Llfe Skills



4 Survival Skills Every Kid Should Know
If your child were alone in an emergency, would he know what to do without an adult to take care of him? Allstate Insurance and Lisa Bedford, author of "Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios," has identified four emergency situations in which all children should know what to do if they are alone. Call them the ultimate survival skills.

From playing with a pocket knife to breaking glass, find out five dangerous things kids SHOULD do!

Survival Skill No. 1: What to do if a child is lost
A lost child is a scared child, and usually her first instinct is to begin searching for her family. Train your children to stop and sit as soon as they realize they are lost. Assure them that, no matter how scared they might be, you are searching for them at that very moment; but also that, if they keep moving around, it will take longer to find them. Consider equipping your children with an inexpensive cell phone and when venturing outdoors, a few survival items tucked in a backpack or their pockets. Items such as a whistle, a bright bandana and a bottle of water are the makings of a kids' survival kit that will go a long way to helping them be found more quickly.

Survival Skill No. 2: How to answer the door when a child is home alone
Usually the best strategy is to not answer the door! Yes, the person knocking could be a burglar scoping out the neighborhood. But once the door is opened, it's that much easier for an intruder to enter. And children are easily overpowered. Train your child to enforce home security: Keep doors and windows locked and blinds and curtains closed. Noise from a TV or radio is fine. Those with questionable motives will think twice about entering a home if they hear noises inside, even if the house is closed up and no one answers the door.

Survival Skill No. 3: What to do in a medical emergency
From a young age, kids can learn how to dial 911 and report an emergency, but this takes practice. Spend some time rehearsing phone calls, teaching your children to relay detailed information to an operator, follow his or her instructions and then stay on the line until help arrives. If possible, children should also get the home ready for the arrival of EMTs by putting pets in closed areas and, if it's nighttime, turning on both indoor and outdoor lights. Summer is an ideal time for children ages 9 and older to take first aid and CPR classes.

Survival Skill No. 4: How to maintain situational awareness
This one skill can help your child avoid many dangerous situations. The concept is simply for children to be aware of the people and events around them. Parents can help their children become more observant and aware--not by scaring them, but by playing games to teach and practice this skill.

* When driving in the car, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed.
* Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions.
* Tell them to close their eyes and describe what someone in the room is wearing.
* Encourage them to check out the license plates of passing cars: Which states are they from? What is the sum of the numbers on the license plate?

Being aware of their surroundings will help them avoid predatory people and other dangerous scenarios. Simple to teach. Fun to practice. And, quite possibly, a life saver.

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14 Ways to Show Kids You Love Them

How can you best love a child? It's not with a trip to the toy store. It's a lot harder and more expensive--in terms of your time--than that. Find out five stupid things parents should never do.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers 14 tips every parent and grandparent can use. Print this how-to list and tape it to your refrigerator:
1. Use plenty of positive words with your child. Try to avoid sarcasm since kids often don't understand that kind of language subtlety and instead perceive it as negative.

2. Respond promptly and lovingly to your child's physical and emotional needs and banish put-downs from your parenting vocabulary.

3. Make an extra effort to set a good example at home and in public. Use words like "I'm sorry," "please" and "thank you."

4. When your child is angry, argumentative or in a bad mood, give him a hug, cuddle, pat, secret sign or other gesture of affection he favors and talk with him about his feelings.

5. Use non-violent forms of discipline. Parents should institute both rewards and restrictions many years before adolescence to help prevent trouble during the teenage years. Allowing children of any age to constantly break important rules without being disciplined only encourages more rule violations.

6. Make plans to spend time alone with your young child or teen doing something she enjoys.

7. Mark family game nights on your calendar so the entire family can be together. Put a different family member's name under each date, and have that person choose which game will be played that evening.

8. Owning a pet can make children, especially those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, feel better by stimulating physical activity, enhancing their overall attitude, and offering constant companionship.

9. One of the best ways to familiarize your child with good food choices is to encourage him to cook with you. Let him get involved in the entire process, from planning the menus to shopping for ingredients to the actual food preparation and serving.

10. As your child grows up, she'll spend most of her time developing and refining a variety of skills and abilities in all areas of her life. You should help her as much as possible by encouraging her and providing the equipment and instruction she needs.

