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Category Archives: Teen

Teens and plastic surgery

Guest post by Laura Liu

Many dads (parents) these days are confronted with a situation where their teenage daughter or son wants to get some plastic surgery done. So how do you deal with that as a parent? Just saying “no” categorically or yes (i.e. “do whatever you want, it’s your body”) may not be the answer. It’s important to explore this topic with them and it’s probably the parent who needs to drive this. E.g. teenagers don’t tend to take into consideration the risks that go along with surgery, or long term outcomes for that matter. The expense of cosmetic and plastic surgeries are not covered by insurance – so cost might be another issue. Also, a teenager’s body is still in development so surgery is quite a drastic way to alter appearances that may still change anyway. Then there is the risk that the surgery doesn’t deliver expected results which could have dramatic impacts on self esteem and confidence.

Common procedures
Plastic Surgery / cosmetic surgery is actually a general term that covers a range of techniques and application areas such as aesthetic surgery, reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns. The most common surgeries in the US include being breast augmentation, liposuction and abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”).

Breast augmentation has been widely discussed but there is a bit of a myth that other procedures such as liposuction are “not a big deal”. Liposuction covers the removal of fat from many different sites on the human body (such as abdomen, thighs and buttocks, etc). This procedure can be performed under local or general anesthetic with safety of the technique varying widely depending on many factors such as the choice of anesthetic and overall health. An alternative option might be to try regular exercise and a change of diet first. Teens need to be made aware of general risks of surgery as well as the recovery time which could take weeks or months. Laser liposuction or laser assisted liposuction is not as intense, but the effectiveness of this technique is still debated. Laser liposuction is typically only used for small areas of fat deposits.

There are no hard and fast rules to say when any of the techniques should or should not be considered. If your teenager has some type of deformity, they can potentially benefit from cosmetic surgery. However many perceived body issues can also be addressed through other options. Finally, if you and your teenager consider elective surgery it is important to get a board certified plastic surgeon.

Guest post by Laura Liu

Character Can Be Taught – Discover JROTC

jrotc1 300x241 Character Can Be Taught – Discover JROTCGuest post by Alex Summers

In recent years, character education has become a hot topic in the United States.  As the social and cultural landscape changes, the need for moral and value-based education increases.  JROTC programs (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) have been proven to be effective means of character education and have a positive impact on their students throughout their lives.

JROTC Programs Reinforce Character Development
Historically, JROTC programs were designed to prepare students for the military, but this is no longer the case.  Today, JROTC education prepares teenagers for responsible future leadership roles, with emphasis placed on personal responsibility, which in turn leads to community awareness and civic engagement. Successful JROTC programs broaden students’ horizons, making them aware of individual rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens.

A study by Dr. Cletus R. Bulach illustrates the effectiveness of JROTC programs in cultivating strong character development.  He surveyed 477 students at a high school in Atlanta, GA, asking 96 questions based on 16 predetermined character traits:

  •  277 of the students were in a JROTC program, and the other 200 were not—there were significant differences between the two groups’ survey responses
  • The JROTC students in this study came from the same community and population as the other students, yet their conduct was superior on the behaviors associated with 16 character traits
  • JROTC students tended to agree with positive behaviors and disagree with negative behaviors, while the non-JROTC students’ responses bared just the opposite tendencies

jrotc2 300x209 Character Can Be Taught – Discover JROTCJROTC programs can offer a model for behavior that is much different other types of school programs, rewarding students for positive actions and reprimanding them for negative behaviors.  Students know what is expected of them, and quickly understand that there are consequences to disregarding rules and values—this is one of the primary reasons that character development programs work so well.

The main goal of JROTC is to prepare students for the future by instilling values and skills for academic and leadership success.

And, the results of Dr. Bulach’s study are tangible evidence that indeed character can be taught when reinforced through a well-crafted leadership program. Dr. Bulach describes JROTC programs as “a life skills’ curriculum” to complement their academics.


Strong Character Leads to Academic Achievement Too
There is a clear relationship between academic success and character development, and schools that focus on both of these aspects of education give their students a clear advantage.  Students with good character traits tend to ask more questions in the classroom, are harder working, and score higher on achievement tests.

Other studies have shown a positive correlation between students with qualities associated with good character – self-discipline, cooperation with others, and persistence – and academic achievement.  Ultimately, JROTC programs develop students who are prepared both academically for college and socially to be respected members of the community and to serve in leadership positions.

