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Parenting
05/07/2010
IconKnow the Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer#146;s Jacqueline Marcell www.ElderRage.com Seventy-seven million baby boomers, The Sandwich Generation, are heading into the caregiving years with their elderly parents, yet few are prepared to manage this incredibly difficult, but inevitable, chapter of their lives. I certainly wasn#146;t, and what I didn#146;t know cost me a year of my life as well as a fortune in Kleenex. Suddenly I had to give up my nearly 20-year career as a television executive to go take care of my elderly parents in San Francisco. I remember being surprised when I read that caregivers have a 63% higher death rate than other people their own age because of the stress. A year later without a day off, as I struggled to solve the endless crisis--I was surprised that the statistic was that low. For 11 years I had begged my obstinate 83 year-old father to accept a caregiver to help him with my ailing mother, but he adamantly insisted on taking care of her himself. When she almost died from an infection caused by his inability to keep her clean, I had to step in despite his loud protests. I was stunned that my once-adoring father became verbally and even physically abusive towards me--and I was heartbroken to have lost his love. What I didn't understand was that his deeply engrained life-long negative behavior pattern of screaming and yelling to get his way (though never at me before), and his need to be in total control, was becoming intermittently distorted with the onset of dementia, namely--Alzheimer's. Forty caregivers came and quit as my father called them nasty names and threw them out of the house. I cried rivers and fought through an unsympathetic medical system, astonished that he could act completely normal in front of the doctor when he needed to. I didn't understand that his doctor was not trained to diagnose or treat dementia, and I really didn#146;t understand that demented does not mean stupid--at all. Finally, after four times in a psychiatric hospital for violence (where he was released every time because they couldn#146;t find anything wrong with him), a geriatric dementia specialist spent the time and did the numerous tests needed to uncover the subtle, intermittent signs of Stage One Alzheimer's in my father. I was shocked. He received medication to slow the dementia down and improve cognitive functioning (Ask about Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl or Memantine), as well as medication for the (often-present) depression, and then medication to help smooth out his damaged impulse control and aggression. It wasn#146;t easy and we had to work hard to get the dosages just right, but once my father#146;s brain chemistry was properly balanced and his nutrition optimized, I was able to implement some creative behavioral techniques to manage him. Instead of using logic and reason, I learned when it was best to use distraction, redirection, or reminiscence--and how to validate his frustrated feelings while keeping myself in a state of calm compassion. The next piece of the puzzle was to get my parents out of bed ("waiting to die") and enrolled in Adult Day Health Care, which completely turned their lives around at 80 and 85. It was a gradual process to get them into the routine, but then they loved all the activities. They were busy for hours and the pressure on me to entertain them was drastically reduced. Then I was able to spend quality time with them in the evenings and on the weekends. Then, with the help of an Alzheimer's support group, solutions started to present themselves while I was around others who were going through the same situation. I was so surprised that none of the many professionals I had turned to initially had shown me the #147;Ten Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer's#148;--which would have alerted me to what was happening to my father a year sooner. I mistakenly thought that his intermittent illogical and irrational behaviors were just a normal part of aging and untreatable senility. It was a costly mistake--in every way. Once I figured it all out (medically, behaviorally, socially), I knew I had to write a book and become an advocate for eldercare awareness and reform--so that no one else would have to go through the misery that I had. The biggest advice I have is to encourage you to look into buying a comprehensive Long-Term Care Insurance policy prior to the diagnosis of any dementia, which will cover the cost of caregivers in the home, as well as in any level of care facility. Also, make sure you have Durable Power of Attorney in place on your loved ones (for health and financial), prior to a diagnosis, so that if they become incapacitated you can step in and make decisions for them. Please study the #147;Ten Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer's#148; and if any of them ring true about someone you love, please reach out for help sooner than later. With early diagnosis and treatment, dementia can be slowed down by 2-4 years, buying some time for medical science to come up with better medications--and hopefully a cure. Ten Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Recent memory loss that affects job skills It's normal to occasionally forget