Athens Oconee Parent Magazine Jan-Feb 2019

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A Resource for Families in Athens, Oconee County and the Surrounding Area

February 2019

Building Families... Building Businesses


Grand Opening of the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at the n State Botanical Garde ia, of Georg March 23, 2019

E D U C A T I O N In the Garden On the Road At Home & School • • Have Confidence in Your Own Worth

... and one word to take out of your vocabulary for 2019

2 Athens-Oconee Parent

“Building Families...Building Businesses” January/February 2019 • Vol. 21 No. 2 LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1998


Shannon H. Baker


A.W. Blalock


Sarah Danis


Anniston Howell WEB MANAGER


Liz Conroy, Sarah Danis, Melissa Donohue, Arthur M. Horne, Hsien-Lin Hsieh, Amy Lasseter, Lusine Nahapetyan, Tina Phonekeo, Katharine Raczynski, Jonathan C. Robinson, Monira Silk, and Carol Tuttle Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine is published six times a year. Reader correspondence and editorial submission welcome.We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this magazine. Distribution of this product does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services herein. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 Advertising: Editorial: Office & Production: Calendar: Website: PUBLISHED BY

on the cover Detail of Illustration by Cameron Berglund, Koons Environmental Design Courtesy of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia 3


alice photo


lice DePass, owner of Alice DePass Studio of Dance for 37 years, passed away in December after a short illness from complications of a recently discovered cancer. Alice was a very special lady and our town is better by having her soul shared with us throughout her life. She didn’t sit back and watch life pass her by – she made things happen and was able to touch so many people. We just assume that people we love and care about will be here tomorrow, just like they are today. Alice was a constant in my life for twenty years. I took ballet classes from her longer ago than I like to think about, my 22-year-old daughter took ballet with her as a child when Alice DePass Studio of Dance was located in Five Points, and my 10-year-old daughter took dance with her in Oconee County. Alice and I would often discuss women-owned businesses and the good and bad that came with the title. And her dance studio was a constant advertiser with Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine, appearing in every issue since we started in 1998. I think Alice would agree to live your life as a gift and treat your friends and family with love and respect each and every day. I also think Alice would tell us to keep on dancing! We love you, Ali. Shannon H. Baker

4 Athens-Oconee Parent

“Keep on dancing!”



appy 2019! It’s amazing how quickly 2018 flew by. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the days are long, but the years are fast.” Boy, how true that is! Hard to believe that we are about to have a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old in our family. This first issue of the year always hits close to home for me. As a teacher, I love finding articles for our Education issue that I think our readers will benefit from. Whether your kids are homeschool, in private school, or in public school, education of our kids is a topic that hits close to home for all parents. Liz Conroy has tips for helping our teenage drivers to be more aware. As always, Dr. Jon Robinson has great parenting advice for our readers; in this issue he addresses the “middle school wall.” Remember, you can email your questions for Dr. Robinson to editor@athensparent. com. Amy Lasseter re-educates us on the differences between protection and defense. Tina Phonekeo and Monira Silk share best practices for car seat safety. We have ideas for teaching our kids (and girls especially) about money and we share a UGA study that discovered two behaviors linked to high school dropout rates. Lastly, I was lucky enough to get a media sneak peak of the Children’s Garden at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia and can’t wait to tell you more about it! I hope your 2019 is amazing. We look forward to sharing lots of great information with you this year.

Sarah Danis


12 FEATURES 8 10 12 18 20 24

26 28


Children in the Garden Driving and Crying “Ready, Robot.” Have Confidence in Your Own Worth Live Your Life and No One Elses Two Behaviors Linked to High School Dropout Rates Car Seat Safety Remove This One Word From Your Vocabulary in 2019


DEPARTMENTS 6 Show & Tell 14 On Your Mind: “The Middle School Wall” 16 Get Out! 30 ’Til We Meet Again


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Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine 5

w show&tell

Compiled by Sarah Danis

Imagine! Wondery’s new podcast Imagined Life series captures children’s imaginations with an inspirational story about the pre-fame lives of today’s greatest artists and innovators, like JK Rowling, Elon Musk, and Elton John. Imagined Life’s second-person narration allows children to imagine themselves in the shoes of their favorite celebrities, experiencing all their ups and downs on the path to greatness. And here’s the twist: each episode doesn’t reveal the identity of the celebrity whose life you’re “experiencing” until the very end, which will challenge parents and children to work together to guess the mystery celebrity. Not only does Imagined Life capture children’s imaginations, it also inspires and educates them, as they learn how their favorite celebrities overcame setbacks and heartbreaks to become the best in their fields. This unique educational format as a “biographical guessing game” engages and inspires children like no other podcast out there.