Learn more about JROTC and explore some highly decorated JROTC programs in schools across the USA, recently awarded the highest program honor – Unit of Distinction:

Seize the opportunity to afford your child the extraordinary advantages of strong character development, leadership, and life skills training offered by JROTC programs.

By Alex Summers

Quotes excerpted from “A Comparison of Character Traits for JROTC Students versus Non-JROTC Students” Cletus R. Bulach.  Other source: “Moral and Character Development” William Huitt.

Dealing with your daughter’s first boyfriend – the nightmare begins

firstboyfriend Dealing with your daughter’s first boyfriend   the nightmare beginsOh those dreaded teenage years. As a dad you may experience anxious feelings about the coming years when your children will grow up to be young teens. Those temper storms, stubborn behavior, changes in ways of thinking and so many new and difficult situations to deal with. And above all, you know deep within there will come a day when your daughter will start going out with a boy.

Chances are you will struggle with your kid starting to date (especially with a daughter) … but if you freak you will probably make it a lot worse and that’s when crazy stuff can happen. So panic not. Remember your own past years as a teenager and youth.

Your daughter needs to learn from experience, and it is through dating that she will build up skills on negotiation, sharing and receiving. She will experience hurt, joy and shock, which are all necessary for her to grow up as a mature woman and will be useful in making decisions when it comes to finding a suitable life partner. But we are not telling you to be silent and let your daughter do as she wishes. Prepare her for the rocky road of dating. Make your daughter a smart dater.

Maybe your daughter told you about her boyfriend, or you found out from an out side source. Whichever it is, don’t panic! The only thing that would result in you loosing your temper is that you would not be able to maintain a good relationship with your daughter and learn more about the situation. Also understand that your daughter won’t stop her relationship easily, just because you tell her to. Acknowledge the fact that though she is your daughter it doesn’t necessarily mean she is or has to be like you. Just because you didn’t have a boyfriend till you went to college, it doesn’t mean your daughter will too.

Be flexible. Don’t set out rules too strictly as it is only you who will get hurt by getting angry and sad that she betrayed your trust. Give your honest opinion about the guy, but don’t force your daughter to take your side. Express your picture of an ideal guy, his qualities, activities and behaviors. Let her express her views. Leave her to make a decision.

Be tech savvy to find out more details about the guy. Remember that anyone out there, especially teens may have a face book, hi5, or some online community profile. You can find out lot of details about his activities, interests and background and protect your daughter from potential dangers.

Talk about sex. Sex education is not meant to encourage sex, but knowledge is better than leaving your daughter in the dark, which is very dangerous as she can blindly fall in trouble and end up in an irreversible situation such as an unwanted pregnancy or even worse, with a STD.
The more closer you are to your daughter, the more open they will be with you! So face your daughters growing up process with an open mind, and ensure a better relationship with your teenage child.

By bizymoms

To Store or Move? A Cost Benefit Analysis of Renting a Self Storage Unit

nyc apartment To Store or Move? A Cost Benefit Analysis of Renting a Self Storage Unit
(Image credit: NY Post)

With its Broadway plays, world-renowned restaurants, green acres of Central Park, and bright lights of Time Square, it’s no wonder New York City is where millions of people call home. For the majority of them, however, their “homes” can be as large as a teenager’s closet. Expecting to fit clothes to accommodate four seasons, room to entertain, and create a bedroom relaxing enough to unwind after a long day in the office may seem impossible when there’s only 200 sq. ft. to utilize. When you’ve discarded and donated as much as you can emotionally bear to part with and your apartment still looks like a candidate for the show “Hoarders,” it’s time for a change. But, the question is – do you move, or do you store? Before you call your local movers, run some numbers. It very well could be that self storage is more affordable than expensive rent.

