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5 Tips for Training Little Ones to Speak to You Respectfully

Danielle S

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When your little one talks back, it is imperative that you understand that how you respond now greatly affects the future. If you ignore it, it does not go away- it will only get worse. When you allow your little one to be the boss at an early age, they grow up believing that is how they should act. 

This being said, here are five tips from an experienced mom on how to handle your little one talking back.

1. Count to Ten- to Yourself

Seriously, take a breath, or thirty if you need to. Someone has to act like an adult in this situation, so you need to be calm. I have actually seen parents allow themselves to get so angry with their child that they begin to mimic the child, just to “show them what it feels like”. If your young child is acting more maturely than you are, this is never going to work. Throw in the towel now. Instead, take a breath and say a quick prayer if you feel the need.

2. Get Eye Level

It may be difficult, but you really need to be at eye level when you communicate with your children- especially when you are trying to correct behavior. You towering over your child will create fear and intimidation. You want respect, not fear. Get on eye level and make eye contact as you speak.

3. Talk to Your Child, Not at Them

Please do remember that you are training your children to behave in certain ways that can affect not only your relationship, but every other relationship your child has. Talking at your child as if they are an object to be fussed as is not conducive for healthy behavior later in life. Instead, speak with your child. Communicate with them.

4. Be Stern but Loving

Let’s first remember that you are the parent, not your child. This makes you the boss, not them. They are allowed to have their opinions, but the ultimate decision is up to you. Stick to your rules but do so in a way that is authoritarian, not borderline abusive.

5. Love Them Unconditionally and Praise Good Behavior

Your child should never feel as though you no longer love them. Of course, there are times when this happens, no matter what you do or do not do. When they mess up, though, respond effectively but still let them know that you love them. When they speak to you in the correct manner, praise them for doing so.

So, what does this look like in practice? I’ll show you:

When my youngest daughter says something she should not or in a tone she should not, I place her in my lap and make eye contact. I say in a firm yet gentle tone, “That is not how you talk to mommy. That is very mean.” She immediately straightens up at this point- her expression showing pain because she feels she has disappointed me- and in her regular tone says, “I’m sorry, Mommy.” I then say, “I forgive you, but the next time you need to tell me (whatever the message was, i.e. “No, I don’t want peas with dinner), this is how you say it…” This sets the proper expectations for her. 

I have four children who I have used this with. This process is effective enough that when my youngest daughter wants to talk to me, she crawls in my lap and looks me straight in the eye.

Even my almost 16 year old, still comes to me, sits down beside me, and makes eye contact when he wants to say something. I will not say that there is never a slipup in my home- they are kids, after all- but I can say that they only tend to happen when my kids have heard something on TV or YouTube, so there is an external factor. 

I go through the process again each time, and each time it works well. For the most part, though, we have peaceful conversations- no yelling, screaming, or anger. They have all four learned that approaching me in a respectful manner gets them the attention they want- not misbehaving- so they act accordingly.

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This Football Player Is Standing Up On Behalf Of Dogs Everywhere

Amanda J

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Tyrann Mathieu is a well known football star who goes by the nickname Honey Badger. The Badger just so happens to be an outspoken animal rights activist as well. While some will try to make excuses for certain behaviors, Tyrann is not one of them. This man was willing to go above and beyond to make a very powerful statement on behalf of dogs everywhere. These animals deserve to be treated with a certain level of respect.

People’s lack of respect for dogs is always evident during the summertime. There is always some joker who is ready to leave their animal in the hot cat while they “just run inside for a minute”. These practices cause the animals to be left in harm’s way. Worst of all, the animals cannot speak up for themselves. That’s why makes this story such an important one.

Mathieu decided that he would be the one to sit in the hot car, so that people could see the effects of these selfish decisions. After all, most people who engage in this practice are not typically willing to do so themselves. All it takes is a few minutes in a locked car to put a dog’s life in danger. When Tyrann emulated these actions, the car’s temperature rose over 100 degrees in the blink of an eye.

Tyrann is also luckier than the average dog because he has the ability to sweat to cool himself down. Our four legged friends are simply not that fortunate. No one ever stops to consider their needs, do they? Instead of putting themselves in the dog’s shoes, they are too concerned with their own wants and needs. Once his head started to spin, he knew that he had to get out of the car immediately. 

This begs the question….since a star athlete cannot handle these temperatures for a short period of time, what makes people think that their dogs can? All it takes is one quick trip to the grocery store to place an animal’s life in danger. Even a brief stop at the convenience store around the corner could leave your animal in harm’s way.

This is the point that Mathieu is trying to get across and we commend him for it. He was ready to place himself in harm’s way just to shatter some common misconceptions. Sadly, a sizable number of dogs have already passed away because their owners did not care about giving them the help that they needed. PETA estimates that over 100 dogs have perished within the past year because their owners did not want to think of their needs.

Everyone who is currently reading this story right now probably has their own horror story to tell. We have all seen dogs stranded inside vehicles and wishes that we could do something about it. That’s why the police are typically called in these instances. They have the authority to shatter a window and even issue a ticket, so don’t make the mistake of trying to confront these owners on your own.

