Years ago, the last time I went skiing, I found myself at the top of a mountain in Colorado —at the head of a black diamond (for experts only) trail. I was on the wrong trail! My ski skills are barely good enough for the bunny slope. Needless to say, I was filled with terror. How in God’s name was I going to get down in one piece? To make matters worse, the sky had turned deep gray, a fog had rolled in and the temperature had dropped. A fellow student from the afternoon’s ski lesson was with me. She was twenty years younger and a lot better skier. The slope in front of me was a steep vertical drop, covered in ice. The flat area we stood on was only eight feet narrow, dropping thirty feet into a brush filled ravine on the left and a rocky stream bed on the right. With the next (occupied lift chair descending towards us, we had no choice but to push off the tiny landing pad.
I tried to remember every ski tip I had ever heard: bend knees, lean forward, tuck in elbows. I was terrified of both of my choices. If I lost control and sped to the left, I I could visualize myself landing in the tops of the spiny trees with limbs piercing my body. Or my other choice, to the right, and then falling into the creek bed & into the icy water. Flying along, on bumpy ice, the more I kept my eye on the ravine, the faster towards it I sped. As I approached the edge, my friend yelled, “Look over here!”. As soon as I turned, she reminded me, “You ski where you look. Remember?! Look straight ahead!” My path changed. I stared ahead at a woman in a full length mink & hat posing on the plateau down ahead of us. (It was one of those black ski events.) Anyway, guess where I “went”? And yes, she went down with me, fur a-flapping & cursing all the way.
Anyway, when I hear a mother saying to her three year old, “The police are gonna come get you” or “I’m calling the police on you” or “You’re gonna spend your life in jail”, it causes me to wonder if it narrows that child’s vision to some calamitous path. Does it steer that shape-ready genius, that each young child is, towards seeing themselves in the waiting criminal justice system. I know that the brain retains everything. Some things are kept right at the surface. Other ideas are stored in the unconscious. Think about other mothers, who play subliminal tapes to their sleeping children. Tapes that say “You are going to become a doctor” or “You will be a famous athlete”. The unconscious mind would store that, too.
If we ski where we look, as long as we maintain the “right form” to steady our balance, we can fly through the snow to a comfortable and exciting landing. It helps if we are on a safe trail and we’ve been taught the “right form” that we’ve been able to practice. In terms of skiing through life, and your kids envision their futures in the frames we parents shape for them, how easy would it be to steer our kids toward the positive? They’re going to have some target in mind. Why not say, “Hey, kids! Look over here” and show them how great their futures might be? Don’t push it. It can’t be your direct order or your threat. It has to be your excitement and optimism that sparks them to consider it – to put their eyes on it. If we show kids our confidence in the positive possibilities rather than the weakness of our fears, they will fall under the magic of simply skiing toward the future that they are keeping their eyes on.
“They Can’t Kill Us All; Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement
By Wesley Lowery, Publisher: Little, Brown.
Something big is happening across the country and Washington post reporter, Wesley Lowery, is documenting it. From Baltimore to Oakland, Ferguson to New York, Seattle to Miami, unarmed black men and women are being killed by the police. The stories are starting to sound the same. The policmen “thought” they saw a gun, which turned out to be a book, a cell phone or simply a hand. Guns and knives were “found” near the body but many victims were shot in the back. Two weeks pass, the story falls out of the headlines, the world moves on. The story repeats itself in another city, with another mother’s son or daughter and another community is devastated and hardened.
Wesley Lowery has conducted hundreds of interviews, following these shootings during 2014 and 2015 from city to city. Against the backdrop of the first African American president, these shootings are increasing. Many were documented in cell phone videos yet 97% of these killings resulted in no charges against the police.
Mr. Lowery is a member of his newspaper’s Pulitzer prize-winning team and focuses in with precision clarity on a wave of assaults against the black body that Ta-Nehisi Coates outlined earlier in his book, “Between the World and Me”.
Be the eyes on your child’s location, website views, telephone calls, text and instant messages. Know who’s talking to your child and how often. Block your child from playing computer games when they should be doing homework. Reward them when they limit themselves to the agreed upon times. Make your teen daughter think you have psychic powers when you magically know exactly when the 20 year old guy down the street has arranged to meet her.
Ever hear someone say “Give up! You can’t watch them all the time”? The fact that you work, can’t be home all the time and have to leave your kids everyday needn’t prevent you from being “Parent Johnny-on-the-spot”. With the help of a number of (some even free) downloadable apps for your computers, phones, tablets and other electronic devices, you can now see everywhere your child goes on the web as well as everywhere your child goes on the map. Now, you don’t have to wonder when you call them, whether they really are at home or the library, whether they really have been working on their homework or the next video game level. These apps just might be a parent’s best friend!
Qustodio, as featured on the Steve Harvey show, is one such app.
Available from Qustodio.com , this free download provides a report of your child’s activities. It can be placed on phones and computers without the user knowing it’s there. You can track it in real time from your desk at work or your cell phone.
Mama Bear is a smart app for smartphones. It shows your child’s time of arrival and departure at physical locations, monitors Instagram photos posted, texts, tweets & messages for keywords & offensive language. It can also monitor your teen’s driving speed. Love it!
Other apps that scored high in reviews are Phone Sheriff, mSpy and Mobile Spy.
Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at Murdoch Children’s Research at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria in Australia, found that many of the problems associated with ADHD – poor behavior, school readiness, irritability and impulsiveness, declined with increased sleep.
When parents are taught how to establish night time routines, clear bed times and the removal of electronic equipment from childrens’ rooms, children were able to achieve better sleep. Their behavior was improved during the day as well as at home in the evening. Researchers noted that parents are so exhausted in the evening and may need to make a concerted effort to implement changes but noted that the results were often positive.
Researchers are examining the effect of blue light from computer screens on brain stimulation and the body’s signaling system. It has been suggested that this light overstimulates the brain making it difficult for people to fall asleep..
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