Average cost of a NYC apartment
In constant demand, it’s as if we are the whims of New York City landlords who determine how much they can charge for their quarters (no matter how small they may be). Depending on the neighborhood the average costs for an apartment in New York City ranges as follows: (Retrieved from NY Habitat)

nyc cost benefit To Store or Move? A Cost Benefit Analysis of Renting a Self Storage Unit

If those numbers aren’t terrifying enough, don’t forget to account for hidden fees such as a security deposit, broker’s charge (which costs on average 15 percent of the annual rent or 1.8 times the monthly rent) and, in some cases, first and last month’s rent upfront. Even with these astronomical numbers, the market is so competitive that landlords only entertain applications from tenants that bring in at least 40 times the monthly rent. For those looking to upgrade to a $2,200 one-bedroom apartment, they’ll have to be prepared to have an annual salary of at least $88,000 a year and hand over $8,360 (not including a security deposit) just to be able to move in.

The storage solution
Should these numbers be out of your budget, storage may be your best option in order to free up some space and hold onto your treasured items. Self storage facilities come in a wide range of sizes which can accommodate your individual needs and budgetary confinements. Commitment agreements range from one facility to another; those looking for short-term solutions should inquire upfront about each company’s policies.

Those leaning towards the option of storage should list their “must-haves” for a storage unit. From security of the building’s facilities to monthly charges and its cleanliness, your valuables should be of your storage company’s utmost importance. Finally, similar to apartment hunting, visit several locations until you find a facility you believe meets your requirements. Be sure to widen your search to include locations outside the city as they may be more affordable.

By Alex Summers

Casting call: single dads raising daughters

We have received the following casting call from Left/Right Inc.




The award-winning TV production company “Left/Right Inc” based in NYC is currently working on a new and exciting real-life series that will showcase the day-to-day lives of single fathers raising tween or teenage daughters on their own. Left/Right is specifically searching for dynamic single fathers of all races who are active in their children’s lives and willing to share (on-camera) the challenges of raising kids alone. Also, their daughters should live primarily in their home.

For more information please email with the following details:

  • Full name, occupation & city/state of residence
  • Names and ages of your child/children & what grade they’re in
  • Best contact phone numbers & emails
  • Brief bio, including a description of your parenting style
  • A few recent photos of you and your kids

Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing your story!

Left/Right, Inc.
39 West 19th St., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Fathering at 200mph – Kevin Harvick and DIYFather

KevinHarvick with Keelan Fathering at 200mph   Kevin Harvick and DIYFather

Ever wondered what fathering in the fast lane would be like? Meet a daredevil dad who does this every day – Kevin Harvick: diaper shopper, digital native and NASCAR race driver. Kevin is currently competing in his 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and has been given the opportunity to follow Kevin for the last 5 races of the season. On July 8 this year something wonderful happened – Kevin became a dad to son Keelan. With that added support and “dad mojo” we have no doubt that he’s got the edge to beat all the other drivers on the circuit. So get behind this campaign and check back over the next 5 weeks to follow and support Kevin on his epic journey to make Keelan the youngest son of a NASCAR Champion!

About Kevin Harvick

  • Born and raised in Bakersfield, California
  • Received a go-kart for kindergarten graduation that led to the start of his racing career
  • Moved to NASCAR competition in 1996
  • Has won 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
  • Captured two NASCAR Nationwide Series championship – NASCAR’s junior division – in 2001 and 2006
  • Kevin and wife DeLana owned their own race team that fielded two fulltime NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams and two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for 10 years (2001-2011) before closing the doors at the end of the 2011 season to start a family
  • Named 2009 Driver of the Decade
  • Won NASCAR’s biggest race of the year – the Daytona 500 – in 2007
  • Established the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States
  • Engages with fans on his personal Twitter page (@kevinharvick) and has over 249,000 followers

About the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is the championship system used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that awards the top 12 drivers in the regular season with a chance of winning the coveted championship trophy. Their points are reset for the final 10 races of the season and the close points battle throughout this period ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the champion is determined.

Remaining Schedule:
10/21 – Kansas Speedway
10/28 – Martinsville Speedway (Va.)
11/4 – Texas Motor Speedway (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
11/11 – Phoenix International Raceway
11/18 – Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway

Go Kevin!


Two hours alone with your kids

The phrase “easier said than done” applies with particular force to certain activities, things like bungee jumping, sky diving, or Formula-1 racing. Spending time at home with kids, it turns out, falls into the same category, and not all men are fully aware of this. Those who think it’s a piece of cake are simply ignorant; unless you have first-hand experience, it’s hard to know just how “challenging” this job can be.

