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Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Winter 2014


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BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014


Q

Dear BeSafe, I’m now a single mother and I have three kids. I have always had a set of rules for my kids to follow, but I’m noticing that the older they get, the more the rules aren’t working. Why did they work before, but not now? - K. Stiles Dear K. Stiles, We were very intrigued by your question and had a lot of fun researching and speaking to a few of our experts. We found that the information correlated with our own experiences. Maybe some of these insights will be helpful in your situation as well. When children are small, rules are great because kids need lots of structure. They see the world as an open meadow if you will they can do whatever they want, because they see no consequences whatsoever. It isn’t until the first time they hurt themselves, fall off their bike or get disciplined that they begin to correlate their behavior with an outcome. So rules basically just provide the stripes down the middle of the road - and that is a great purpose. But as children get older, they start to see that they are more in control than they originally thought. Rules become fewer, because both of you come to an agreement that spilled milk is no longer a big deal because she now knows it’s her job to clean it up. When she was younger, you had to clean it up. If she spilled five times, you cleaned five times, right? Things are different now. Now with that said, there are a few things

C ommunity Corner

to think about when it comes to rules ‘not working’ any longer. The question we found most crucial is to ask yourself, is this a rule bound by relationship or just a rule? We had one faith-based professional who found interest in this question and he responded by telling us that it’s actually very interesting - that often children who are given lists of rules are very lost when they grow up, because there was no relationship behind them. In other words, there were long lists of things not to do, but the child observed the parent doing them, or perhaps they saw a sibling not getting in trouble for the same thing they did, which was met with stern discipline. When we establish a relationship with our children, they see the rules live out in our behaviors, rather than simply hearing them repeated time and again. They tend to go in one ear and out the other as they say. But if you and your child have a strong relationship, they understand why the rules are there in the first place, and it was noted that perhaps the need for the rule might be no longer necessary, once that key principle is established. Lastly, it is important to consider that when we say “relationship,” we don’t just mean the inherent bond you have by birth. What I am referring to is a little deeper and perhaps even richer. In this case, the relationship I am talking about is knowing someone inside and out, not as your child or sibling, but as a person. For example, I tell my children constantly that love is free, but trust - it must be earned. The love part comes naturally between parent and child. The rest of what is gained and/or lost is part of the relationship journey. Take a few minutes to examine your journey. Do you know your child, not as your child, but as a human being? If the answer is ‘no,’ or ‘I’m not sure,’ don’t beat yourself up. It just means there is opportunity to build a relationship.

For the on ati r e n e g next ing. k n a b f o

www.thisismytbt.com


From The Editor Chris Taylor

What is it that makes you happy? I’ve found as a parent that the answer to that question changes quite a bit over the years. Kids definately alter our plans. But I’ve also found that what they had in store for me, was much better than the what I originally thought would bring me happiness. Sometimes, I think we lose sight of what makes us happy, feeling more like a whisp of paper blowing in the wind, than a ship on a chartered course to some grand destination. But maybe happiness isn’t a grand destination. Maybe our ‘happy’ is found in other places - in the right here and now. Sometimes I think that actually searching for what makes us happy, makes us unhappy, sort of like trying to find love. When you go looking for it, it evades your grasp, passing you on the street without your knowledge. So this year, I am trying to focus on the happy that is right in front of me. For me, it’s the moment when I wake up and my wife is standing before me with a cup of warm coffee, or the moment I go and wake the kids up for school and I rub