assignments, colleagues' names, or a business associate's telephone number and remember them later. Those with dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, may forget things more often, and not remember them later. Difficulty performing familiar tasks Busy people can be so distracted from time to time that they may leave the carrots on the stove and only remember to serve them at the end of the meal. People with Alzheimer's disease could prepare a meal and not only forget to serve it, but also forget they made it. Problems with language Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer's disease may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making his or her sentence incomprehensible. Disorientation of time and place It's normal to forget the day of the week or your destination for a moment. But people with Alzheimer's disease can become lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get back home. Poor or decreased judgment People can become so immersed in an activity that they temporarily forget the child they're watching. People with Alzheimer's disease could forget entirely the child under their care. They may also dress inappropriately, wearing several shirts or blouses. Problems with abstract thinking Balancing a checkbook may be disconcerting when the task is more complicated than usual. Someone with Alzheimer's disease could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them. Misplacing things Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in inappropriate places: an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl. Changes in mood or behavior Everyone becomes sad or moody from time to time. Someone with Alzheimer's disease can exhibit rapid mood swings from calm to tears to anger for no apparent reason. Changes in personality People's personalities ordinarily change somewhat with age. But a person with Alzheimer's disease can change drastically, becoming extremely confused, suspicious, or fearful. Loss of initiative It's normal to tire of housework, business activities, or social obligations, but most people regain their initiative. The person with Alzheimer's disease may become very passive and requires cues and prompting to become involved. Jacqueline Marcell is an author, radio host, national speaker, and advocate for eldercare awareness and reform. She#146;s the devoted daughter in her bestseller, Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How to Survive Caring For Aging Parents , a Book-of-the-Month Club selection being considered for a feature film. Elder Rage has received numerous endorsements, including: Hugh Downs, Regis Philbin, Dr. Dean Edell, Duke University Center for Aging and Johns Hopkins Memory Clinic. Jacqueline also hosts an Internet radio program: #147;Coping with Caregiving#148; heard worldwide on www.wsradio.com/copingwithcaregiving/ . For information see: www.ElderRage.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconEndless Potential Excerpt from #147;The Wealthy Spirit#148; By Chellie Campbell #147;I am definitely going to take a course on time management#133;just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.#148;#151;Louis E. Boone One of the benefits of our fast-moving, information-saturated, technology-enhanced lives today is the wide variety of choices we are offered. It#146;s wonderful to have the freedom to choose where we#146;ll live, what work we#146;ll do, what friends we#146;ll have. This is also a major cause of stress. We want to do everything, be everyone, live all our lifetimes in this one. There#146;s so much we could do#151;if only we had more time, more energy! Frantic to #147;live up to our potential,#148; we run through our lives like we#146;re trying to jump on a moving train. Then we#146;re scared we#146;ve chosen the wrong train, so we keep jumping on and off, changing trains at every station. In my hunger for experience and fear of missing out on something, I always seemed to take on too much. As a high school senior, I was Pep Chairman, Secretary of Girls League, Worthy Advisor of Rainbow Girls, and the lead in the school play all at the same time. During one period in college, I performed in a semi-professional dance company, choreographed and appeared in a campus main stage production, and rehearsed a reader#146;s theater production from midnight until four A.M. because that was the only time I was available. Meanwhile I carried a full schedule of classes. The over-commitment habit continued in my professional life as I juggled building a business with community service and holding board positions in organizations. It seemed I couldn#146;t join an organization without being president or vice-president, often holding board positions in more than one organization at the same time. But as I hurried through my life, with no time for reflection or thought, once in a while I would meet a business owner who was calm. They would smile serenely and say they used to be like me. But after building their businesses, working constant eighty-hour weeks, they finally sold their businesses and became consultants, working out of their homes. I didn#146;t understand why on earth they would want to work at home. But every so often, I noticed these tranquil people at the corners of my life. Then one day my frantic life began to fall apart, like a plate-twirling circus performer who put too many plates in the air at once only to see them all crash in pieces on the ground. The crash seemed awful at the time, but in actuality what a gift it was! As I sorted through the wreckage, I picked back up only the valuable pieces. I cleared space in my life for reflection, meditation, friendships, a slower pace of work. I simplified my life to contain only those things I most cherished. I became a consultant working out of my home. Now, I take time to be happy and to know that I am. And I have no intention of living up to my potential. You don#146;t have to, either. Just because you can doesn#146;t mean you must. Today#146;s Affirmation: #147;I now claim and celebrate the abundance of my life!