11. Your child's health depends significantly on the care and guidance you offer during his early years. By taking your child to the doctor regularly for consultations, keeping him safe from accidents, providing a nutritious diet, and encouraging exercise throughout childhood, you help protect and strengthen his body.

12. Help your child foster positive relationships with friends, siblings and members of the community.

13. One of your most important gifts as a parent is to help your child develop self-esteem. Your child needs your steady support and encouragement to discover his strengths. He needs you to believe in him as he learns to believe in himself. Loving him, spending time with him, listening to him and praising his accomplishments are all part of this process.

14. Don't forget to say "I love you" to children of all ages!

Find out eight life skills most young adults lack. Their baby boomer parents know how to do THIS, but they never taught their kids.

How Fast Is Fat?


HOW Fast Does Fat Hit Your Waistline?

Have you ever gorged on a big meal and then had to loosen your belt because your tummy was so full? And if you had the nerve to weigh yourself right then, no doubt the scale would register a couple more pounds than you might expect. Turns out there is a reason for both. After a big meal, fat hits your waistline in as little as three hours and causes actual weight gain, according to researchers from Oxford University in Great Britain.

Your waist size is a far better predictor of heart disease than total body fat. Find out the numbers for men and women.

London's Telegraph reports that the fat in food can be converted into tissue around the plumpest parts of the body within hours--far more quickly than anyone previously thought possible.

Led by Fredrik Karpe and Keith Frayne, the Oxford team found that the first fat from any meal enters the bloodstream about one hour after being ingested. And just three to four hours after that, the fat will have been incorporated into the adipose tissue, which is in the fat stores around the waist.

Translation: A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. If you eat a meal containing 30 grams of fat, two to three teaspoons will go straight to your waist. And if you continue to overeat, the fat will then move into tissue around your hips, rear and thighs.

The study has shed new light on how we gain weight, and it is much faster than anyone thought. Prior to this, it was believed that food moved from the tummy into the blood where nutrients were used by muscles; any excess was then stored as fat. Instead, the fat is quickly moved around the body and stored--for good.

The process is very fast, " Karpe, who is a professor of metabolic medicine, told The Telegraph. "The cells in the adipose tissue around the waist catch the fat droplets as the blood carries them and incorporates them into the cells for storage. If you eat too much, you don't get into this phase of starting to mobilize it. There will just be constant accumulation, and you will start to put on weight.
"What can you do? Get on the treadmill. The Oxford team also found that fit people have an easier time getting rid of unwanted fat, since exercise gives a long-term boost to fat-burning mechanisms.

The study findings were published in the journal Physiological Reviews.



How Prayer Leads to Forgiveness
Fact: We all commit hurtful acts, violate trust and hope for forgiveness.
Fact: Nine out of 10 Americans say they pray, at least on occasion.
Florida State University psychologist Nathaniel Lambert put these two facts together and came up with a theory: Why not take all that prayer and direct it at the people who have wronged us? Is it possible that directed prayer might spark forgiveness in those doing the praying and in the process preserve relationships?

Study No. 1: A group of men and women prayed a single prayer for their romantic partner's well being. Others, who served as the experimental controls, simply described their partner, speaking into a tape recorder. The researchers then measured forgiveness, defining it as the diminishing of the initial negative feelings that arise when you've been wronged. Their results showed that those who had prayed for their partner harbored fewer vengeful thoughts and emotions. That is, they were more ready to forgive and move on. If a single prayer can cause such a striking difference in feelings, then what could prayer over a period of time do for a relationship? The team embarked on a second study to find out.

Study No. 2: The researchers asked a group of men and women to pray for a close friend every day for four weeks. Others simply reflected on the relationship, thinking positive thoughts but not praying for their friend's well-being. The researchers also added another dimension. They used a scale to measure selfless concern for others--not any particular person, but rather other people in general.

They speculated that prayer would increase selfless concern, which in turn would boost forgiveness. And that's just what happened. How does prayer exert its healing effects? The psychologists have an idea: Most of the time, couples profess and believe in shared goals, but when they hit a rough patch, they often switch to adversarial goals, including retribution and resentment. These adversarial goals shift cognitive focus to the self, and it can be tough to shake that self-focus. Prayer appears to shift attention from the self back to others, which allows the resentments to fade. The study findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.



Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what piece there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quickly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexation to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vane or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real position in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. Do not let this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and the disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with god, what ever you conceived him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. In all the sham, drudgery and broken dreams this is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

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