my son’s head to gently wake him up. Sometimes its when I pick my youngest up at daycare and he comes running to me from across the room and leaps into my arms. Talk about happy - you can see it on his face from two miles away. So what is your happy? Do you struggle to find it? Are you out searching in the night desperately trying to locate it, or are you squinting your eyes, patiently waiting to see it all around you? I ask, because the way that you seek your happiness, is most likely the way your children will learn to. Parents are teachers 24/7. We don’t have shifts. We don’t get holidays. There are no workdays. We are under constant observation and scrutiny, by little people trying to figure it all out. But there is no classroom, no whiteboard, no books. We do it from memory really, or better yet, we do it from autopilot. What do you look like on autopilot? I’ve taken a look in the mirror a few times, and sometimes, I am not, well, happy. And knowing that I’m in charge of that, is exciting and scary at the same time. I get to choose to see the happy around me, to verbalize it, to share it, to document it in photos or sounds and share with just about anyone

editor@besafechild.com

I choose - instantly, which by the way is a whole other discussion. If you have no other resolution in 2014, consider making yours the goal of finding, no participating in your happiness. In this issue, you will find pictures, stories and advice on how to do just that. But before you turn the page, here are a few simple steps to getting off on the right foot. - Do things for others - Connect with people - Take care of your body - Notice the world around you - Keep learning new things - Have goals to look forward to - Find ways to bounce back - Use a positive approach - Be comfortable with yourself - Be a part of something bigger These tips are from a great organization called “Action for Happiness,” and you can find them, along with steps to take at www. actionforhappiness.org. “When we give to others it activates the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain and boosts happiness for us as well as the people we help. Studies have shown that giving money away tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves,” says the organization.


besafe

Cover by:

guest columns

www.morgangauntt.com

6 New Year, New You

Melinda Prince, Owner of 360 Fitness, breaks it down for our readers.

don’t miss this 16 Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine? We put the truth to the test

8 BeSafe @ Home

medication safety in your home

9 BeSafe @ School

Who is the bigger bully, boys or girls?

18 What is this?

Find out on page 18!

10 BeSafe & Happy

Make happiness a family trait

13 Digitz says “Save Now”

TB&T teaches us how to start saving

14 FREE Kids Draw!

Draw the picture on this page and you can eat free at Smashburger! See rules for details

15 Boy on a Mission

Find out what this kid did, and why

19 Snapchat Safety

BeSafe shares a few insights www.besafechild.com BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014

5


NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

by Melinda Prince

healthy eating plan (those high in sugar, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup). Then we will shop together to restock with healthy foods. � We will spend 30 minutes outside playing together as often as possible, regardless of the weather. � We will find a place that provides opportunities for the entire family to be physically active together or offers child care and afterschool or teen programs. � We will add physical activity or play time to the calendar. We will schedule an evening walk, fitness class, or soccer games for kids with the same commitment as other New Year’s Resolutions for Families important meetings. � We will eat fast food one less time each � We will pick a fun run/walk or 5K a few month. � We will add at least one fresh fruit snack to months away, sign up, train as a family and participate in it together. our daily routine. � We will switch to whole grain breads, pas- � We will share a meal (whether it’s dinner or breakfast) together most days of the week. ta, and cereals. � We will have a family “pantry raid,” read- � We will plan an active family vacation this year. ing labels and removing foods that don’t fit Good luck and happy new year! in a New Year’s resolutions about health, and especially about diet and weight loss, must be the most common vows made each January 1. Is your family among those resolving to make some healthy changes this new year? For best success, choose just a few resolutions, and make them specific and manageable. In other words, “sign up for weight training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and attend regularly” works better than “work out every single day.” See more resolutions, gleaned in part from lists originally created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the YMCA of the USA, below.

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Medication Safety Tips Everything you need to know to keep your kids safe around medicine.

Children are curious by nature, and it makes sense that they would be even more curious when it comes to medication. Many medications look and taste like candy. While it’s important to encourage our kids to explore and discover new things, when it comes to medication, we want to be careful to keep them safe. Here are a few tips to show you how.

besafe @ home

Store Medicines Safely • Put medicines up and away and out of sight. Make sure that all medicines, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. (In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.) • Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. (In 67% of cases, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser or found on the ground.) • Consider products you might not think about as medicines. Most parents know to store medicine up and away - or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as diaper rash remedies or eye drops, which may not seem like medicine but can cause harm. • Close your medicine tightly after every use. Buy medicines that come in child-resistant packages when you can. But remember, child-resistant does not mean child-proof, and some children will still be able to get into medicine given enough time and persistence. Make sure you close the package tightly after each use. • Be alert to visitors’ medicine. Well-meaning visitors may not be thinking about the medicines they have brought with them in their belongings. When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child. For more information visit safekids.org.