The following, therefore, is an account of one cold January afternoon I spent with my four-year-old daughter Shilly-Shally (not, I promise, her real name). It represents a more or less typical day–well, actually about two hours. (I considered recording a whole day but then realized that might be too frightening). You may think I’ve selected for high drama, but I swear I haven’t exaggerated, cross my heart and hope to survive.

So remember, comrade: Whatever you may feel when reading this, I’m really giving you only a thin slice of the pie. To get a true taste, multiply these two hours by the ten years or so it takes to turn a kid from a restless, curious, whining, monkey-like, self-centered little consumption-machine into something approximating human character. Then come the teenage years.

1:00 p.m.– Feeling restless after a morning of housecleaning and the thrills of making lunch, I attempt to convince Shilly-Shally that we should put on our snow clothes and play in the backyard. She’s always loved to do this; in the past it’s given her hours of delight. But at the moment she’s utterly forgotten her former pleasure. I attempt to remind her. I fail.

1:05 p.m.– After refusing to go outside, Shilly-Shally lies under the dining-room table playing with the “squirrels” she made out of strips of cardboard and paper. As I continue my attempts to convince her, she states categorically that she hates to go out in the snow and will never agree to do so.

1:10 p.m.– I mention that the little boy next door may go out too. Her eyes brighten. She loves to go out and play in the snow! Will I please get her dressed in her snowsuit?

1:15 p.m.– First we argue in the kitchen about why she can’t wear a dress under snowpants. Then I go up to her room and get her some clothes. Once I convince her to stand still–which takes some doing–I dress her in her socks, her boot socks, her long underwear, her shirt and jeans, her snowpants, her boots, her coat, her mittens, her hat, and her scarf. Then she has to go to the bathroom. I take off her scarf, her hat, her mittens, her coat, her boots, her snowpants, and her jeans.

1:20 p.m.– I put back on her jeans, her snowpants, her boots, her coat, her mittens, her hat, and her scarf. Then I dress myself hurriedly to repeated choruses of “Come on, Dad! I’m hot!”

1:25 p.m.– We go outside. The little boy next door isn’t there. We discuss this. The discussion ends with one of us crying in a loud and blubbery fashion. I return to the house for kleenex.

1:30 p.m.– The little boy next door comes out. The tears dry on Shilly-Shally’s suddenly joyous cheeks. Then the little boy next door says stubbornly that he doesn’t want to play with Shilly-Shally. I go back in for more kleenex.

1:35 p.m.– Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door start to play (his memory, it seems, is a lot like hers). I’m shoveling snow to make a sled ramp for them. Shilly-Shally pretends to be the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, roaring and saying mean things to everyone. The little boy next door asks me if he can be the guy from the video game Mortal Kombat. I agree.

1:40 p.m.– They’re still playing. The little boy next door asks me four times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time. I happen to cut my hand on the snow shovel. Shilly-Shally always cries piteously when she gets little scrapes and cuts; thinking this a perfect teaching opportunity, I show her mine. “See?” I say, “It’s bleeding, but it doesn’t hurt much. Just a little cut. No big deal.” “That’s right,” she says. “Just a little cut.” “Yes!” I echo, surprised and pleased at her maturity. “Nothing to worry about.” “That’s right,” she agrees. “I’m not hurt. So nothing to worry about.”

1:45 p.m.– Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door have a fight. He’s upset because the Grinch keeps screaming in his ears. I ask the Grinch to crank it down a notch, but she refuses. I insist–which results in my having to go back into the house for more kleenex. I return to start mopping-up operations on the Grinch’s face. As I do so, the little boy next door asks
me three times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time.

1:50 p.m.– The fight is not only over, but they’ve forgotten it ever occurred. That’s because there’s a new fight now–over who gets to swing on the swing. (Even with two feet of snow on the ground this is still the Holy of Holies). I talk to them about sharing and taking turns, going so far as to sing the appropriate song from Barney. Shilly-Shally actually refrains from crying; I consider this a victory and a small step toward maturation. (Of course I made sure she got the first turn; I don’t have to fetch kleenex for the little boy next door).

1:55 p.m.– While he’s waiting to swing, the little boy next door asks me five times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time.

2:00 p.m.– I continue to shovel snow. Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door begin to play separately. For the little boy next door, that means coming over to me and asking four times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. “YES!” I roar, then add, “Why do you keep asking me that?” His answer? He looks away for a moment and then says, “Hey, Tim–can I be the guy from Mortal Kombat?” I quietly agree.