Dogs need to be treated like a true part of the family. Tryann’s message is important. He says that people are not always willing to truly act as if their pets are a member of the family and we could not agree more. Too many people talk the talk when it comes to their pets when they are not willing to walk the walk. 

The message that Tyrann is trying to send is an important one and we urge you to share it with your closest friends and loved ones. If you know any dog owners who are careless when the summer months roll around, be sure to have a talk with them. You just might end up saving an animal’s life! 

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Bow Ties Helps Dogs Get Adopted

Liz L

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There are so many animals waiting for homes in shelters. Why are so many of them unable to get adopted? How can we fix it? What happens when they don’t get adopted? These are some questions 12-year-old Dazhai “Darius” Brown of New Jersey asked himself after discovering how many animals live in shelters year-round.

Brown had struggled with his speech and fine motor skills since he was two. To overcome this and to help develop his skills, he began assisting his sister in making bows for her cosmetology school. Brown first started to help cut the ribbon and sew it together. His skill progressed, and he moved on to making his own bows and bow ties.

He enjoys wearing them and wears one every day. He then started making matching one for his dog and liked to take selfies and posting them on social media using his handle “Sir Darius Brown.”

After seeing how many displaced dogs there were after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017, his heart grew heavy and thought about ways that he could help these animals. That’s how he came up with Beaux and Paws. His company combined his love of making bow ties and animals and was a way for him to give back. He thought that dogs wearing bow ties would be adopted out faster. And he was right.

What could be better than a dog or a cat wearing a bow tie? Nothing!

Most animals in homeless shelters are older or are breeds that many don’t want or are portrayed in a negative light. Adding a little sparkle to their appearance, like a bow tie, may help a dog stand out, when they often may have been overlooked. Also, due to overcrowding, dogs that are in shelters for too long may be euthanized. Brown wants to put a stop to that. He wants all animals to have a furever home and live happily ever after.

His mission has even caught the attention of many people, including Former President Barack Obama. Obama sent Brown a letter recognizing his community service commitment and for lifting up the spirits of whoever he comes in contact with.

Beaux and Paws has donated hundreds of bow ties to animal shelters and adoption centers throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Brown often visits local shelters and volunteers and travels to adoption events to help with the adoption efforts.

Since starting his organization, he has received fabric and supply donations that will help him continue to make bows. Most of the fabric was bought out of his own pocket, so donations have helped a lot to fund his mission. He has raised over $20,000 on his Go Fund Me page. He says that funds will not only help with costs of supplies and shipping, but he also needs a new sewing machine to make more bow ties.

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Allyson Felix Shatters Usain Bolt’s Record Just Ten Months After Giving Birth!

Amanda J

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Talk to any mother and you’ll hear the same old story. Giving birth can be a rewarding experience, but it is no doubt physically intensive. Many moms complain that they struggled to get their bodies back for years after having their child. Now, imagine dealing with the aftereffects of childbirth while focusing on competing in a World Championship event just ten months later! Allyson Felix made headlines around the world when she took home her 12th World Championship medal (Gold) in the 4x400m mixed-gender relay. How did she make it happen? How could she possibly have broken a record held by the legendary Usain Bolt just months after childbirth?

Felix, an Olympic athlete, had gone through pretty much everything you could imagine during her pregnancy. In fact, Felix had to deal with a severe case of toxemia, which is also known as preeclampsia. This condition is noted due to extremely high blood pressure in the mother. Preeclampsia can be dangerous to both the mother and the child. Eventually, Felix was forced to undergo an emergency c-section operation. Luckily for Felix and her family, the c-section was a success and little Camryn was born on November 28, 2018.  While that could be the end of the story, it is really just the beginning.

With ten months until her next big race, Felix had to get in shape and ready to compete. No stranger to facing physical and mental hurdles, Felix immediately got to work. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Felix bounced back from her pregnancy with aplomb. According to a study performed by Harvard University, experiencing pregnancy can demand a similar level of energy as running an ultra marathon. No, we aren’t even joking. Pregnancy is hard

Fortunately for Felix, she was able to return to form before winning gold in her mixed-gender 4×400 relay. While Felix’s amazing recovery is almost unheard-of, it shouldn’t be the only thing that we are applauding. Instead, we should be celebrating every mom after they give birth, whether they are winning gold medals or just doing their best to raise their kids in a healthy and loving household.

Outside of her work on the track, Felix has become something of a beacon for hope for women in the workplace. Despite her dominant athletic abilities, Felix has frequently watched as her contemporaries made significantly less after enduring the rigors of childbirth, even if their performance didn’t change much on the track. Felix revealed in an op-ed published through the NY Times, “Despite all my victories, Nike wanted to pay me 70 percent less than before.” Felix went on to reveal that she accepted the pay reduction without an argument because that’s not what her focus is on. Instead, Felix has been negotiating with Nike to offer contractual protections for performance changes during the immediate aftermath of birth.