(In 43% of cases, the medicine a child got into belonged to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.) • Be alert to medicine in places your child visits. You know to store medicine safely in your home, but do you ever think about medicine safety when your child isn’t at home? Asking people your child visits to put their medicines in a safe place works for some parents, but it may feel socially awkward to others. Another option is to take a look around to see if any medicines are stored within reach and deal with any risks in sight. • Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use. When you need to give another dose in just a few hours, it may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand. Accidents can happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note. Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. Every year, more than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight minutes.

© 2013 Safe Kids Worldwide®

POISON CONTROL(1-800-222-1222) 8

BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014


Girls Don’t Bully Do They? When most people picture a "typical" bully, they imagine a boy who is bigger or older than his classmates, who doesn't do well in school, who fights, and who likes it when others are scared of him. Girls usually face a different type of bully, one who may not look as scary from the outside but who can cause just as much harm.

The Effects This kind of bullying can have just as serious consequences as physical bullying. It can cause a drop in grades, low self esteem, anxiety, depression, drug use, and poor eating habits in girls who are bullied. This kind of bullying is harder to see. Most of the time adults don't realize when girls are being bullied in this way. What You Can Do One of the best ways to stop this form of bullying is for the girls who see it or who are stuck in the middle to speak up and say that it is not okay. But only 15 percent of girls speak up, usually because they're afraid the bully will turn on them next. Parents and other adults can help girls beat bullying by teaching them how to stand up for themselves and their friends and by taking action themselves. Here are a few things to remember: Encourage kids to be kind and to help others, particularly if they see someone being bullied. Praise them when they do so. Tell girls they are special, and point out why. Help girls get involved in activities outside of school so they can make friends in different social circles. Don't push girls to be in the "right" class or on the "right" sports team. Let them choose what to play and with whom. Stop bullying when you see it. Don't let anyone, even your daughter, make fun of someone else even if she says she is only "joking." Be a good example. Don't gossip or make fun of others in front of young girls. Talk to girls about their friends, what they do together, and how they treat each other. Ask them what makes a good friend, and whether their What’cha waitin’ for? friends have these qualities. If you know bullying is happening at school, OPEN 24 HOURS speak to school officials and ask what they are ACROSS FROM BROADWAY SQUARE MALL doing to stop it.

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besafe @ school

What's She Like The typical girl who bullies is popular, well-liked by adults, does well in school, and can even be friends with the girls she bullies. She doesn't get into fist fights, although some girls who bully do. Instead, she spreads rumors, gossips, excludes others, shares secrets, and teases girls about their hair, weight, intelligence, and athletic ability. She usually bullies in a group and others join in or pressure her to bully.