2:05 p.m.– Shilly-Shally wants me to find her plastic football. It’s buried somewhere in the ocean-like depths of snow that cover our sizeable backyard. “Are you sure you have to have that plastic football?” I ask her. “It’s going to be really hard to find.” She looks stricken. “Dad! It’s my puppy!” This is true; she’s lavished hours of attention on her plastic football
(though the “puppy” has been pretty much on its own in the snowy wild since last summer). I let out a long sigh, which she accurately translates as “Okay–I’ll do it.” When the little boy next door begins to ask if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat, I shout “YES!” before he finishes the sentence. He looks at me for a moment. Then he laughs. I realize I’ve made a serious error; he likes this new game.

2:10 p.m.– After much snow-shoveling and a lucky guess, I fish Shilly-Shally’s plastic football up out of a snowdrift and hand it to her. Then I go back to building the sled ramp. For all of thirty seconds, Shilly-Shally pours motherly and canine affection over the plastic football. Then she drops it and says her feet are cold. I’m not stupid; I know the signs of apocalypse when I see them. So I stop shoveling and start pulling Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door around on the sled. I figure this will keep them happy and maybe even warm them up a little. Huffing like a plow horse, I drag them back and forth, swinging wide on the turns to make them giggle. They enjoy this immensely. But no passion, as Yeats said, can burn forever in so frail a lamp as man. In three minutes they’re tired of it. As Shilly-Shally loudly reminds me about her cold feet, I hear that ominous note of serious displeasure in her voice. Again, with the pride of the professional, I attempt to forestall the inevitable. I show them how to sled on the half-finished sled ramp.

2:15 p.m.– The little boy next door remembers to ask if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. Realizing now that a shout will only make him laugh, I quietly agree. He interprets this as permission to ask four more times. Then Shilly-Shally falls off the sled and does a face-plant in the snow. I go back into the house for kleenex. (In my male stupidity, it never occurs to me that I could just put a wad of kleenex in my pocket and so avoid these increasingly annoying trips back into the house). With enormous effort and a cheerful energy worthy of Richard Simmons, I manage to calm her down. But a major hissy fit may be only moments away.

2:20 p.m.– Disaster strikes. After asking me five more times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat, the little boy next door manages to twist his foot on our three-foot-high sled ramp. He starts to cry. By the time I come back out with more kleenex (all right, I admit it—I caved), he wants to go home. This throws the already frozen-faced and icy-footed Shilly-Shally for a complete loop. She desperately wants the little boy to stay out so they can play; she also desperately wants to go in and get warm. This emotional dilemma, like the pressure of magma deep inside a volcano, must be vented somewhere.

2:25 p.m.– The little boy next door says goodbye, but not before asking if, when we play tomorrow, he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. When she realizes he really is going in, Shilly-Shally lets out a howl of anguish that practically melts the snow. “THEN I’M GOING IN TOO!” she half-shriekingly declares, and stomps up the porch steps as if mortally offended.

2:30 p.m.– Once we’re inside, I brush all the snow off her and help her take off her hat, her mittens, her coat, her boots, her snowpants, her shirt, her jeans, her long underwear, and her boot socks. She’s still upset, but at least now the kleenex is handy. Because she’s recently stopped napping and is very tired at this time of day–and because she always has a hard time when the little boy next door goes in–and because she did a face-plant in the snow–and because she generally has strong feelings about things–and for whatever other reasons–she’s feeling bad. Very bad. Her pretend-Grinch scowl has become the real McCoy. (I’d describe her as “fit to be tied” but that would reveal some of the inappropriate strategies flitting through
my mind at the moment). Even putting on a new dress (the third of five that day) fails to provide her with its usual boost. A series of demands and complaints and a deeply furrowed little forehead indicate that things are turning ugly. I note the storm warnings; I’ve seen before just how quickly a tropical low can turn into a hurricane.