#148; Chellie Campbell is the author of The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction , selected as one of Dr. Laura#146;s book recommendations in March, 2003. She created and teaches the Financial Stress Reductionreg; Workshops on which her book is based in the Los Angeles area and gives programs throughout the country. Her free e-newsletter is available at www.thewealthyspirit.com . Permission granted for use on Dr.Laura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconBusy Families Need to Sign Up and Organize Summer Plans Now Jodie Lynn ParentToParent.com Make plans and sign up for economical summer activities. QUESTION: I work from home and need some good and economical ideas for summer activities for kids ages 4-9. TIPS: Our library has a summer reading program and you can begin to sign up now. They offer great prizes and a sidewalk chalk art day for families that is all free. If you are near a rural area ask a local farmer if you can help feed chickens or pet horses one afternoon. If not, pet stores charge nothing for browsing and even touching most of the critters. Fire stations and bakeries will usually give free tours to small groups if you make arrangements ahead of time. Grab another mom with kids and make it a field trip. If all else fails, sidewalk chalk with a little water makes great body paint that washes off easily with a run through the sprinkler. - Leslie in Idaho I had 4 children all under 5 and understand what it is like to get more for less. At those ages I would take my kids to different parks on certain days of each week, attend library classes, story time and workshops. I collected all kinds of things from the home and had craft days. A small pool for the kids on hot days provides great fun for the backyard. Use one day a week for play dates with friends. The consistency of the planned activities allowed them to look forward to the next week. - Jodi in NY I've found that hosting a family movie night once a week is an inexpensive way to spend time with my children. I also give the kids some responsibilities - the child that's not responsible for selecting the movie gets to select the menu for dinner that night (and help prepare it). We often try theme dinners -- for example, when we rented "Angels In The Outfield" - we had hot dogs, soda and popcorn for a baseball theme evening; and for "Alice in Wonderland" - I served tea and finger sandwiches for a Mad Hatter tea party. - J.D. in Calif. From Jodie: If you are a work at home or a stay at home parent, just like many of us, you are probably interested in economical and fun activities. These are anything you can do with your children that may be different but yet inexpensive and/or free. Get their creative juices flowing by suggesting they either put on a play of a favorite book, TV show, game or better yet -- just make one up. Let them help to write it and decide on who plays which part. In fact, they will be busy for days just writing and rehearsing it. Go bananas on the wardrobe by making do with "stuff" you have around the house. For example, use old hats, shoes, dresses, pants, shirts, belts, and, etc., to make up awesome costumes. Get out the glue gun (or purchase one for $1.99) and create and design awesome custom-made dress up clothes. Let them add beads, ribbon, feathers or whatever you have handy to jazz up old clothes. The kids can go around and sell tickets (made out of construction paper) for .25 and tell neighbors to bring their lawn chairs. Select music and have fun with a huge and successful neighbored play. Before you know it, the kids will make up many other plays. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press . (It's not just for moms!) Please see ParentToParent.com for more details. We now have new Mommy, CEO merchandise and logo! copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"The Ladykillers" Movie Review The Movie Reporter Films Reviews from a Family Perspective by Phil Boatwright With the synopsis and content, you can decide if the new films are suitable for your viewing. Video alternatives contain the same theme, but lack the offensive material. The Ladykillers. Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall. Touchstone Pictures. Comedy. WD-Joel Ethan Coen. Tom Hanks teams up with filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (#147;Fargo,#148; #147;O Brother, Where Art Thou?