Courtesy of National Crime Prevention Council. Find out more at www.ncpc.org

BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014

9


besafe & happy

Happy Starts at Home 1. Read Aloud Every Day - The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research found that reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read alouds. Plus, the coziness of being together and falling through the pages into a story is a wonderful way to bond with your child. 2. Keep an Inspiration Journal - Help your child start recording their own story by keeping a written record of her daily inspirations, discoveries, questions and experiences. By taking the time to write down ideas and experiences, your child will become a close reader of the world who seeks beauty in small moments, and will also learn that her words and experiences are important, and valued. 3. Sing - Music brings emotion and creates community. Your child doesn’t care if you are a broadway star or an amateur shower performer, singing together is one of the most fun activities in a child’s life and she thinks you sound great. For babies, lullabies, songs and rhymes are the precursor to lifelong literacy. For older children, songs introduce complex ideas and vocabulary. For all children, song brings mundane tasks to life and is a great tool for memorization (such as making a song to remember a phone number or to get a chore done more easily). 4. Be Co-Explorers of the World - Dedicate time every week to learn something new with your child. Not only will this show him how much you value the pursuit of curiosity and learning, it also levels the playing field, allowing you to relate to each other’s struggles and celebrate mutual triumphs along the way. As time goes on the skill you learned will be a bonding experience that ties you together wherever you are in the world. 5. Create a Family Mission Statement - This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss what you value as a family, and to build a strong family narrative that will ground your child when making small and large decisions in her independent life. 6. Serve Your Community Together - Find a local organization (use your mission statement as a guide) and volunteer as a family. Encourage your children to be community leaders by asking them what they would like to change about their community, and make an action plan outlining what it will take to create this change. 7. Cook Together - Food is the glue that binds every family together—it forces us to stop our busy day so that we can take a breath, sit down and enjoy the fulfillment of food and the company of our loved ones. Cooking is a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation, connecting your child to the past and bringing your family’s history into the future. 8. Relish the “Mess” - Too often we miss moments of joy because we are distracted by small things that won’t matter in 10 years (or even 10 minutes). Instead of worrying about on-lookers, a messy house, or stained clothes, lose yourself in the joy of a sidewalk dance party, help construct a massive blanket fort in the living room, and revel in the magnificent insect found in the sandbox. 9. Make Positive Affirmations a Daily Routine - Your child is trying to find her place in this chaotic world. This is not an easy thing to do and is an on-going process even for adults. Help your child navigate her journey by affirming the choices she makes. This can be a word of encouragement, a little jingle you sing when you’re proud, or modeling your fingers as shooting stars flying her way. 10. Cultivate a Gratitude Attitude - Expressing gratitude and identifying the things that we are grateful for (however small) fosters optimism, compassion and hope. Keep a chart on the wall or the fridge and fun markers and pens that your child can use to document what he loves about his family. Keeping this chart in a visible, reachable place where your child can easily go to when a thought crosses his mind will make finding and communicating gratitude second nature. Courtesy of Psychology Today, written by Pam Allyn. (Edited) Read more at www.psychologytoday.com. 10

BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014


PUBLISHER Christopher and Stephanie Taylor EDITOR Christopher Taylor editor@besafechild.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Melinda Prince, 360 Fitness, Tyler Karen Partee, Texas Bank and Trust ADVERTISING/SALES Stephanie Taylor stephanie@besafechild.com BeSafe is published quarterly and printed by the Longview News Journal

Your link to health and community services - Free help line answered 24 hours/day, 7 days a week

by Melinda - We’re Prince here to listen - in more than 90

languages - Whether by phone or internet, trained specialists will help you find answers and connect you to available resources in your community. Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-541-7905 www.211texas.org

www.unitedwaytyler.org East Texas Area Information Center is a part of the Texas Information and Referral Network, a program of the Health and Human Services Commission.

1815 Everglades Drive www.besafechild.com Tyler, Texas 75703 info@besafechild.com www.facebook.com/besafepub Subsribe to BeSafe for your home, office, waiting room, or lobby for a low yearly fee. Contact us today to find out how.

ŠCopyright 2014 BESAFE Publications We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within these pages, however BeSafe Publications assumes no liability for information provided by its sponsors. Content does not necessarily indicate the views and opinions of BeSafe Publications or its staff. While we retain our copyright position, we do grant permission to individuals and organizations for educational purposes. BeSafe Publications is not responsible for any damages arising from typographical or mechanical errors beyond the cost of the ad placed.

Home of Hand Cut Steaks & Fall Off The Bone Ribs Tuesdays - Kids Eat Free 2101 E.S.E. Loop 323 509-0053 www.TexasRoadhouse.com


NETWORKS/STAR PROGRAM What does NETWORKS STAR have to offer?

