Celebrate Your Child!

Sep 30, 2009

Children And Online Chat Rooms - The Dangers That Lurk

Are you the parent of a child or a teenager who wants to use internet chat rooms? Or, is your child already using them? If so, it is important that both you and your child know the dangers that often lurk around online chat rooms.

For starters, it is important to know that the computer and internet makes it easy for someone to be anyone they want to. In fact, an internet user can claim to be someone famous, a superhero, or another teenager. There is nothing out there that can stop them. If your child is using a chat room for teenagers or younger children, they need to know the dangers of exchanging personal information with strangers or online friends. Because, anyone can be at the other end of the computer.

Another common danger of using online chat rooms is the screen names. Screen names are what is used to identity your child and differentiate them from other chat room users. If you allow your child to use an online chat room, there is one internet safety step that must be taken. Have your child create a separate screen name that will not be used elsewhere. If they use part of their email address, a screen name that appears on other websites or online message boards, or part of their full name, a standard internet search could lead internet predators to your child's real identity.

It is also important to know that anyone can get into a chat room. Unfortunately, this is an important internet safety fact that many parents do not realize. Just because your teenager is in an online chat room that is designed for kids between the ages of 14 to 17, it doesn't mean that everyone is the same age in the room. No age verification is required to get into most online chat rooms. As it was previously stated, the internet makes it easy for anyone to create a false identity. This false identity can be used to lure in your child and other young internet users.

One of the reasons why children and teenagers like to use internet chat rooms is because it automatically connects them with a number of other internet users. In fact, an online chat room could have as many as one hundred or more internet users talking in it. Unfortunately, many parents do not realize that some chat rooms have private messaging programs available. This means that a person, who may actually be a 50 or 60 years old man or woman, could send a private message and communicate directly with your child. This is actually how many teenagers and children get into trouble with online predators.

As you can see, there are a number of dangers that lurk around internet chat rooms. Does this mean that your child shouldn't use them? In all honesty, the decision is yours to make, as you are the parent. With that said, a number of factors should be taken into consideration, such as your child's age and maturity level. Do you trust your child to follow the rules that you set in place concerning internet use and the use of online chat rooms?

Speaking of rules, be sure to have them if you let or know that your son or daughter is using internet chat rooms. Do not let them visit chat rooms that are designed for adults only. This makes them an easy target. Also, be sure they know that just because someone claims to be a 15 year old boy or girl, it doesn't mean that they are. They should also never send out pictures or videos of themselves, even when asked, and no other personal information should be exchanged.

If internet chat rooms concern you, which they should, you may want to point your child in the direction of online message boards instead. Online message boards, also commonly referred to as online forums, are different as the information appears as separate posts, as opposed to live chats. While there are no guarantees, you will find that most online message boards, especially those that are designed for children and teenagers are monitored by a trusted adult. This means that offensive posts should be removed in a timely matter.

Sep 28, 2009

7 Top Foods To Include In Your Kids Diet

Here is a list of the top 7 healthiest foods to feed your kid and why it’s so healthy :

1. Oatmeal: A fabulous breakfast food, full of B vitamins, iron, zinc and calcium. Old-fashioned oatmeal offers plenty of carbohydrate for quick energy and high fiber. Add berries and honey to make it a delicious perfect food for those fast-paced school day mornings!

2. Yogurt: Kick your child's dairy consumption up a notch and include yogurt on the menu. A great source of calcium, yogurt is easier to digest than regular milk, and the cultures (check the label to make sure they're in there!) are very beneficial to good colon health. Wat

Stir-fried Beef with BrocolliImage by babe_kl via Flickr

ch it on the sugar content though. A great idea is to buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit!

3. Broccoli: it is one of the best vegetables for anyone, especially growing kids. It has loads of calcium, potassium, beta-carotene and a wide variety of the B vitamins. If your child is not a fan of plain vegetables include broccoli in a casserole or put a little shredded cheese on top to add flavor.

4. Protein: One size does not fit all when it comes to protein. The fact is that growing kids need protein to keep growing. How you're going to give it to them can vary widely, according to your preferences. Good choices include legumes, beans (combined with a grain to make a complete protein), soy products like tofu, eggs or lean meat, fish or poultry.

5. Whole Grains: The best nutrition is found in whole grains. Brown rice and whole wheat bread are a quantum leap over their white counterparts and offer necessary fiber, minerals and vitamins. Choose grain products with the words “whole”, “unbleached” and “intact” or “ground”.

Inside the health food supermarket on Union SquareImage by @10 via Flickr

6. Nut Butters: Peanut butter and other nut butters are great fast and easy foods for kids. Kids need fat (it's a good fat if it doesn't have hydrogenated oils mixed in it) and they need the protein. Try spreading almond or sunflower seed butter on crackers, toast or celery
sticks for a quick and nutritious snack.

7. Fresh Fruit: My personal choice would be cantaloupe in the melon department. Vita
min C, beta-carotene, bits and pieces of B vitamins and trace minerals and calcium fill every juicy bite. Any in season fresh fruit is sure to be packed with healthy goodness!

Sep 26, 2009

Raising your child's self-esteem ..

Self-esteem is not something you are born with. In some ways, it is something you are given; like a GIFT. When children are young, they develop much of their sense of self-worth by studying how others perceive them.

If children only receive negative reinforcement, they won't think much of themselves. However, if they get praises and encouragement, they will begin to develop a sense of pride in themselves. This will sustain them for the rest of their lives !

Each child is special. Each of them has unique talents and abilities that set him/her apart from everyone else. It's the responsibilities of the parents to make sure that our children know just how remarkable they are.

Children growing up filled with self-esteem will have the courage to go out into the world and try new things, to respect other people's ideas and to face challenges with a sense that they can do anything they put their minds to.

Isn't that what parenting is all about ? :-)

Here are some ways to raise your child's self-esteem :

1. Tell your child you love him/her at least once a day.

2. Take your child's feelings seriously. Try not to say she'll "grow out of it" or that it's "not that bad"

3. Let your child know it's OK to make mistakes. Admit your own.

4. Laugh at your child's jokes -- even when you don't get them.

5. Praise your child's efforts, without worrying about the result.

6. Take your child's picture each year on the first day of school. Don't forget to look back to see how much he's grown !

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 29:  Evan Lamberson (2nd ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

7. Encourage your child to ask questions. Research the answers together.

8. Teach your child that "can't" is not FOREVER. With a little hard work, your child will learn new skill, and turn "I can't" into "I can".

9. Resist the urge to say "I told you so"

10. Pay attention to your child's random acts of kindness, and be sure to thank him/her for them.

Sep 11, 2009

Teenage entrepeneurs .. It's POSSIBLE !

Did You Know that there are teenage entrepeneurs`who have done extraordinary things in the business world?

AdolescenceImage by kevinthoule via Flickr

That they have operated against all odds to start viable businesses that not only thrive but surpass any and all expectations?

In this day and age when the headlines are screaming about gangs and violence amongst our youngsters there's a group of kids beating the statistics in a big way.

Not only can you learn all about this group of outstanding young citizens, you can learn how a teen you care about can do the same great things !

That's right. This has to be a first! A blueprint for our youth that shows them how to start their own profitable business.

This is ground-breaking stuff folks.

Learn more about it HERE.

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