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Five Back-to-School Body Language Tips to Fight off Bullies

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Expert gives tips for children on posture to express confidence and strength

Going back to school should be an exciting time in every child’s or teen’s life. They get to see their friends after the summer break and make new ones. However, a lot of students are faced with severe anxiety and stress when a new school year comes around. Whether it’s facing the school bully, not having the confidence to raise their hand and participate in class or even just trying to make friends, a student’s body language can become a tool to turn the social and scholastic experience of school into a positive one. Body language and image expert, Yana German, shares tips for students on how to pass the school year with flying colors.

German’s personal story inspired her to help other children who are bullied. After relocating to the US during her teenage years due to anti- semitism in her native Belarus, German became an easy target for bullies at school. “ My parents couldn’t afford much, so most of my clothing came from refugee charities,” explains German. “Kids would make fun of me because I wasn’t dressed well and would throw food at me during lunch,” continues German. The bullying got to the point where German had to drop out of school for a year in order to get her confidence back and continue her education. Today, German is a mother to two daughters and shares her body language tips to ward off bullies.

One of the most important tips is to keep an open posture. “Parents should always encourage their kids to stand up straight with their head and chin up,” says Yana. “Having great posture will instantly boost your confidence. Pulling your shoulders back and opening your chest is one quick fix that works wonders. Not only does it make you taller it boosts your inner confidence,” explains German.

When a student is talking to another child he/she should always look them in the eye. “Nothing gives away your fear more than not looking at the person you are speaking to.” says German. “Looking someone in the eye and maintaining that contact for as long as you can is a great non-verbal way of expressing your confidence,” adds German.

When someone is bullied it’s really hard, if not impossible to respond with empathy. “Shy and vulnerable kids are usually easy targets for bullies. That’s why it’s really important to smile,” suggests German. “Smiling serves as your barrier towards any negativity, and bullies rarely target children who seem to be happy, calm and radiate good energy,” adds German. When a student rarely smiles, it can be a warning sign of low self-esteem.

When we are feeling self-conscious, we naturally tend to become “smaller.” We want to shrink away into the room so that nobody notices us. This means  we may hunch over, hide in a corner and cross our arms and legs until we almost disappear. German says the best way to gain confidence is to physically take up more space than usual. “If you are standing, take a wider stance than usual, put your arms on your hips. If you are sitting with a desk in front of you, use your arms on the desk to take up space.”German says. “This will make you feel more powerful and instantly give you more confidence.”

Relax your arms and open up your shoulders. “When a child or teen crosses his/her arms, it sends out a defensive signal that they want to be left alone,” explains German.  “He can put his hands in his pockets if he feels awkward holding his arms by his side. What’s important is that he keeps his torso open.  When the child’s arms at their side and they face the other child heart to heart it shows others he’d like to make new friends.”

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EducationParenting

Combating learning loss over school breaks

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Preventing academic backsliding takes effort

Kids are back to school, and parents, kids, teachers and just about everyone agrees, summer is too short. But educators all agree that one aspect of summer makes it too long, and that is learning loss. This is defined as the amount of education that children forget over their summer break.
After approximately two months, researchers point out that kids can lose up to 30% of their educational gains during the year. Parents have many options to combat learning loss, including working with teachers to come up with a summer study program, whereby children dedicate a portion of their day to learning activities, specifically reading, writing, and arithmetic. The problem is that many parents work and don’t have time to teach their children at home, and this is too much of an ask for most nannies and babysitters. Experts day there are other options other than summer school; parents just have to know where to look.
Facilities like Groza Learning Center make combating learning loss a little easier for parents because they offer a variety of programs that can be designed around an individual child and the child and parents’ learning objectives. Programs like those at Groza Learning Center not only keep kids engaged over the summer, they can help associate summer fun with learning, to help children develop a positive attitude about schooling.
The number of hours a child needs to be involved in educational activities over the summer varies child to child, but generally at least a couple hours per day can help children retain more of their learning, and most experts agree structured programs also contribute to good discipline and good habits that a child can carry on beyond schooling.
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AutomobilesFamilyLifestyleParenting

Auto maker address deadly mistake of kids left in cars

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More children get left in cars during back-to-school season

GMC has announced a new vehicle feature to help prevent caregivers from accidentally leaving children in cars, which can be a fatal mistake in hot weather. GMC’s “Rear Seat Reminder” is an industry-first technology intended to help remind the driver to look in the rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain circumstances.

GMC’s protective feature will be standard in the new 2018 GMC Terrain.  The technology does not actually detect objects or people in the rear seat but monitors rear door usage for up to 10 minutes before or during a trip, and when the driver turns off the vehicle.  An alarm sounds five chimes and displays a warning on the driver information center screen, prompting a second look in the back seat. A GMC staff engineer and mother of two, Tricia Morrow, led the development of the technology.