What Is NETWORKS STAR?

 In home family counseling, free of charge.  Around the clock crisis intervention.  Conflict resolution.  Links to community education and outreach.  Professional, courteous staff who provide timely access to services through intake, assessment and case follow-up.

The STAR program offers free, preventive, short-term services for youth and their families. In additon to assisting youth and their families in mastering new skills through skills based training, our staff helps to reduce Ashley Day the occurrence of truancy, runaways, family by conflict and delinquent behavior. The program helps families resolve problems within the home. Anyone can make a referral to the NETWORKS STAR Program and the process is easy. Phone: (903) 581-2835 Fax: (903) 581-2810 24Hour Line: 1-866-630-3551 Mail: NETWORKS STAR 2624 Kensington Dr. Ste 113 Eligibility: Services:  Youth, ages 0-17  Intake and screening Tyler, TX 75703  Runaway  Crisis intervention Cualquier persona puede referir a otra al programa Es Truancy  Family counseling trella (Start Program), el proceso es muy sencillo.  Family Conflict  Skills training Numero telefonico: (903) 581-2835  School Groups  Linking with resources Numero de FAX: (903) 581-2810  Court Ordered Youth  Youth skills training 24Hour Line: 1-866-630-3551 in school Mail: NETWORKS STAR 2624 Kensington Dr. Ste 113 UNIVERSAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION Tyler, TX 75703

Teacher We Talk serve Smith, Wood, Henderson, Van Zandt, Kaufman, Navarro, & Ellis Counties The NETWORKS STAR Program Serves Youth Ages: 0 - 17.

What is UCAP? Universal Child Abuse Prevention, or UCAP, is a program funded by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services that is designed to provide information and activities to all members of the community in an effort to prevent child abuse and neglect.

UCAP

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT?  Do listen to the child  Don’t walk away  Don’t try to investigate on your own  Do report reasonable suspicions by calling the 24-hour Abuse Hotline, 1-800-374-6058 or your local law enforcement agency. Que puede usted hacer si sospecha de abuso o neglicencia infantil?  Escuche al menor.  No le de la espalda.  No trate de investigar solo.  Reporte sospechas razonables liamando a la linea telefonica de 24 horas, 1-800-374-6058 o bien a la agencia policial local.

We Are Funded By The Texas Department of Family And Protective Services. 18

12

BeSafe Child Magazine

Smith County Winter 2011

BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014


Hey kids!

By depositing your money into your savings account, you can make more money by earning interest. Over time, you will accumulate more money then you started with. To help you get started on saving money, Digitz the Dollar Dog has come up with a few tips to help you work toward your New Year’s Resolution goals. • Talk to your parents about your money saving goals. • Decide on your goal and write it down. That way at the end of the year, you can see what all you have accomplished to reach your goal. • Start saving any loose change, or money you get from now until the end of the year. Deposit that money into your Cool Kids Savings Account. • Watch your money grow! Anytime you come to the bank, check your balance to see how much you have been saving. • Avoid taking money out of your savings account. Your goal is to save it, NOT spend it! • At the end of the year, check your account to see if you have accomplished your money saving goal.

www.thisismytbt.com

rd r! a Ja be a ha n i ts to Wan ot have e VING s A n o S h s , T e do dge Put ving owle a n S k ! t h ds s bud I g i i i r K y l e e on gs Coo th th ve m t the thin el a Hey, o do. Wi n! s I t fu ou lab hen thing can be do w nd weed jars and I y g e a n o mon e first thi need r, I get tw I for s h g T ie ” jar lin s.” s s t h t a d n e e a e “ne r “w this she or th get f To make the othe ing in my ike food, o my l v d . nt want eeds” an ey I’m sa ust have, ve I put i n n “ o ha . Im one the m , things money I e to have bones, t u p s I n ra ie lik essit . Any ext uld just ng my ow when c e n o r i ak my Iw hts ate nd w or things ney by m ut the lig a , r e f o t o y ve m ning t” jar be b d l u “wan I also sa , and tur o ey c e waterns n . o o e p s m k u g co dog hou ht save house, li floors, n i p p g i y i e e cl t in m ing th nd th you m ’I m no e ways nts arou es, mopp . Som our pare g cloth our bed ting your ill posi ng y ng y foldin helpi plants, , or maki save, de ccount w e A t o ing th g your pe decide t Savings s u in feed wever yo Cool Kid ys safe! r o u wa H to yo ney is al n i y e o mon our m y e r ensu