2:35 p.m.– Full-blown flip-out occurs. She’s screaming, weeping, refusing to do anything I ask, shouting terrible things like “I DON’T LOVE YOU!! I’M NEVER PLAYING IN THE SNOW AGAIN!! YOU’RE NOT A VERY GOOD FATHER!! I HATE BARNEY!!” (a child’s equivalent of taking the Lord’s name in vain). I offer to play blocks with her, read her a picture book, color, whatever she wants. “I HATE ALL THOSE THINGS!” she bellows. After many attempts to pacify her, I find myself thinking about Hitler and Neville Chamberlain. So I tell her firmly that if she can’t stop screaming and crying, she’ll have to go to her room. She continues; I say “Go to your room.” She finally complies, at approximately 50 mph and 90 decibels, but only after I approach her with the intent of picking her up and carrying her there. The slam of her bedroom door echoes through the house like a sonic boom. In the suddenly quiet kitchen I wonder: Is the little boy next door even now asking his mom if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat?

2:40 p.m.– I start feeling bad for Shilly-Shally. After all, she’s had a rough twenty minutes–and she hasn’t eaten for over an hour! Deciding to be Super-Parent, I make “tea” to take up to her room. A PB & J cut into squares becomes petit-fours; I fill her pink plastic tea kettle with apple juice. (A truly loving father, of course, would have gone out and bought her
one of those kid-sized, actually-motorized Malibu Barbie Fun Jeeps). Then I carry the whole thing upstairs on a tea tray, with napkins, pink plastic cutlery, apple slices, the works. She’s going to love this! I’ve also made myself a cup of hot chocolate and suddenly realize, rather wistfully, that it’s the first thing I’ve done for myself since I brushed my teeth in the early a.m.

2:45 p.m.– Shilly-Shally’s delighted. As we picnic on the floor of her room, her passionate sorrow melts into ecstasy. She wants to play the Three Little Pigs. She’ll be Penny, the oldest, smartest pig. I’m Paulie, one of her less intelligent younger brothers come to live in the wolf-proof house she built. This, of course, makes her “the boss.” “Can I really be the boss, Dad?” she asks, wanting to be very clear about this. The question has a dangerous ring to it. I hesitate, knowing what such a political precedent can mean. But we’re still too close to the recent crying fit to risk a re-engagement over what’s really only a negative possibility. “Yes,” I say, “You can be boss–if I can be the guy from Mortal Kombat.” She laughs.

2:50 p.m.– For the next five minutes we know sheer, undiluted happiness. For five minutes we live just like the parents and kids on TV commercials. I savor it like an elixir.

2:55 p.m.– The phone rings. Before I go downstairs to answer it, I caution Shilly-Shally not to carry her little teacup full of apple juice anywhere. With a parent’s eternal vigilance against messy spills, I’ve noticed she’s a little shaky handling the cup, so I insist she stay seated if she’s going to drink from it. I answer the phone. Luckily, it’s only one of those annoying
telemarketers–not someone asking if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. But my relief is shattered when I hear a cry from upstairs.

3:00 p.m.–On reaching Shilly-Shally’s room I learn that she’s not only “moved” her little teacup, she’s spilled it–and the entire plastic tea kettle full of apple juice. Simian restlessness of youth! Tears well up–but I suppress them. Of course Shilly-Shally’s crying too. When I gently remind her that she did exactly what I asked her not to, the floodgates of the deep are opened. I look around; naturally, the kleenex box in her room is empty. But that’s no problem; I’m on my way downstairs to
get rags and carpet cleaner anyway. The spills shouldn’t be all that tough to deal with, since she’s only soaked about 50% of the carpet surface. Besides, my housemaid’s knee has been pretty calm lately. I’ll have all this cleaned up in, say, twenty minutes or so. But first I’ve got an impromptu lesson about “not crying over spilt milk” to give, and a troubled angel to soothe–whose happiness is, after all, one of the main reasons for my existence on this planet.

By Timothy Myers
Tim J. Myers, an excerpt from his new ebook “Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood” (Familius)

Mission impossible – understanding teens #1 Instagram

instagram Mission impossible   understanding teens #1 Instagram

By Cyanide and Happiness

10 ways to keep the house “G”-rated

g rated 10 ways to keep the house G ratedIt seems that modern parents are fighting a constant battle to keep their children reveling in their innocence; so much of our culture is aimed at forcing them to grow up before their time. Protecting the youth and innocence of our little ones can be a difficult task to try to undertake, but it’s one that most parents feel is a worthwhile challenge. These ten tips can help parents prolong the childhood of the youngest members in the family for as long as possible.

