Saturday, April 12, 2014

Think Before You Speak, Don't Become "That" Mom

OK~ I've recently been reminded of how everything we as parents do is something that our kids are taking note of 24/7. Sue Scheff recently shared information on the whole topic of Monster Moms. This one really hit home with me while I was out and about this week.

While shopping in a local grocery store this week I came upon two Moms talking, with tweens by their side. They were discussing an upcoming event and they could not believe that so and so was actually going to help. One Mom went as far to say, "Well, I let her know on her Facebook page that her help was not needed." I might add, the tone was not pleasant. I kept walking and the wheels started turning.

Problem #1: Both of these Moms have kids and their own kids are very much aware that they do not want other people to help with their event. When did it become the norm to not accept help from others? I can tell you that being a CubMaster of a local Cub Scout Pack was a lot easier when I had parents volunteer to help out with events. Never once did I turn a parent away.

Problem #2: Facebook, or social media, in general is not the place to turn volunteer help away.

Problem #3: If a community event is going to be successful, social media needs to be used in a positive way, not negative.

Problem #4: Their own tweens were listening to every word said, which was not pleasant.

I know that my boys have always had ears all around- and they still do!

So, going back to these two Moms in the grocery store. I wonder when they will wake up? It is OK to embrace help from "other"parents. I can tell you from experience that events will be much more successful when volunteers are all welcome.

And now these Moms will wonder why their own kids are having issues at school. Or maybe their kids will be causing issues. Until we as adults think about what we are saying in front of our kids and other community members, bullying will be an ongoing problem. Now, I do understand that there is a difference between having one's feelings hurt and bullying. I can also tell you that by the tone of the voices of these Moms, they had intentions of being Monster Moms.

I despise the fact that we label adults and kids when it comes to bullying. The best way to take care of it? We, as adults, need to think before we speak and post comments online. We all make mistakes and we all need a reminder now and then. So, this post is your reminder. Think before you speak, your kids will thank you! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Know That My Iowa Friends Are Better Than This, We Need To Step Up Our Game On Guiding Our Kids

OK~ Iowa, we are better than this! My mind is reeling after Iowa made the news in a not so good way yesterday. VEISHA, an annual event held on the campus at Iowa State University turned ugly. From what I have read online and heard on the radio, several folks gathered at around 11:30 p.m. on a street corner in Ames, Iowa. I happened to stumble upon a video on Twitter showing this gathering. I must admit half way through the three minute clip, I said to myself; "Have I really stooped this low," as I watched the violence take place.

What shocked me the most was these young people, whom many appeared younger than 21, were holding beer bottles in their hands. I was a young person in my life at one time and there was no reason to gather on a street corner at 11:30 p.m., let alone confront the local police department. These people started throwing anything and everything at the police officers. Would someone enlighten me as to why this mob of people would shown no respect to these police officers? In my younger days when the police arrived, we moved on or had a short conversation with the officers. It bothers me that there were so many young adults that had absolutely no respect towards these police officers. 

I love my home state of Iowa, as we have good people that reside here and well mannered young adults that do attend Iowa State University. It's sad that this group of people, and it's not a small group, showed so much disrespect on their college campus.

I'm now asking myself, "How can we as adults help these young people learn to respect police officers?" It makes my stomach churn, as the violence that was expressed was something that I never thought I would see in Iowa. Do we need to find more activities for these youth to do on our college campuses?  Dr. Michele Borba addresses moral intelligence, and I'm thinking this is what these young people may be missing.                                                


I do understand that the city of Ames had to make some repairs to the streets and clean up the vandalism. But, it is too bad that those responsible for the damage were not forced to clean up the mess. If these young people had some personal ties to the damage they did, maybe they would think twice before they did something like this again. 

From the tweets I found in my Twitter thread it did not take me long to figure out who was participating in this mess and who was not. Social Media may provide a lot of information for law enforcement when it comes to finding the guilty young adults. 

Iowa is a great place to call home and we Iowans will strive to keep our state a safe, caring place to call home. VEISHA represents: Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture. It is a time when students show off their college and families celebrate Iowa State University. So, for now, it's all on hold and we wait for things to calm down in Iowa.  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dr. Michele Borba: Empathy Needs To Be Taught For Bullying To Slow Down

OK~ Bullying has been around for a long time and the scary thing is that bullying continues to evolve. It could be due to our increased time online where people are not speaking directly to someone. The number one way to communicate is still face to face. Many people feel that they have the right to say anything and everything when it's not said face to face. Wrong, that's simply not the case. It's not just kids, it's also Moms and Dads that engage in bullying.