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A Boy On a Mission

Meet BeSafe’s own Landon Taylor. For Christmas this year, Landon received some simple wooden airplane kits from a family member. He put them together almost immediately. We’ve gotten several of them stuck in trees at our local park - and had a lot of fun trying to get them down. Landon heard about a friend of ours going to Haiti and he remembered hearing about how the people there were struggling a great deal. He asked if we could send airplanes for the kids to put together. It was a moment of pure joy as a parent. We ordered a sizeable number and sent them with our friend on her mission trip. Landon decided he wanted to raise money to send more, so we took to Facebook and thanks to a few friends, had most of them sponsored within a few hours. For an almost 12 year old, it was a big step. When our children recognize the need that other human beings have, and how lucky they are to have what they do, saying it’s a big step in their development is an understatment. It also goes to show that your contribution to the community doesn’t have to be big and bold. For Landon, little wooden airplanes made him happy - and he thought they would make other kids happy too. Has your family done something like this? Share your story with us at: www.facebook. com/besafepub so that we can share with our readers.

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15


Is Laughter REALLY the Best Medicine?

Some say it’s true, others are still awaiting scientific evidence. So we wondered, could it really be true? Is laughter a healing wonder? Here’s what we found out.

Researchers for WebMD conclude right up front that science really cannot be sure at the moment as to whether the act of laughing is the lone medication we all need to feel better. But there are some things we do know. Science demonstrates that there are proven reactions by the body when we laugh. For example, according to WebMD writer R. Morgan Griffin, laughter can improve blood flow, improve the body’s immune response, control, or maybe even lower blood sugar and improve sleep. There could also be a positive affect on memory, but more study is necessary. During one particular study, notes Griffin, subjects were given a meal and asked to listen to a lecture. The following evening, the meal was repeated, but subjects were asked to watch a comedy. Blood sugars were checked after each activity and it was noted that they were

by Chris Taylor

lower after the comedy, rather than the lecture. ”The definitive research into the potential health benefits of laughter just hasn’t been done yet,” says Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, denotes Griffin. Provine goes on to add that one of the most impressive benefits of laughter is that it has the power to dull pain. It is thought that this is due to the release of endorphins, which occurs during and after laughing. But perhaps just because we cannot prove it’s power, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. We can’t prove that wind really exits either, now can we? “Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay


focused and accomplish more. Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed,” says Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., authors of “Laughter is the Best Medicine,” on the website, helpguide.org. With the professional opinions out of the way for the moment, there is a lot more here to explore than just what science can prove. There is that feeling you get deep in your soul when you are laughing uncontrollably at your son, who comes downstairs in his “superman” costume which includes his sister’s underwear and two socks. There’s also the connection you feel to someone, as you share lunch and a funny story that sends the two of you into a side-splitting frenzy. It just feels good - to laugh, to connect, and have a forerver memory. It seems to bond us to people, in a way that maybe science just can’t explain. Physical Health Benefits: Boosts immunity Lowers stress hormones Decreases pain Relaxes your muscles Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits:

Social Benefits:

Adds joy and zest to life Eases anxiety and fear Relieves stress Improves mood Enhances resilience

Strengthens relationships Attracts others to us Enhances team work Helps defuse conflict Promotes group bonding

The conclusion, at least among the experts, seems to be that laughter really does have a postive affect on the human body and could have an affect on the spiritual and social aspects of life as well. There is enough scientific and suspect information available to prove that, well, we just may not need proof.