  • Television Parental Controls – Taking advantage of every parental control feature that your television service provider offers is one of the more effective ways of preventing your children from accessing adult-themed programming. Options and features differ, depending on the type of service and provider you have, and contacting your provider can help you find out what your specific options are.
  • Internet Content Filter – Many popular search engines and web browsers have built-in content filters that can be adjusted to suit the age and needs of your various children. In addition to these filters, internet service providers typically offer their own filtering options.
  • Listen to Any Music Your Child Purchases – Instituting a preview policy for any music your children download is a great way to stay informed about what they’re listening to, and also to limit their exposure to explicit lyrics or other questionable content.
  • Limit Screen Time – The associated health risks of a sedentary lifestyle aside, limiting the amount of time that your children spend playing video games, watching television and surfing the web can also help to protect them from encountering themes that are too mature for them.
  • Look at Video Game Ratings – The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) applies content ratings to PC and console video games, similar to the MPAA ratings of film. This information is easily spotted, and can help parents get an idea of what each game contains before purchasing it or allowing children to play.
  • Install Monitoring Software – There are dozens of programs available to monitor the usage, browsing history, email content and social networking use of a specific computer. For parents of tweens and teens, the focus shifts from protecting kids from accidental exposure to preventing willful breaking of the rules. Letting your children know that the software is in place and will be checked regularly can be a preventative measure, as well as a means of detection after the fact.
  • Explain Rules and Their Reasons – When kids become tweens and later, teens, questioning their parents’ methods and rules are par for the course. Explaining why your household has certain rules and keeping an open dialogue is one of the best ways to stave off more extreme rebellion.
  • Know Your Kids’ Friends – Though knowing your child’s friends is certainly not a foolproof way of keeping them from trouble, it can be helpful. Being able to accurately determine the amount of influence a friend has or the likelihood of them being able to aid your child in deceiving you depends on your familiarity with them.
  • Change Your Radio Presets – While the days of traditional radio may be waning, there are still plenty of parents with “old-fashioned” presets in the car. Before the smaller members of the family start speaking, it’s typically not a concern for parents; however, as soon as those miniature master imitators learn to repeat what they’re hearing, it might be a good idea to stick with family-friendly stations.
  • Lead By Example – Children learn through mimicry; emulating their parents is one of the ways that kids start to develop their own personalities. Even well into the adolescent years, kids are still watching their parents. Because of this, it’s very important to set a solid example for your children to follow. Keeping your own language clean is much more effective than taking a “do as I say, not as I do” approach, which will almost always backfire as kids get older.

    As always, there is no magic formula to accomplishing this task. It takes some effort and discipline on the part of the parents to set the standards they want for their children and their household and to keep them respected and enforced. Each family needs to determine their own set of values and develop means for instilling them in their children.

    By Debbie Denard

The challenges of being a teen dad

My partner and I had my son when we were just teenagers. My son is 5 years old now. The assuming responsibilities of a young dad are like no other. At the time I was incredibly nervous and skeptical about making the transition to fatherhood. I would worry about whether I was ready for it and doubted whether I was emotionally mature to bring another human being into the world.

If the truth be known, failure is not an option and never will be. An expectant father must be ready for the arrival of his child. Alas, as soon as my son was born I knew that I was ready. Every second since has been tough, but well worth it. Being a father is arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world, but one of the greatest pleasures. Being a teen makes it an even harder proposition to endure.

Teens generally hear this kind of advice: wait, bide your time and go and have some fun before settling down and starting a family. I would agree with this, but you can’t turn back the hands of time and sometimes stuff just happens. When it does you basically have to ‘pull up your socks’, get on with the job of being dad and survive with what you’ve got no matter what life throws at you.

Realize that you’re not the only one feeling shocked, overwhelmed, panicked, scared, or alone.

As time goes on and your role as father cements itself as ‘normal’, challenges change. Expectations differ. For example at parents evenings the age divide becomes very apparent. I personally get mistaken for an older sibling, which could well serve as a complement to many. I generally feel that I get less respect automatically because of this. Especially from the older parents. I never once thought this would be an issue.

If I can pass on one piece of advice, I’d recommend meeting as many other young dads as possible. Meeting other guys going through the same experience who might be dealing with similar feelings is of huge benefit. Don’t feel embarrassed or hesitant about asking for help as there are lots of people out there feeling just like you. You are not alone and shouldn’t feel like you are.

- Aaron

This article was sourced by Cells4life