It is as tragic statistic that about half of the heatstroke deaths of children under age 14 occur because caregivers mistakenly leave children in cars. Since 1998, more than 660 children across the United States have died from heatstroke when unattended in a vehicle. During September’s back-to-school season and Baby Safety Month, Safe Kids Worldwide warns that changes in caregivers’ routines can lead to children being forgotten in cars.

Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.  When a child’s internal temperature gets to 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down. And when that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.

Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization of 400 coalitions across the U.S. and funded by General Motors, developed a system called ACT to help remind caregivers not to leave children in cars.  The acronym focuses on avoiding heatstroke by never leaving a child in a car, creating reminders that a child is riding in the car, and taking action by calling 911 if a child is left alone in a car.

Safe Kids warns that children get left behind by loving, caring parents simply because they become distracted, and that these accidences are more common with new parents who are sleep-deprived or when a parent’s routine is disrupted.

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Education

How to Teach Children Financial Literacy

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Fiscal responsibility is not  taught in schools but essential for children to learn

Nearly one quarter of US states receive a failing grade when it comes to teaching kids personal finance in schools. Twelve states don’t attempt to teach it at all. This could be one of the reasons that only 35% of credit card users don’t carry a balance and pay off their bill every month, and that only 1 in 3 Americans is saving for retirement. We don’t expect kids to learn how to read, write or drive without instruction, but another essential life skill, money management is ignored for the most part.

As children come of age to receive allowance or earn money, parents should take the initiative to supplement their kids lacking personal finance education at school with lessons at home. Use these tips to determine how and where to start.

  1. Check Out Your Schools – Visit your school to see what (if anything) is being taught about personal finance or if personal finance is required to graduate high school. Once you have this information, you can determine your next moves to ensure your kids know how to manage money when the time comes. With a majority of U.S. high school students failing to learn about money, there’s a good chance your children won’t either.

 

  1. Leave Books To The Adults – There are thousands of books available on finance and managing money, but don’t waste your cash buying these for your kids. Kids learn best by doing, so sitting down with a book that explains percentage rates, credit, loans or budgeting won’t leave a long lasting impression. They would learn more from watching movies like “Moneyball” or “The Big Short”.

 

  1. Use Teachable Moments – Each we are faced with numerous financial decisions that you could use as a “teachable moment” for your children. The next time you are grocery shopping, show your child how to compare prices and brands. If you’re paying bills, let your child sit with you and see how you manage money.

 

  1. Look Differently at Chores & Allowance – While a majority of parents agree that kids should be doing chores and receiving an allowance, some parents feel money shouldn’t be the reason kids help around the house. It’s those parents who should look at chores and allowance differently. Think of it as a child’s first job and a parents first chance to teach them everything they need to know (work ethic, direct deposit, budgeting, opening bank account, taxes, etc) before they head off to get a real job someday.

 

  1. Learn As Family – Many parents don’t like to talk to their children about money because they believe they aren’t knowledgable enough. If you are one of these parents, jump in and learn with your children. You’re never too old to learn, erase bad habits or set good examples. Plus doing it with your children could be fun!

 

  1. Practice What You Preach – If you already practice good personal finance habits, congratulations! If not, this is a great time to start. In either case, practice what you preach to your children since the greatest influence on your child is you.

 

  1. Understand, No One Is Perfect! – Let’s face it, if everyone was great at managing money there would be little National Debt, no bankruptcy and everyone would have a savings account. So except these facts and do something to get better at it. I believe we are so afraid of what our children will think about our bad financial status that we forget how the current situation could be a great lesson. Don’t let your pride get in the way of teaching your children how NOT to make the same mistakes.

 

  1. Don’t Quit! – This might be the hardest thing of all. Being good at money management is a never-ending process. However your kids are going to be faced with hundreds of thousands of financial decisions in their lifetime, so you never get to the point where you can stop teaching, supporting or guiding. Quitting now only puts them on a path to be living back with you when they are older, full of student loans and moving from job to job.

 

Gregg Murset is CEO of BusyKid is the first online chore chart where children can earn, save, share, spend and invest real money wisely. Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid is easy to use, revolutionary and allows kids to receive a real allowance from their parents each Friday. No more points or trying to convert imaginary money.

 

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ParentingTravel

Single Parent Solo Travel Done Right

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Tips For Planning Ahead And Staying Safe

Single parents tend to be so busy taking care of their children, home, and work responsibilities that self care ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. Taking a vacation on your own is a great way to recharge, but there are some planning and safety tips that come in handy to ensure the trip goes well.

