved in a sport? The most important thing to remember about kids and sports is that kids aren't in it to win! Sure, winning is exciting, but playing on a team that loses all the time is a lot more fun than sitting on the bench for a team that always wins! If a child is involved in a sport that they enjoy, the benefits are enormous! Sports offer kids physical fitness, increased confidence and self-esteem, self-discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, coordination, and a lot more! As they get older it stops being fun when they are pressured to be superstars. Being scolded by their parents or coaches for less-than-perfect performance takes all the joy out of playing. And, with all that pressure, children do not continue to gain the self-esteem, confidence, and other great qualities that they did when they were just playing for fun! Here are some keys to keeping the fun in sports, no matter what age your children are. 1. With younger kids, around preschool age, don't bother trying to get them to learn all the rules of the sport. Concentrate on the physical skills, like kicking, throwing, running, etc. Kids who are just learning to count don't need to worry about how to keep score! As kids get older, they can begin to learn the actual rules of the game. 2. Don't pressure kids to perfect their skills at sports. It can be fun for kids to learn and try a new move, like a corner kick or a tricky pitch... but they don't need to do it perfectly. 3. Outside of organized sports, encourage kids to play impromptu sports games with their friends afterschool or on the weekends. 4. If a child gets injured while playing a sport, don't pressure them to keep on playing while they're still in pain. They're just kids, not professional athletes! 5. Praise your kids for their good effort. You don't have to go overboard and tell your kid he's the best player on the team! But little praises like, "Nice swing," or "way to hustle," can go a long way! 6. Kids have to sit and pay attention all day at school. Don't get angry with them for daydreaming in the outfield! 7. After a game, ask kids questions like, "What was the best part of the game?" and "Did you have fun?" 8. Encourage kids to try out a variety of sports, and let them decide which ones they like. Little Tommy's dad or big brother might have been the best players on their baseball teams, but if Tommy is interested in football, hockey, or gymnastics, then let him do those things instead! So lets all be good sports, and let our kids have fun!

Potty Awareness Month

Monday, June 4, 2012

Potty training is a major milestone. Get the facts on timing, technique and handling the inevitable accidents. Potty training is a big step for kids and parents alike. The secret to success? Patience — perhaps more patience than you ever imagined. Is it time? Potty-training success hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. Many kids show interest in potty training by age 2, but others might not be ready until age 2 1/2 or even older — and there's no rush. If you start potty training too early, it might take longer to train your child. Is your child ready? Ask yourself these questions: • Does your child seem interested in the potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear? • Can your child understand and follow basic directions? • Does your child tell you through words, facial expressions or posture when he or she needs to go? • Does your child stay dry for periods of two hours or longer during the day? • Does your child complain about wet or dirty diapers? • Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again? • Can your child sit on and rise from a potty chair? If you answered mostly yes, your child might be ready for potty training. If you answered mostly no, you might want to wait awhile — especially if your child has recently faced or is about to face a major change, such as a move or the arrival of a new sibling. A toddler who opposes potty training today might be open to the idea in a few months. Taken from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training