#148;) for a remake of the 1955 English comedy of the same name. This version has Hanks in the Alec Guinness role, playing a charlatan Southern gentleman professor who#146;s assembled a gang of so-called experts for a heist. The base of operations: the root cellar of an unsuspecting, church-going, little old southern black lady named Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall). The ruse: the five need a place to practice their church music. The problem: it quickly becomes evident that the professor#146;s thieves lack the mental capacity to do the job. The bigger problem: Mrs. Munson has discovered their crime. The solution: they plot her demise. The surprise: other forces are with this God-fearing woman. I can#146;t remember laughing this much at a film. In my opinion, it is the funniest dark comedy since #147;Dr. Strangelove.#148; The whole premise is exceptional: incompetent criminals battle an unsuspecting widow woman, who#146;s protected by her naivety and their ineptitude. There is, unfortunately, a fly in the mint julep. Along with the positives (a very witty premise and script, brilliant comic performances by Hanks and Hall, and several toe-taping southern gospel tunes sprinkled throughout), this remake has sadly taken on a modern-day nastiness by incorporating excessive coarse and irreverent language. With at least 20 uses of God#146;s name followed by a curse and over 100 extreme obscenities, the Coen brothers have given this droll comedy a 21st-century harshness that#146;s downright mean-spirited. One of the thieves, portrayed by Marlon Wayans, can#146;t seem to form a simple declarative sentence without incorporating the use of the f-word #150; or worse. I understand that his language is a descriptive element of his character, but it is a clicheacute;d element, one that makes the black actor appear to be as cartoonish as the #145;40s African-American actor, Stepin Fetchit. I could have accepted the obscenity as character development, although it doesn#146;t do much to develop Mr. Wayans role, it merely becomes annoying, but I will not adjust my thinking when it comes to the acceptance of profaning God#146;s name. Hearing it over and over sends out negative messages #150; his use of blasphemy doesn#146;t just show the character#146;s ignorance, it also declares that the actor has no regard for those it may offend, nor a fear of the Almighty. What a shame. This should be a classic. I was enjoying the wit, the music and the performances thoroughly, but the incessant brutal language began to grieve my spirit.R (Though a very funny farce, it contains an endless stream of profanity and obscenity, with one black character using the N-word several times. There are a few minor sexual references. The violence is played for laughs, consisting of several deaths, each caused by ne#146;er-do-wells upon members of their own gang #150; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident. The humor, though very funny, is very dark, including violent imagery.) Clarification: If you#146;re asking, #147;Phil, you#146;re saying this is the funniest movie you#146;ve seen in a long time. So, am I supposed to go, or not?#148; By declaring my appreciation for this film#146;s wit, I am attempting to be fair and balanced in my analysis of the filmmaker#146;s efforts. But the more inclined we become to following God#146;s principles, avoiding this film should be an easy call. In both the Old and New Testaments, we are instructed not to profane or speak harshly. #147;But I#146;m not going to start talking like that just because I hear it in a movie.#148; Well, if we aren#146;t supposed to talk that, then is God pleased with our supporting entertainment that does? In a way, I#146;d like to see a quality film fail at the box office. Then moviemakers will be forced to ask, #147;Why didn#146;t this work?#148; Perhaps they will realize that they insulted their audience. When an artist exposed herself on the Super Bowl, arrogantly pushing the limits of taste and propriety, America negatively responded, believing the woman had gone too far. Isn#146;t showing irreverence to God equally offensive? Not to the world. Using God#146;s name followed by a curse is meaningless to those who do not regard God or His Word. When we protest actions that deny the Lord#146;s sovereignty, we are taking a stand. We are announcing that we believe in a higher power and will show Him respect. Forgive the sermon, but I#146;m hearing all too often, #147;I just ignore that language.#148; Fine, but the bottom line in Tinseltown is the almighty buck. Our silence can only be seen as acceptance. Thus Hollywood#146;s shame becomes ours. Vid. Alt. The Ladykillers . The 1955 British version with Alec Guinness, Herbert Lom, and Peter Sellers is a hoot. Lacking the crude language of the remake, it settles for wit and snappy storytelling. Alec Guinness and his gang are just as hysterical. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children Download Boatwright#146;s book #147;How To Choose A Good Video Every Time!#148; FREE when you subscribe to his weekly film guide. For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Beauty Of Discipline Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer #147;Don#146;t make me come in there!