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Parenting
05/07/2010
IconMay Our Children Have Interesting Careers According to the RoperASW survey that has been tracking our definition of the good life since 1975, only 26% of Americans say they have an interesting job today, down from 40% in 1975. With as much time as adults spend on the job, how is it that most of us have careers that are not satisfying? How can we turn this around for our children, and perhaps ourselves? Jill Sanborne, creator of the MYCOOLCAREER.com career exploration Web site and Web radio show for teens and twenties, is out to increase the future job satisfaction among our youth. "What elements create career-love vary by the individual, and widely," says Sanborne. Sanborne has interviewed over 85 people who love their career, "but the two qualities that unite these diverse professionals are that their careers play to their strengths and that they find their careers personally interesting." These two qualities are also the ones that 60% of graduating high school seniors said, in a 2001 study, they wished someone had helped them determine before graduation. Sanborne says that all too often, how we choose college majors and careers has nothing to do with what kinds of career directions would make us happy, and that knowing our strengths and passions will lead to interesting careers. Sanborne says the three steps to a "cool" career are 1) career assessment, 2) exploration of career ideas for a reality-check, and 3) the education and training to get "there?" This week's career guest on MYCOOLCAREER.com 's Web radio show is John Payne, journalist and the music editor for the LA Weekly . Payne talks about his beloved career and offers advice to burgeoning. He says, "Read, read and read quality literature, and love what you do." Payne's career-love is created by an obsession for music, love for reading and a talent for writing. The LA Weekly is a large newsweekly in Los Angeles. MYCOOLCAREER.com is a career exploration website for teens and 20s with over 40,000 visitors per month. Sanborne, MYCOOLCAREER.com creator, studies careers, the future workplace, teens' dreams and provides solutions to the challenges they face in learning about and preparing for rewarding careers, is a regular talk show guest, and speaks to teens and parent audiences about how teens can prepare now for an awesome future in the new workplace. The site shows teens how to get to their own cool career in three steps. email: host@mycoolcareer.com Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"Freaky Friday" Movie Review Know Before You Go Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Philip Boatwright, Editor THEATRICAL RELEASE Freaky Friday . Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould, Chad Michael Murray, Christina Wood, Mark Harmon. Disney. Comedy. W-Heather Hach, Lesslie Dixon. D-Mark Waters. 8/6/03 Dr. Tess Coleman (Curtis) and her fifteen-year-old daughter, Anna (Lohan), are not getting along. They don't see eye to eye on clothes, hair, or music, and certainly not in each other's taste concerning the opposite sex. Everything soon changes when two identical Chinese fortune cookies cause a mystic mayhem. The next morning, their Friday gets freaky when Tess and Anna find themselves inside the other's body. They gain a little newfound respect for the other's point of view, but with Tess's wedding coming on Saturday, the two have to find a way to switch back (and fast). True, this genre has been done to death, but it is a great genre - having to walk around in another's body and world. And if it's done right, as it is here, the premise can be both hysterical and insightful. Everything works - the script, the direction and certainly the performances, making this a fun movie-going experience. A mix of slapstick situations and witty dialogue, this smart family comedy also contains some honest empathy as the two leads confront issues such as a teen dealing with her mother's upcoming marriage and a mom's anxiety as her little girl nears womanhood. If you are concerned about the "magical" element, rest assured the film does not promote any sort of mysticism. The supernatural contrivance of a mother and daughter switching bodies after cracking open fortune cookies serves only as a story device that leads to a clever and symbolic parable. It's not about Asian voodoo, but rather, about switching points of view. PG (2 minor expletives and 14 uses of the expression "oh my God" or variations of it; one crack about conservative clothing and selling Bibles, evidently implying that if one has something to do with Bibles they can't dress smartly; the surly attitude from the teen girl begins to annoy, but life lessons about love and family are learned by the precocious high schooler). 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 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
