30 July 2010

Your child learns how to be treated by watching you.

This article is still generating interest as the Battleford's News Optimist has published it online (...again).

Read it in it's entirety on the Battleford's News Optimist website, or at Essential Fathers or Notes on Parenting.

29 July 2010

Would you rather smoke 15 cigarettes or have a close friend?

A new study shows that close friends are better for your health than exercise!  In other words, if you didn't have any close friends, or you are a self diagnosed "hermit", you might as well be having 15 smokes a day.

For more information, read this news article on KSL.

Etiquette Lessons Adults Can Learn From Kids

There are four lessons adults can learn from children.  Particularly in the work-place.

  1. It's polite to say "please" and "thank you"
  2. It's not nice to interrupt
  3. Phone conversations should be private
  4. It's not nice to swear
For more information on these lessons, please visit John Tesh's website.

28 July 2010

Making Wedding Anniversaries Meaningful

Self and Relationship Expert talks about making wedding anniversaries more meaningful.

To get more information, please visit Julie Hanks website.

Gearing Up For Kindergarten

It's almost that time. Back To School! However, it can be extremely difficult for parents launching their kids into kindergarten.

North Dakota State University Extension has a new school readiness program called "Gearing up for Kindergarten." This video describes the program and shows all the fun and education that parents and children can have together while preparing for school.

Thanks to NCFR for the link

27 July 2010

How Can I Best Help My Husband Overcome Pornography?

Dr. Elia Gourgouris, a nationally known relationship expert in the USA, wrote a two part answer to a question he received from a reader.

Dear Dr. Elia,
I've read several of your articles on internet addiction, and it sounds like you've also worked with spouses of addicts. I'm sure I'm not alone in asking you this, but how can I help my husband who struggles with a pornography addiction? I've talked to a lot of women who are in a similar position, but we often disagree as to what's the best approach. I know it's not my problem, but it does affect my (and my children's) lives in many ways. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
You can read his responses here (for part one) and here (for part two).

Get Your Kids To Purchase TV Time By Reading

Photo From FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

You are probably noticing that your kids who were in school, are now around a lot more.  They may even be getting on your nerves.  You may even be wishing to do this:

However, there are some other things you can get your kids to do during the summer holidays, one that they may be doing very little of. Reading.


Read the entire post on Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

21 July 2010

What's the Big Deal About Pornography: A Guide for the Internet Generation

This is a great resource for teenagers and parents. Addressing the topics of What is Pornography? What's the big deal About Pornography Today? and How Does Pornography Affect People?

There are also 12 recommendations for parents to help protect and prepare your children.

For more information, check out Dr. Jill C. Manning's website. There are also more resources and recommendations available there.

20 July 2010

Winnipeg Sun's Disrespect for Human Life is a Reflection of Our Intimate Relationships

It was a disgusting sight yesterday. The Winnipeg Sun's cover picture was of a store clerk being choked to unconsciousness. While it is great that the attacker is getting the book thrown at him, and same with his counterparts. However, under the headline was, "watch the full video online". Is this really something that we need to watch? Doesn't this glorify this type of behaviour? You can get your fix of a girl being strangled, as it is repeated over and and over again for users to watch online.

Is this really what our society has become? A society that is enthralled with watching a girl being strangled? Sure, it was just one paper. However, papers put the "selling" story on the cover. So this was a blatant attempt at selling violence for profit. Plus, it wasn't enough to see a still image of the stupid behaviour for a selling point, but that you can watch the stupidity in it's entirety, was part of the selling feature.

Of course, our lack of respect was further emphasized by today's Sun story about a cat returning home. We don't seem to get so excited when a child returns home, or other human beings.

This type of thinking and behaviour, unfortunately, is found in a lot of relationships too. Where other things have higher importance than children or spouses. Things like the TV, movies, money, career, and so on. It is a self-centered type of thinking that drives people to do things that are outrageous in their relationships.

We need to love our spouse, first and fore-most. Treat them with the utmost respect, and be selfless. Especially when the fruits of your relationship brings children.

It is the internal thinking or selflessness that will help prune silly behaviours.

Music & Your Toddler

Music can play an important role in your toddler’s life.


Read the entire post at Essential Fathers or Notes on Parenting.

14 July 2010

Winnipeg Harvest Food Drive July 17

I have been asked to help organize the Winnipeg Harvest food drive this week. I have been assigned to the St. James part of Winnipeg. We are delivering door hangers to 13,000 in the area where we will be picking up none perishable food items between 9am and 12pm.

However, if you don't get a door hanger, you can still drop food off at the drop off zone. My drop zone is the church on the corner of Sturgeon and Ness. Drop off times are between 9am and 1pm.

Anything would be much appreciated. We are helping those in need get the food that they are in need of. Winnipeg Harvest goes through a shortage during the summer, and we need to help them get through the summer so that those in need don't go without!

13 July 2010

Becoming Your Child’s Emotional Coach

There is one thing that men are usually not good with, emotions. We tend to not want to show, display, or express them in public. But we still feel them.

Our children however, have no problem showing, displaying, or expressing their emotions. As a father, we need to be a part of helping our children learn to recognize, label, and control their emotions.