#148; Then they do. Now comes the choice: Will we angrily punish our child for their behavior, or will we take advantage of this chance to do something that really is for their own good? There#146;s a big difference between punishment and discipline. Punishment springs out of fury, demanding revenge for a wrong act. The main goal of discipline, on the other hand, is to redirect unacceptable behavior. Or to put it a different way, punishment focuses on a bad person while discipline focuses on a bad act. #147;One of my burdens is for the many moms who look at these opportunities and don't see them as such,#148; says Donna, a Virginia SAHM with two daughters. #147;They cringe as they view the situation as another time for punishment rather than a wonderful opportunity for loving correction - an opportunity for shaping and molding, for helping (their children) become more beautiful inside and out.#148; Resist the anger that so naturally builds as kids push (and sometimes obliterate) the boundaries you set for them. #147;We have a part to play in not just changing their behavior but in finding the root, getting to their heart, and in essence, effecting their lives for good,#148; Donna notes. The groundwork for effective discipline is laid during the times when things are running smoothly. #147;Obviously, relationship is key here,#148; she says. #147;You can't have a good conversation without first spending time listening to your kids, enjoying who they are. Then comes the time to talk to them.#148; When you do sit down with them, don#146;t be afraid to be transparent about your own struggles, especially in the same areas your kids are wrestling with now. #147;Trust is extended as we are honest, sharing with them our own faults, failures and things we've learned.#148; Weave gentle discipline throughout each day. #147;I have had many opportunities, especially about 10:00 at night, to come alongside and talk about the heart that motivates the deed,#148; Donna notes. #147;I love those teachable moments.#148; Comments? Write Cheryl or Donna at Cheryl@homebodies.org , or visit www.homebodies.org , where you can share your thoughts on discipline and other subjects with other parents on the active messageboards. Copyright 2004 Cheryl Gochnauer. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconBunnies and Ham and Eggs, Oh My! By Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam www.livingonadime.com It#146;s almost that time of year again. You#146;re standing, dumbfounded, in front of a mound of hard boiled eggs, sliced ham and chocolate Easter bunnies. You wonder #147;what am I going to do with 6 dozen eggs, 6 lbs. of ham and 25 chocolate bunnies#148;. The stress of it is almost enough to send you to bed for a week--or at least tear most of your hair out. Here are a few ideas and recipes from www.notjustbeans.com to help you avoid both of those. Leftover Bunnies: Take a rolling pin to them and crush the life out of them. Then use the crumbs to sprinkle on ice cream, use in milk shakes, stir a few in a mug of hot chocolate, use in place of chocolate chips for making cookies or melt for dipping fruit and candy. Leftover Ham: Save bone for bean or split pea soup. Make ham salad, chef salad or ham sandwiches. Chop and freeze to use in: potato salad, scrambled eggs, omelets, to top baked potatoes, for potato soup, scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, pasties or pizza- with pineapple.Top tortilla with ham, salsa, and cheddar cheese and warm, for hot ham and cheese sandwiches. Leftover Eggs: Make potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, chef salad, spinach salad with eggs and bacon, deviled eggs, golden morning sunshine or fill tomatoes with egg salad. Golden Morning Sunshine 2 cups white sauce 4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped Make white sauce. Once the white sauce has thickened, add eggs. Serve on toast. White Sauce frac14; cup dry milk 2 Tbsp. flour dash salt 1 cup cold water 1 Tbsp. margarine In a covered jar, combine dry milk, flour and salt and mix well. Add water. Shake until all the ingredients are dissolved. Melt margarine in a 1 quart sauce pan. Stir in flour-milk mixture and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Keep stirring until thickened completely. Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper are the editors of LivingOnADime.com. For more free tips and recipes visit their web site at www.livingonadime.com To order their frugal cooking cookbook Not Just Beans: Send $17.95 (shipping included) to Not Just Beans, P.O. Box 4252, Wichita, KS 67204. Permission for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"Starsky Hutch" Movie Review The Movie Reporter Films Reviews from a Family Perspective by Phil Boatwright Starsky Hutch. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson. Warner Bros. 3/5/04Spoof of the '70s cop/adventure TV-series is mostly mock-ish comedy with the duo going undercover to nab a drug dealer. There are some laughs, but it's not smart enough to be considered satire. Most of the humor is devoid of subtlety, each gag hammered home, usually by crudity. Aimed at 14-year-old boys, my real objection is the repeated misuse of Christ's name throughout. PG-13 (Christ's name is treated as a mere expletive at least 12 times; there are also that many obscenities and several minor expletives throughout; there is the occasional sexual innuendo, with the sometime exploitation of the female anatomy; the violence is played for laughs, such as an Asian kid throwing knives at our heroes, the knives actually hitting the targets; some gunplay, a couple of explosions and of course, the inevitable finale car chase). Video Alternative: For an example of true satire, try, "The Mouse That Roared." Every time I see a film that attempts satire, I come back to this Peter Sellers classic. This English comedy has a small country declaring war on the U.S. in order to get federal relief from the conquering America. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children Download Boatwright#146;s book #147;How To Choose A Good Video Every Time!#148; FREE when you subscribe to his weekly film guide. For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Hottest Topic For Spring - Potty Training Tips Jodie Lynn www.ParentToParent.com Identifying if your child is ready for potty training is easy; it's the actual process that is driving parents over the edge. Here are a few "tried and true" tips. Just remember, if you are a stay at home parent, you can expect to give this training process a 2 to 3 week window for the best success. Your child might be ready if: They know the difference between a wet and dry diaper. The sensation involved in getting a wet or messy diaper. Interested in the big potty. Interested in sitting on the big potty. Can stay dry during naptime or other two to three hour periods. Have a bowel movement on a regular schedule. Can pull down own pants. Can tell you about the need to go to the potty. Training Tips: Set out portable potty by the age of two and a half to three. Do not expect them to use it right away. Let them get used to seeing it in the bathroom. Never rush. Keep in mind that boys are usually a little slower. Potty training can take up to two to three weeks or longer (especially for bowel movements). If the child is in any type of outside activity or childcare, ask the teacher or provider to help you to potty train using the same methods. Use stickers, colorful big boy and big girl training pants, books, music and praise as rewards. If you are traveling, take the potty with you. Never spank. If your child refuses to use the potty, back off as this will create a power struggle and unfortunately the toddler will not only win - but often times will also regress in training. Patience and positive encouragement is the key. If all else fails let someone else try to do the training. A new person with a new perspective just might be what is needed for a successful endeavor. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press. (It's not just for moms!) Please see www.ParentToParent.com for more details. copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconFor Their Own Good Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Flipping through the papers in my daughter'sbackpack, I noticed a book crammed into one of hernotebooks. "What's that?" I asked. "I don't know," she answered. Now, my daughter is a preteen, which means she knowsabsolutely everything. My radar went up. Pullingthe novel out of the folder, I flipped it over - andmy heart sank. It was one of those popularwitchcraft/horror-based books that are expresslyforbidden in the Gochnauer household. I didn't know whether to yell or cry. And mydaughter didn't know whether to look at the ceilingor the floor; she just knew she didn't want to lookat ME. I decided not to yell or cry. Instead, I held thebook and got very quiet inside. It was another ofthose teachable moments. We'd talked about thissubject before, about how important it is to beselective about the activities we watch, read aboutand participate in. But it had been a while. Infact, as I thought about it, it had probably beenover a year since we'd covered this specificsubject. Not a long time to a middle-aged mom, but aneternity to an absorb-the-world, hormone-chargedpreteen. I set the book on the table. "I'll return this tothe school library for you," I said, removing thetemptation. "When you get home tonight, we'll talk.I don't want to just say 'NO' without youunderstanding why. And I want to get inside yourmind a little bit, so you can share with me what itis that makes this kind of book seem attractive toyou." My daughter nodded, and headed out the door. She'sgot a lot to think about before our conversationtonight. Censorship? Absolutely. If there's any place inthis world where we should applaud censorship, it'sin the parenting arena. No matter what we do orwhere we go, regardless of position or authority, wewill never have a better opportunity to shapeanother human being. I'm not talking about churning out little robotsthat think just like us. But I am talking aboutproviding direction - helping our kids to focus onthose things that are noble, right, pure andadmirable. Our children are bombarded everyday with conflictingmessages. If I don't take responsibility for mygirls in this area, who will? You can be sure therewill always be someone or something ready to stepright up and do our job for us, and we may not likethe results. It's crucial that kids are guided by someone wholoves them. And I do love my girls, more than life.If that means taking heat for being a mean mommysometimes, so be it. Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org , or visit theactive messageboards at www.homebodies.org .Copyright 2004 Cheryl Gochnauer. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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