With any luck, Felix will be able to win over Nike, thus marking a huge moment for maternity equality everywhere.

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Father and Nurses Bring Joy to a Young Cancer Patient in the Most Incredible Way.

Danielle S

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If you are a human being with a beating heart, you probably hate to see children going through something as serious as cancer. Beating cancer isn’t easy for anyone, much less a child such as Drew Esposito. Esposito has been attending the Norton Children’s Hospital in order to treat his medulloblastoma, a terrifying and rare type of cancer. At just five years old, it would be easy for a kid like Esposito to lose some of his shine. Thankfully, the nurses at the hospital have been working hard with Drew’s father in order to keep his spirits up, and they’ve had help from Drew himself!

Treating medulloblastoma typically will require significant chemotherapy treatment as well as protracted hospital stays. This kind of schedule is hard for anyone, yet seeing little Drew go through it can especially break your heart. Still, that doesn’t mean that Drew is close to quitting his fight. Taylor Bergman, one of Drew’s nurses, told Inside Edition, “Little Drew is the light of any room that he walks into.”

Due to Drew’s treatment, he typically has to stay isolated for sizable chunks of time. In order to keep his mind busy and his laugh coming, the nurses have allowed Drew and his father to play with Nerf guns inside of his room. While nerf gun battles aren’t typically prescribed to anyone, the nurses at the hospital have found that the toys can go a long way toward keeping Drew happy. Of course, the nurses don’t trade Nerf battles with Drew every single time that they see him, but Drew tends to surprise them often enough.

One day, Drew’s father decided to drop by before the nurses. Tucked under his arm was a superhero outfit that featured an easy-to-wear design. Since Drew has to frequently change into gowns, the costume was a perfect way to keep Drew ready and overjoyed by his outfit.  The nurses have already gone on record as saying that little things like the Nerf guns and the superhero costumes can go a long, long way toward keeping children like Drew distracted and happy. 

While the medical professionals treat Drew with all the cutting edge treatment options that are available, they’ve also been great about remembering that he is a child, too. Nurse Bergman says, “Anytime we can be superheroes and make a game out of taking medicine or achieving care goals, that’s a really great day at work.”

According to Jeremy Esposito, Drew’s father, his child is in significantly better shape after his latest round of chemotherapy. Jeremy claimed in an interview with Inside Edition, “He’s heads and shoulders above where he was a few short weeks ago.”  Hopefully, with continued treatment, Drew will find his way to full health so that he can bring his Nerf battles home to the whole family.

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I Created A Cooking Competition For My Kid And He Was Truly Impressive

Amanda J

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There are a legion of cooking shows that are appealing to people of all ages. While adults will always love Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen, there are also options that are designed to appeal to all of the little ones out there. That’s why shows like MasterChef Junior and Top Chef Junior are so popular. There are no shortage of children who find themselves entranced by shows of this nature.

My son is not exactly interested in trying out for one of these shows at the moment. That does not mean that he does not enjoy putting these dishes together. He’s definitely been bitten by the cooking bug, that is for sure. He watches all of the cooking shows with me and experiments with awesome dishes all of the time. I came up with a great plan that is designed to keep him interested in all of the typical culinary pursuits.

The activity that I came up with was a fun one. Instead of expecting him to try out for one of the aforementioned programs, I decided to start our own competition. This would provide with all of the fun that is typically associated with reality television, without all of the usual concerns. Once I told my little boy about the idea, he was on board right away. 

From there, it was time to obtain all of the necessary ingredients and get started. I went to the grocery store to see what I could potentially rustle up. The best way to save money in these instances is by heading to the discount produce rack. These sections of the grocery store are invaluable to those who are looking to save a little money on produce that comes with minor imperfections.

This produce is perfectly fine to use, as long as you plan on consuming it right away. Be sure to use the items that are chosen as quickly as possible, though. We grabbed a Roma tomato and a single lemon on the first trip. Cashews and dill were also purchased. Garlic hummus, naan rounds and turkey breast slices were also purchased. Waffles and peaches that I already had on the premises were included in the challenge as well.

When professional level chefs compete in these sorts of competitions, they are often given access to ingredients that are designed to mess them up. While I did want to provide my son with a bit of a challenge, it did not want to take things too tough on him. The experience is supposed to be fun and encouraging. I am not looking to subject my little boy to the Gordon Ramsay treatment. 

While I did stay away from the weird ingredients on the first go round, that does not mean that I would shy away from them in the future. If we engage in this sort of competition again in the future, I would probably include some more adventurous ingredients. The “competition” came with two judges: me and my husband. This allowed my son to learn more about his cooking abilities and receive differing opinions on the dishes. 

If you would like to learn more about this competition and how we came up with this awesome idea, please be sure to check out our video below. This is the sort of cooking competition that lots of parents can enjoy with their children.

Does your little one have the cooking bug? If so, this is your chance to nurture their skills. Take the time to create a competition in your own home and allow some “judges” to stop by to offer their take. Pass this one along to your friends and loved ones as well! 

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