Read the rest at Notes on Parenting or Essential Fathers.

09 July 2010

Choose supportive friends and have a lasting marriage

As seen in the Battleford's News Optimist

Does it seem like everyone around you is separating or divorcing? Is your sibling going through a divorce? How about a close friend or coworker? If that’s the case, you may want to put some social distance between them and you.

According to recent research by McDermott, Fowler and Christakis, divorce occurs in social clusters. Not only does the divorce of a friend increase ones own chance of a divorce, but also the divorce of a friend’s friend. It doesn’t even matter if the friend’s friend lives several thousand kilometers away. It is all about social distance. However, by the third degree of separation, there isn’t that great of influence. It is just friends, and friends of friends.

The study even looked to see if children were a protective factor. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a protective factor when friends, and friends of friends are divorcing around you.

The notable protective factors in the study were education and ‘popularity’. Education in this case included young grades. So the more education collected, the more of a protective factor. The decrease happened the most after 10 years of education.

As for popularity, this isn’t the popularity we think of. Or else Hollywood marriages would last longer. Popularity in this sense is about supportive and quality friends. One needs to choose their friends wisely. Having friends that encourage, support, and have good expectations of you, help protect your marriage.

You need to have supportive friends in order for your marriage to succeed. You married your best friend. If you have friends that are undermining your best friend, you may need to reevaluate your friendship. This may sound unreasonable, but you may need to even remove certain friendships. Purge your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Christmas mailing list of individuals you know shouldn’t be there.

Of course, family members you have to set up appropriate boundaries with if they are undermining your marital relationship. This may mean less phone calls, or visits. Again, remember we are talking about social distance, not geographical distance. Yes geographical distance from family members may assist, but spending less time with them limits their social influence.

Your spouse is worth that sacrifice. Making sure that your friends and family are supportive. Make sure that you have healthy networks and connections. You can choose who you have a social life with.

Most of all, don’t try to be a friend who is a “savior”. Yes it is good to be there for your friends and help them through certain life struggles. But don’t let their issues effect you, especially if they continue in their harmful ways without progress. You need to protect yourself.

Just remember, breaking up is hard to do, unless others are doing it. So keep yourself in a supportive network.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too

This research found that divorce can spread between friends, siblings, and coworkers. It also extends to two degrees of separation. The process it like this: A divorcing person confides in a married friend. That married friend may not decide to split with his spouse, but tells details of the conversation about the divorce to a third party, influencing that third person to get a divorce.

Scary, but real stuff. The research was supported by the National Institute on Aging. Read the whole study here.

Darn Mosquitoes!

I have noticed a lot of mosquito bites on myself and my family. You can go to HomeFamily.net to learn more about those pesky bugs, and how to treat a bite, and how to make them go away!

Shop Smart for Safe Food

I received the following from the Manitoba Association of Home Economists.

It is timely tips on how to shop smart for food that will reduce the risk of a food-born/related illness.

By Mary Carver, P.H.Ec.

We all love a hot summer; still, soaring temperatures increase the risk of becoming

infected with a foodborne illness.

Here are a few shopping tips to help keep food purchases safe from harmful bacteria

and reduce your risk of contracting a foodborne illness - in any weather:

Make your grocery stop, your last errand before you head home.

Consider using a hand sanitizer before and after pushing the grocery cart.

Take a cooler or an insulated bag with a frozen pack in your car to carry meat,

fish, dairy and fresh produce home from the store - especially in hot weather.

Consider carrying groceries in your air-conditioned car, rather than in a hot trunk.

Choose fruits and vegetables with the fewest cuts and bruises. Bacteria can

thrive in such damaged spots.

Despite the temptation, avoid sampling unwashed fruits or vegetables. Bear in

mind that several people handled those grapes before you.

Keep reuseable grocery bags clean. Wash bags frequently in warm, soapy water

and dedicate specific bags for fruits and veggies only. Reusable grocery bags

are for food only. Find other bags to serve as diaper bags or to carry gym clothes

or pet supplies.

Shop often to avoid overstuffing the refrigerator. Cold air (4°C/40°F or colder)

needs to circulate above and beneath food to keep it safe. You will have fewer

perishables to spoil if the power fails in a heat wave.

Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in the shopping cart, in

grocery bags and again in your refrigerator. Despite efforts to reduce plastic, a

small plastic bag inside a reusable bag is a smart choice to reduce the risk of

meat, fish or poultry juices contaminating other food.

Pick up refrigerated and frozen items last on your trip through the grocery store

so those items are out of refrigeration for the least possible time.

For added protection against bacteria, use a disinfectant or a mild bleach solution

(1 tsp. bleach per 3 cups water) on countertops where grocery bags were set.

While this step may seem excessive to some, just think of the many places those

bags touched down before they reached your kitchen counter where you are

about to prepare lunch.

Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after

handling meat, poultry, eggs and seafood.

Mary Carver, P.H.Ec is an Ottawa-based Professional Home Economist and a member

of the Ontario Home Economics Association.

Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) a self-regulated body of Professional

Home Economists promotes high professional standards among its members so that

they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of

life. OHEA is a partner in the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety

Education. For more tips on food safety visit: www.canfightbac.org.