Traveling on your own takes planning, but can provide a much-needed reset

Parenting is stressful and doing the job alone can be especially difficult. For those working through addiction recovery, the stress at home can be overwhelming and may trigger a relapse if things build up too much. A solo vacation provides a great chance to reset; you will return feeling more capable of handling the chaos of everyday life.

Traveling as a single parent does take planning. You have to ensure that the kids will be taken care of while you are away, but you also have to take steps to ensure your own personal safety. Leave a detailed copy of your itinerary at home so that your kids know where you are and a caretaker has something to reference if things go wrong.

Back up documentation and let loved ones know your progress

Buzzfeed suggests uploading pictures or scans of all of your important documentation to a site like DropBox so you can access them on the go. Do this with items like your hotel and car reservations, ticket numbers, identification, and passport, and keep hard copies of key phone numbers and your itinerary with you at all times.

Plan regular check-ins with family or someone close to you. You may want to text, Skype, email, or call someone around the same time every day during your trip so they know you are doing well. Invest time in researching your destination thoroughly ahead of your trip so that you can focus on fun, safe places to be and won’t get stuck in a sketchy situation.

Exude confidence and trust your gut

Travel expert Rick Steve recommends that solo travelers be street smart when they are alone in an unfamiliar city. Walk with confidence and be prepared with maps, guidebooks, and cash wherever you go. If you end up confused or lost, head into a restaurant or store to ask for directions, or look for a family or woman who might help.

Be confident in saying no and trust your instincts, as you do not have to be polite to others if it risks your personal safety. Also, avoid identifying yourself as a solo traveler. For example, if you order room service, talk as if someone else is there with you. If you are in a cab or walking by yourself, make a fake phone call to make it sound as if someone is expecting you.

Don’t shy away from taking precautions

Smarter Travel notes that you should always carry identification, preferably more than one ID stashed in more than one place, and cushion your budget for unexpected needs. If you are out at night and the walk back to your room in the dark feels unsafe, spring for a taxi. Spend more for a secure hotel in a lively area rather than save a few bucks somewhere more remote that leaves you feeling isolated or unsafe.

Traveling solo as a single parent can reduce stress levels and help you recharge. For those in addiction recovery, solo travel is a chance for self-discovery and healing; a chance to get a break from triggers at home like contentious ex-partners or financial stress. Stay safe by being prepared and aware, and always exude confidence and trust your instincts. You don’t want to travel in a state of fear, but do prepare so you make it home safely feeling energized and refreshed.

 

[Image via Pixabay]

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LifestyleParenting

Guiding children through sleep anxiety

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sleep storySource: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-teenage-girl-256657/

Tips to help you help your little ones get a good night’s sleep

As a parent, it’s a public matter that the biggest nightly challenge you need to face is to get your kids to bed, stay there, and sleep. Of course, it’s difficult, but it’s one of the things that you need to do as a parent.

One study shows that almost thirty percent of children, aged 3 to 7 years old, struggle to sleep and stay asleep every night. And, anxiety is the main culprit.

Children have a harder time controlling their emotions if they don’t get enough amount of sleep and they become hyper or irritable. Although it’s not easy, it’s paramount that you do everything in your power to help your child get the amount of sleep she or he needs.

Children and Their Fears

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The typical speeches would be “Don’t leave me please!”, “Five minutes more!” or “Stay with me!” These things could be normal among children, but you shouldn’t tolerate it.

All children experience a phase wherein they’re having difficulty sleeping. The reasons could be being afraid of the dark, dolls coming to life, imaginary monsters under the bed, bad guys could break in, etc.

Going to the bathroom alone is also a problem because someone at school started the “Bloody Mary in the mirror” stories that invoke your child’s imagination. As a result, he perks up in the middle of the night, and you’re up too.

While it’s enticing to comfort your child that everything’s fine, the chances are you already know it’s not working, and it doesn’t work.

Whether your child is five or fifteen, the approaches below will help your child overcome and take charge of  his or her fears

Start with Pillow Talks

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Perch on your child’s bed, nestle beside them and have a conversation with them. Talk about what she or he is thinking and everything that will set a relaxing mood.

However, you need to set some limits. When you say that it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Don’t fall into the trap of them whining and telling you to stay or to sleep with them.

Gently tell your child that you want to spend more time with him or her, but you can’t linger too long. Listen to their qualms but avoid talking too much. Occasionally, listening alone allows your child to resolve his or her worries.

Let Your Child Self-Regulate In the Bedroom

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-sleeping-with-her-brown-plush-toy-101523/

First of all, your job as a parent is not to make your kids go to sleep but put them to bed. There’s a fine line between the two.

Set a consistent wake-up time with an alarm clock. If your child can’t sleep, let him or her read in bed. Make sure to keep the lights dim or off.

Ditch the Stimulants

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/coffee-tea-table-restaurant-29612/

Keep your child from drinking energy drinks and caffeine-rich drinks. Beware with covert stimulants in chocolate drinks too.