IconA Mother's Teen Angst Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2003 Something wonderful happened this summer between me and my 15-year-old daughter. It may sound unbelievable, but I think I actually LIKE this girl! Parents of elementary kids and under may be saying to themselves, "What's she talking about?" But those in the teen trenches will tell you - it ain't easy nudging these overgrown gangly birds onto the right flight path. They're perfectly ready to jump out of the nest; that's not the problem. It's the way they land with a thud or go "SPLAT" as they dive right into the nearest wall. (Which you've been pointing out as a hazard since they were six. But do they listen? Of course not. You're just their mom.) Since I'm a so-called parenting expert (a title I cherished until my daughter hit puberty and all the wheels fell off), it's been humbling to find myself regularly washed up on Beats Me Beach. ("Why do they do the things they do?" "Beats me.") One of the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom is that you're around to irritate your teen all the time. You're constantly there to provide direction (that they don't take), suggestions (that they don't follow) and protection (that they dodge as much as possible). At least it seems that way. Until the day arrives when you realize they were listening, after all. Not to the angry words or threats or temper; they tuned those out, and rightfully so. But somewhere in the flak they snagged chunks of advice that worked, most of which were sprinkled with large doses of parental love. And - amazing as it may seem - you've been listening, too. Somewhere along the way, you've found some middle ground where the two of you can do more than co-exist. You can respect and - surprise! - even enjoy each other. I used to comfort myself by saying, "Only six . only five . only four more years, and she's outta here." Now I think, "Only three more years, and she's outta here," but I've got a completely different expression on my face. I like this girl. I really, really like her. I suspect she'll send me and her daddy through the blender a few more times before she leaves, but I have a feeling the worst is over. Of course, I haven't handed her the car keys yet. Cheryl's latest book, is " Stay-at-Home Handbook: Advice on Parenting, Finances, Career, Surviving Each Day More " (InterVarsity Press, 2002). Visit www.homebodies.org or write Cheryl@homebodies.org . You can also read her column on the Web at www.gospelcom.net/homebodies/experts/cgochnauer/index.php . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconIf Your Teen Can't Find a Summer Job Make This Their Summer of Self-Discovery It's official, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to the teen on the street: teens are having a challenging time landing summer jobs this year. MYCOOLCAREER.com , where teens are requesting help finding summer jobs, agrees. So what to do? Jill Sanborne of MYCOOLCAREER.com, says that today's Millennial generation teens are interested in more than summer jobs: they want information, and that this is the perfect summer to start providing it. "Parents who invest in their teens' futures this summer will reap large and satisfying rewards," says Sanborne. She says that more than the three previous generations, this one is interested in their financial future, and how to get there in a straight line. Sanborne collects teen dreams, and she's impressed with the seriousness of their goals. From ER doctor and toy designer to forensic accountant and sports public relations, Sanborne helps teens learn how to "get there from here" in weekly 30-minute web radio interviews with professionals in the requested fields. MYCOOLCAREER recommends for this SUMMER OF SELF-DISCOVERY for teens: Take self-assessment tests. The number one action that parents can take this summer to help their teenagers is to line up a battery of assessment tests with a career consultant. Assessments don't only evaluate career options by aptitude - they also provide career ideas based on personality, interests and values. In a recent study, 60% of graduating high school seniors wished somebody had helped them with assessments for career compatibility! MYCOOLCAREER.com provides access to some free and low-cost online assessment quizzes. Explore their top three career ideas. Do DIY career interviews with local working professionals, because the reality of careers is often different than what teens imagine. MYCOOLCAREER.com provides The Interview Questions to Ask and how to set up an interview. Join classes, workshops, camps, clubs and community activities that feed their interests, build skills that will help them get to their dreams, or expose them to new ideas. Volunteer in a field that interests them so that they can see what the environment is like. Future doctors and nurses will have no problem