I recently had the opportunity to attend CES Community Empowerment Series) in St. Augustine, Florida, and let me tell you, now that was an eye opener!

Dr. Michele Borba, well known parenting expert, held a session on bullying. I walked away with a wealth of information and sadly, many that needed the information were not in attendance.

Did you know?
  • Bullying is a learned behavior
  • Narcissism is up and empathy is down in our society
  • 20% of 3-4 year olds are involved in youth violence
  • Bully prevention only works in communities that offer a caring and compassionate environment
  • High bully areas are: restrooms, playgrounds, parks, hallways, stairwells, lockers, bus stops, and buses
  • 85% students witness bullying when adults are not present
  • Zero tolerance is not working- empathy is not being taught
Wow- can you say wow? If that information does not open your eyes, I'm not sure anything will. 

So, how do we overcome this huge national problem of bullying? Stressing kindness is one step forward. There are many kids doing great things when it comes to kindness. Kids are changing the norms. Check out what happened here...... A Twitter account was formed- @OsseoNiceThings. One Minnesota teen who became tired of the cyberbullying online decided he would take charge by fighting cyberbullying with kindness.

Kindness is contagious. If everyone focused on kindness, don't you think we would see a shift in behaviors? Keep in mind new behaviors take 21 days of repetition. How many educators and/or parents give up on day #10? And that word empathy, just imagine if kids were taught about empathy. Imagine the possibilities.

It does take a community to be willing to change when it comes to bullying. Guess where most kids feel the safest? The library. I am thinking there is something to be learned from a few librarians around the country. Libraries are not stressful settings, and due to the fact that stress and mental health needs are at an all time high, in regards to our kids, could there be something to this?

Many communities have not embraced and educated teachers, as well as students on how to use social media. That seems to me to be one of the draw backs of why social media has taken off as such a bullying platform. Schools have to step up their game and start educating their staff and students. Social media is a part of our day to day lives and if our kids and educators know how to use it correctly, the doorways to the world open up.

Dr. Michele Borba is working hard to educate families all across the world. She is a motivator and extremely knowledgeable on the topic of bullying.

Dr. Michele Borba's The Big Book of Parenting Solutions offers 101 answers that you as a parent may be searching for. Swing over to her website to learn more about bullying and how you can help slow down this upwards trend in bullying.

I am grateful that I took the time to attend CES (Community Empowerment Series) in St. Augustine, Florida. I have more to share, as Dr. Michele Borba was not the only expert speaking on this day. St. Augustine was lucky to have so many experts under one roof, for one day, sharing helpful parenting tips and more! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Earth Day And The iPhone 5s With U.S. Cellular Are Making Our World A Little Greener #SPONSORED

Disclosure: As part of the Better Moments Blogger Brigade Program, I did receive compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's. I have been a U.S. Cellular customer for 10+ years.

OK~ Earth Day is coming quickly and it is that time of year when we all begin to think about how we can make our Earth a little cleaner. I wish we could focus on Earth Day 365 days of the year, but life doesn't seem to work that way. Now that our snow is almost gone in North Iowa, the litter that has been tossed out from car windows is very visible alongside our highways. If folks would not toss trash out their car windows, a lot of this problem could be eliminated.

I recently started using an iPhone 5s and I must tell you, it's pretty sweet! I love how I am now connected with my iPad and iMac. I no longer have to worry about what computer I have my "stuff" on, as it's everywhere! I was kind of skeptical as to what type of photos it would take, and much to my surprise, my photos rock. I love them. The images I take with my iPhone 5s are captured in 8 megapixels and they look fabulous. Check 'em out on Instagram! My life is all captured with a soft touch of a button on my iPhone 5s.

In honor of Earth Day, U.S. Cellular encourages people to recycle their old electronic devices and is providing incentives to do so. Customers can get up to $250 when they trade in qualified smart phones- including Apple iPhones at U.S. Cellular retail locations through the company's Trade- in -Program.

Statistics on the numbers of electronics that are not being recycled are sobering; of the 141 million mobile phones that were discarded in 2009 (the most recent data available), only 12 million were recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thirty percent of people that do not recycle their used phones refrain from doing so because they don't know where to recycle their devices, according to an online poll conducted by Earth 911.

You can shop a little greener. The GoodGuideApp offers a solution! This app allows users to scan products' barcodes on their smart phones to access science based ratings and scores based on the products being safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly. Information on more than 170,000 items is available, broken down into different categories such as food, cleaning products, and baby items. One simple way to keep tabs on leading a greener lifestyle all year long.

I'd love to hear how you recycle your old electronics. This is an area that is new to many of us, as it's just been within the last five years that smart phones, tablets, and the like are in all of our homes. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?