Sleeplessness and anxiety are side effects of medications too. These pills include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications and over-the-counter medications for cold and flu. If you’re hinting that the medications of your child are part of the problem, make sure to call the attending physician and ask for some advice before you stop them.

Teach Your Kids To Give Their Worries Away

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Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/HA3JD0XRX2

In Guatemala, there’s a tradition of educating the children on how to leave their worries by using colorful dolls called trouble dolls or worry dolls. The children confide their worries to the dolls then put their dolls under their pillows.

According to the traditional folklore, the doll accepts all the child’s fears to make the child sleep peacefully. They are affordable and are available online.

You can pitch the same scheme of teaching your child to let go of his or her worries by using inanimate objects like stuffed toys, stuffed animals or dolls that you already have.

Regulate More Melatonin

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/feet-cute-flower-child-36793/

Melatonin is a feel good hormone in the body that gives you that drowsy and sleepy feeling. Melatonin supplements are effective in regulating the sleep cycle of your child back on track.

Melatonin is effective in bringing your child into good slumber. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help much for those kids who wake up in the middle of the night. There are limitations and risks in using melatonin supplements, so be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician before using over-the-counter supplements.

Takeaway

Getting your little angels to sleep better is the holy grail of parenting. Though it’s just one of the many challenges that parents face every day, it’s still important that you teach your kids the importance of independence and courage as early as possible. And the best venue to do this is to start right at their mattresses. Help your child overcome his or her fears, be the most supportive and helpful parent.

Author Bio:

Rachel Minahan is an interior designer by profession and a budding writer at the same time. She spends the majority of her time attending her business and writing for her blogs. Rachel is also fond of keeping tabs on the latest health and design trends. She also has a soft spot for children, especially those with anxieties at a very young age.

sleep story

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Eat & DrinkLifestyleParenting

Fun food and drinks for finicky kids

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If your kids are always saying “nothing sounds good” when it comes to food, add a little fun to their snacking experience with these treats, that might even be good for them.

Super veggie pizza

Do your kids claim they are allergic to vegetables?  Good luck getting them to each that spinach ice cream; but you can sneak in some vitamin-rich cauliflower without even an argument when its served up in their favorite kid food – pizza!  CAULIPOWER is a gluten-free, delicious and nutritious ready-to-cook cauliflower crust pizza that will have them asking for more cauliflower please. Available in four tasty varieties – three-cheese pizza, veggie pizza, margherita pizza and plain crust. Available at Whole Foods or on Amazon.

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Care for some chocolate, honey?

Kids love chocolate.  Kids love honey.  But who would have thought these two flavors would taste incredible together? MANUKA did. The New Zealand company known for its potent and pure honey combined these two delicious flavors by wrapping rich dark 99-percent-cocoa chocolate around honey and adding a touch of mint or ginger.  The result is a scrumptious gluten-free, no-preservative, no-artificial-colors treat that will definitely help the medicine go down – in fact, with its anti-bacterial properties that boost the immune system, you might not need any medicine.  Available at https://www.shoppri.com/

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Squeeze in breakfast

No time for breakfast? Grab some morning time nutrition on the go with Munk Pack ready-to-eat Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes, full of whole grains and real fruit bites, and certified gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and vegan. In a spouted pouch, these palm-size pouches are ideal for a quick healthy breakfast, or as an on-the-go snack for outdoor activities or travel. Each serving has only 90-100 calories and 3-4g of fiber and nothing artificial. Available in Maple Pear Quinoa, Peach Chai Vanilla, Raspberry Coconut, Blueberry Acai Flax, Apple Quinoa Cinnamon.  Buy at Wegmans, Raley’s, Publix, Whole Food sand select grocers nationwide.

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Have a ball, er…drink

Sugary juices are the culprit in many an unpleasant trip to the dentist, so give kids a healthier, flavorful option that is not full of sugar. AquaBall, the flavored water in a ball-shaped bottle designed to fit perfectly in kids’ hands and car cup holders, is the only zero calories, sugar-free and preservative-free children’s beverage on the market. Packaging includes Disney and Marvel characters that make drinking up cool for kids.  Available in Berry Frost, Fruit Punch, Grape, Strawberry Lemonade.  Available at grocery stores nationwide.

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Mother Nature’s Candy

Candy happens.  Stop trying to fight it by offering carrot sticks.  If they are going to eat candy, at least let it be lower sugar, organic candy, like YumEarth, makers of vegan, gluten free, Non-GMO treats with no high fructose corn syrup and free of the top 8 allergens.  Varieties include candy drops, lollipops, gummies, sour beans and chewy fruit snacks. Available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Wegmans and other select grocery stores or online at www.yummyearth.com

yum earth candy

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