finding opportunities in hospitals! Buy a "dream book" like the Fiske Guide to Colleges to adorn the family coffee table - the new one for 2004 will be available in July. Read books and biographies around these career dreams. Choose from the 80+ information-packed streaming MP3 career interview shows on the MYCOOLCAREER.com website. MYCOOLCAREER.com is a career exploration website for teens and 20s and it's growing quickly in popularity with over 40,000 visitors per month. Jill Sanborne, MYCOOLCAREER.com site and show creator, studies the future workplace, teens' dreams and provides solutions to the challenges they face in learning about and preparing for rewarding careers, is a regular talk show guest, and speaks to teens and parent audiences about how teens can prepare now for an awesome future in the new workplace. The site shows teens how to get to their own cool career in three steps. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSeven CEO skills moms can use to create wealth from the home Del-Metri Williams www.momthink.com A successful mom and a successful chief executive officer share superiority in nearly identical skills: NEGOTIATION CEO finesses lower interest rates on a loan.A MomEO offers to do her landlord's bookkeeping inexchange for a reduction in rent. A CEO talks a mid-level manager into taking early retirement.A MomEO cajoles her middle child into an early bedtime. Whose job is harder? CRISIS MANAGEMENT A CEO makes headlines when he meets a productionschedule despite a labor strike.A MomEO finds a last-minute baby-sitter for a sick child,so she can take her infant who just fell down the stairsinto the hospital emergency room. Then she picks upthe dog from the vet, packs her husband's suitcase fora business trip, and fills prescriptions for bothchildren and the dog. After all this she makes dinner! Whose job is harder? FINANCIAL ACUMEN A CEO studies the real estate market and snatches up adozen distressed properties he can use to expand hisbusiness.A MomEO studies sales and clips coupons so she canstretch her grocery budget by 50 percent. Whose job is harder? MULTITASK EFFICIENCY A CEO is talking to a supplier in Tokyo, a buyer in Milan,and a banker in Los Angeles. At the same time he'ssigning letters, tipping a masseuse, and ushering hisnoon appointment into the office.A MomEO interrupts a phone conversation with her son'steacher three times to answer call-waiting signalsfrom the pediatrician, the cable company, and someoneselling time-shares in Florida, while she is also making dinner, paying bills, and holding a colicky baby on her hip. Whose job is harder? BUDGETING A CEO who runs finances into the red has to facecompany shareholders and the possibility of layoffs.A MomEO who is short of cash at the end of themonth must face her family and the probability oflate-fee notices and dunning phone calls. Whose job is harder? BOTTOM-LINE MENTALITY A CEO pays midtown Manhattan rent only if the forty-sixthfloor office space is crucial to profit-making potential;otherwise, he leases a warehouse in New Jersey. He hasto be hard-hearted enough to reduce payroll and to cancelholiday bonuses when sales fall behind expenses.A MomEO pays rental premiums to keep her children inthe best school district even though she could live inmuch nicer quarters on the other side of town. Andin lean times, she has to weigh the pay-back potentialof hiring a tutor for her daughter who wants to getinto medical school versus hiring a voice coach for herBroadway-bound son. Whose job is harder? LEADERSHIP A CEO inspires his team to work weekends, forfeit vacationtime, and miss family functions in order tocomplete an important project on schedule.A MomEO convinces her husband to miss MondayNight Football, her seventeen-year-old son to driveher five-year-old daughter to a pajama party, and herten-year-old son to do the dishes so that she can takea night class at the local college. Whose job is harder? There are two reasons mothers who choose to stay at home often feel undervalued and unappreciated: Society does not honor the mother's role. Moms do not honor their role. Society will never be a force for change-it is a reaction to change. So it's up to these moms to start treating themselves with respect, to acknowledge and prove their worth. Personal success does not have to be at odds with parental success. And this is not just a twenty-first century concept-there is a proverb thousands of years old that supports this concept. It is known as the story of the virtuous or noblewoman. This lady was a mother who owned two businesses. Her clientele were wealthy men. Her business was so profitable she became a real estate investor. Her husband was a political figure with a lot of influence in the city. She hadher own personal household staff, and her children were proud of her.This mom's story appears in the Bible! I believe this is God's way of