And maybe - that’s the key - it doesn’t matter. Laughter could really be the best medicine, because we believe just that. So what are http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm some ways you can achieve the known positive affects? Here are a few tips for making the most of your funny bone: Don’t fake it. You know it and so does everyone else. If it doesn’t come natural to you, just let it go. Don’t fight it. If you feel a laugh coming on and you attempt to keep it in, you will probably find yourself busting at the seams. Well, okay maybe you should try and fight it, just to see how hard you really can laugh. Laugh with your children as much as you can. It aids in memory making, improves your health and theirs and it creates family bonds. Start with a joke - but be careful not to accidentally relay bad messages with your joke selection. Some of them are pretty unhealthy.

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the besafe top 10 list

According to TIME Magazine, here are the top ten things today’s child might know very little about, if at all . . .

Camera Film - seriously? The Polaroid is a thing of the past. So is film. In the digital age, only gramma asks if you are going to print that picture out, right?

Landline Phones -

if you are like us, you can recall the days of the long phone cord, streched all the way from the kitchen to your bedroom. It parted years ago, but now, the landline phone may become extinct itself.

Real books -

okay, so these are still around - for now. Ebooks and E-readers are increasing our access to more and more reading materials, but there are a growing number of kids that may never know what a real book feels like.

Being Lost -

not in the parking lot - the woods. Remember how awesome it felt to get lost in the woods, or even the backyard really. Today’s helicopter parenting often keeps kids from finding their own way - sometimes physically!

Actual Music Videos on MTV - we agree with TIME on this one, but this may actually be a good thing.

Walkman’s - is the IPOD it’s distant cousin? Not really, we think. What’s “tuning” my ten year old asks as I write this.

Nick at Nite - so this is still around, but it just isn’t the

same. Nick at Nite meant kids could watch TV at night, just like their parents. It’s how we controlled the television all day!

Tan M&M’s - don’t remember these do you? Apparently a blip on the radar in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

Czechoslovakia - maps have changed a little since this country was cut in half in ‘93.

The TERMINATOR - Quite ironic that transformers

came and went, and have returned yet again, but this guy is lost in a generation. source: www.time.com

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SnapChat: Friend or Foe?

Social media conversations

about a new trend which has become popular with kids, tweens, and teens – Snapchat are on the rise. A ‘Snap Chat’ is a photo or a video, in which you add a caption, and send it to a friend. They’ll view it, laugh, and then the snap disappears from the screen - unless they take a screenshot that is. Snap Chat claims to delete your photos after 10 seconds, but Adam McLane, author of A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media, feels strongly that everything posted online is public and urges parents to read the terms of service. An article by CNNMoney, reported that Snapchat users are increasingly receiving spam messages with inappropriate photos of adult content. Many snapchatters fail to realize the person you send the snap to can save the snap. There is no way to stop your snap from being stored by the recipient. And parents do not have access to snaps that have been shared.

Connectsafely.org has a complete guide to Snap Chat that says the developers have launched SnapKidz, for children under 13. However, after we searched for the this version on iTunes, (using an iPhone 5 and second generation iPad), SnapKidz could not be located. This could be a device error, so we ask our readersto research it for themselves. Approximately 60 million snaps are shared daily and the feature has become more popular than Instagram. Snapchat could be a lot of fun to use, however it seems the risks may outweigh the benefits. We figure it is more important to focus on a working relationship with your kids. Shouting rules gets us nowhere, so it’s important for kids to go through the process of building our trust.Talk to your kids about the dangers of the internet and social media and how to enjoy it safely. ALWAYS know your child’s username and passwords.

www.Suddenlink.com BeSafe Magazine Winter 2014

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BeSafe Family Winter Edition