saying that He wants us to use all of the gifts and talents He has given us. Through these abilities, we can create wealth for ourselves-even if we are stay-at-home moms.Perhaps, especially if we are stay-at-home moms! Excerpt from AS A MOM THINKETH; A MOTHER'S GUIDE TO UNLIMITED WEALTH Del-Metri Williams (President and Founder of Mom Executive Officers) www.momthink.com www.momeos.com E-mail: info@momthink.com Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWhistle While They Work Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2001 Shirley, a stay-at-home Missouri mother whose children are now grown, clearly remembers the challenges of teaching kids to help out around the house. "If there was a trash bag sitting in the middle of the hallway, Cheryl would yell, 'Mom, do you want me to pick this up?' Rob would walk around it. Jimmy, the youngest, would kick it down the hall. None of them would do the right thing from the start - simply pick it up and take it to the dumpster." I can't believe she hasn't gotten over that "trash bag in the hallway" thing yet. Mom, that was 35 years ago! As your Homebodies hostess and Shirley's reformed daughter, this is the part of the column where I'm supposed to give you some wonderful advice on raising tidy kids. I have to admit, however, that training my own daughters to do their chores has been more than a little challenging. Neither my kids nor any of my friends' kids were born with a natural inclination to whistle while they work. In fact, I think the trend points the other way. From what I've observed, most children work very hard in avoiding any kind of household labor. Don't feel alone as you're telling your child to clean up his room - again. Avoid throwing your hands up in despair when faced with a bombed out bathroom. Your sisters have been there, and are fighting the same battles now with their children. Calmness, clarity and consistency seem to help. (Resist screaming, which may get the chore done but demoralizes both screamer and screamee.) Be very specific about what you want done, how and when. Make sure everyone understands the goal, tying penalties and rewards to the outcome. If they fail to do the job, don't hesitate to impose sanctions! Tomorrow, do it again: calmness, clarity, consistency. Calmness, clarity, consistency. Wear them down. Repeat after me: You are the parent; you will prevail! Time for me to take my own advice. I'm downstairs finishing up laundry when the oven timer goes off, announcing the cake is done. I know Karen is doing her homework at the kitchen table, approximately 10 feet from the oven. I keep folding shirts as the buzzer continues to blare. After about three minutes of incessant beeping, Karen crosses to the staircase (which, incidentally, is farther away than the oven) andyells: "Mom, do you want me to turn this off?" Must be genetic. Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit her website at www.homebodies.org . Cheryl's books, "So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom" and "Stay-at-Home Handbook: Advice on Finances, Parenting, Career, Surviving Each Day More" are available in Dr. Laura's Reading Corner or at your favorite bookstore. Or you can order an autographed copy directly from Cheryl by following thislink . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconDivorced Stay-at-Home Mom The Dollar Stretcher by Gary Foreman gary@stretcher.com Gary, Do you think it is realistically possible for a divorced, single Mom of a 15, 12, and 6-year old to stay home with her children? I do not have a profitable skill, a degree or money in the bank. All I know is that a tired, stressed-out mother is not what I want for my kids. They deserve more of me. I currently hold a temporary job that has lasted over a year so far. It covers the monthly expenses, including car payments for a pre-owned car I just purchased this past November. Their Dad kicks in his share, but not enough for us to live on alone. Any suggestions? Sue Sue has plenty of company. Over 1 million couples get divorced each year and roughly one third of all families are headed by a single parent. According to Raise the Nation, an advocacy group, there are over 13 million single parent households raising 20 million children. They also estimate that only 1/4 receive full child-support. So is it possible to Sue to get by financially without working? Probably not. Studies indicate that financial problems are one of the biggest hurdles for single parents. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly one half of all single mothers have more than one job. Talk about stress! With a little work Sue can determine whether it's possible to survive without a job. If she doesn't already have a budget, she'll need to create one. Having a budget is a good idea whether she tries to stay-at-home or not. It's important to know how much income you have and where it's going. And Sue's stress level will go down once she knows that her expenses don't exceed her income. The next step is to adjust her budget as if she wasn't working any more. How much income would she lose? And, how many of her expenses could she reduce if she were staying at home? The exercise isn't exact, but it will give her a pretty good idea of whether there's any possibility of staying home. Chances are that she'll find that staying home isn't financially feasible. But Sue shouldn't give up if she can't stay home. There are other ways to reduce stress. The first step is to guard against depression. A divorced person is three times more likely to suffer from depression. Fortunately, doctors are better at identifying and treating depression than in previous generations. A single parent must stay organized. There simply isn't time to look for lost keys. There are many resources that can show you how to get things under control. Organization can bring a sense of serenity to a home. Train your children to help. Even preschoolers can learn their colors by helping to sort laundry. You're not cheating them by teaching them to cook and clean. In fact, you're preparing them for adulthood. And, sharing tasks is often the real quality time that they'll remember years later. Also remember that children aren't damaged because they don't have everything that their friends have. Despite what the advertisers or your kids say. Sue will be well served by spending time with other adults. A lack of adult friends breeds depression, fatigue and fear. A mentor could be valuable to Sue. Someone who has been a single parent and knows the challenges. Same thing with a good friend. Knowing someone in similar circumstances puts your own situation into perspective. Being able to help them, and be helped by them can be beneficial, too. And don't limit the friendship to talking. Cooking an extra meatloaf to share with your friend will relieve their mealtime stress one day! If Sue finds that she's still overwhelmed, she might want to consider sharing housing with another single mother and her children. By sharing cooking, cleaning and shopping chores the two mothers regain some of the advantages of a two parent home. Finally an editorial comment. In recent decades people have laughed at the notion of 'staying together for the children'. After hearing of the struggles of single parents like Sue maybe it's time to reconsider the idea. That isn't to say that people should stay in an abusive relationship. But perhaps trying to tolerate a troubled marriage is less painful and takes less effort than trying to raise children alone after a divorce. Hopefully Sue will find the resources to live comfortably and enjoy the years she spends raising her children. Gary Foreman is a former financial planner who currently edits The Dollar Stretcher website www.stretcher.com and newsletters subscribe@stretcher.com Copyright 2003 Dollar Stretcher, Inc. all rights reserved. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSummer Reading for You Your Teens By Patricia Chadwick www.parentsandteens.com patti@parentsandteens.com Though summer can be very hectic and busy with camps, vacations, and a host of other activities, I encourage you to take the time to relax and catch up on your reading - and encourage your teenagers to do the same. When my kids were younger, every summer we had a reading chart. As they would finish the required hours of reading they'd mark it off on the chart and collect their prize from mom. If they finished the entire chart, they got a special "Grand Prize". Even though they are teenagers now, I still use a reading chart to encourage reading in my kids. For every 4 hours of reading I give them a small prize like an ice cream sundae, a ticket to the local minor league baseball game ($2.00), a tube of lipstick or other make up, candy bars, etc. You get the idea. Something that costs a dollar or two. If they finish the entire chart, ( I usually set it around 35 hours of reading) I give them something special. They pick the prize before we start, and it usually costs about $10.00. I encourage you to start your own reading program with your teen. Mine may not work for you. Be creative and come up with something that will work for your family. Set goals for all of you and plan on achieving them this summer! When you get tired of the frantic pace that summer can bring, steal away and curl up with a good book. Patti Chadwick is the creator of Parents Teens found at www.parentsandteens.com . She is also the author of MISSION POSSIBLE: RAISING GREAT TEENS! and LOOK UP! A 30-Day Devotional Journal for Teens. Both books are available on her website in both ebook and print formats. To purchase visit: https://www.pcpublications.org/pt/securebookform.html . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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