Try These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites ... the perfect healthy, grab-and-go snack for a busy day! 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1 cup steel cut oats 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut 1 cup crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies or crushed Rice Chex) 1 cup peanut butter (you could use any nut butter) 1 cup ground flaxseed 2/3 cup chocolate chips 3/4 cup honey 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Look What I Did! Learn to tie shoes using Play-doh! Lay the four steps of tying shoes out with Play-doh. Have your child start on the left, and make it match the one on the right. With a little bit of practice, it worked to help my son learn to tie his shoes! Thanks to Finn and his parents for

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming into 1-2 inch balls. (If the mixture isn’t holding together well enough you can add a little more nut butter or honey to help it bind). Keep refrigerated for an easy snack on the go. Feel free to include other “add-ins” like chopped almonds, raisins, etc. Thank you to tastesbet-

sharing this cool idea with us! for this easy snack!

Jack Richeson Tempera Cakes are economical with a highly pigmented paint formula that has the covering power of a 10-ounce bottle of liquid tempera. Easy way to distribute in a classroom without the spills associated with liquids. Just add water and a brush!

Dohm Sound Machine is a fanbased white noise machine that is a natural sleep aid. It masks background noises for a better night’s sleep and has two speeds for adjustable tone and volume.

Send your ideas & photos to P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or e-mail 6 Athens-Oconee Parent


An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” CALLING ALL MINDS: How To Think and Create Like an Inventor by Temple Grandin This book of personal stories, inventions, and facts from Temple Grandin will blow young inventors’ minds and make them soar. The book delves into the science behind inventions and the ways in which young inventors can continue to think about and understand what it means to tinker, to fiddle, and to innovate.


Tree by Britta Teckentrup Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree and all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing and living in the tree.

- Benjamin Franklin

How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King This original bestselling classic includes time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships. The Little Kids’ version will empower parents and caregivers of young children to forge rewarding, joyful relationships. It will help little kids grow into self-reliant big kids who are cooperative and connected.

Troy Tastes... Restaurant: Mirko Pasta Troy’s Score: 4 1/2 napkins


Do NOT Read This Book At Bedtime by Bart King and Jacob Wenzka


thens-based creative duo Bart King and Jacob Wenzka will be visiting Clarke County public schools in the new year to talk with students about how they wrote and illustrated their most recent children’s picture book, Do NOT Read This Book At Bedtime. Their collaboration also will be the subject of a year-long exhibition at Athens Academy during the 2019-2020 school year. Congrats to these local authors!

Bart King ,left, with his daughter Lucille and Jacob Wenzka, right, with his daughter Clarice.

Visit us on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of Do NOT Read This Book At Bedtime!

f you have not been to Mirko Pasta, you need to go right now! It is amazing! You need to have the fresh and wonderful homemade pasta. From the menu you get to decide your own combination of pasta and sauces. If you don’t feel like having pasta, you can have an entree instead. They serve you bread and olive oil as a starter. I had the penne ticolori pasta (which means three colored pasta) with the bolognese sauce which is a traditional meat sauce. There were four different flavors hitting my palate at once. The combination of the flavors exploded in my mouth. It was a wonderful sensation. This time I do recommend the kids menu because there is a lot of food. I give Mirko Pasta 4 1/2 napkins. I would have given it 5 napkins but my mom would not let me get a dessert. Troy Aldrich is a local 10-year-old who enjoys food and is over the kids menu at most restaurants – but not everywhere. His reviews started as a summer teaching tool on opinion writing and appear in each issue of Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine. Troy guides parents to great places to take their kids to eat – from a kid’s point of view. Each restaurant is given a rating on a scale of 5 napkins. For more kid’s reviews go to 7

growing&learning Compiled by Sarah Danis • Photos courtesy of The State Botanical Garden of Georgia • Illustration by Cameron Berglund


Children in the Garden The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will be holding its grand opening of the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden on March 23, 2019.

THE STATE BOTANICAL GARDEN of Georgia Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden will be the ideal place for children to play and learn in an environment that will inspire their sense of adventure, wonder, and love for nature. With teams of designers, local artists, environmental construction firms, and a theme park creator contributing to the project, this attraction will be a unique experience for children to seek knowledge through adventure and discover the natural resources of Georgia while climbing, crawling, and skipping through a 2.5-acre accessible environment. Alice H. Richards (1931-2007) had a love for children and gardens and she inspired a legacy gift that will make this 8 Athens-Oconee Parent

children’s garden possible. The mother of seven and grandmother of 24, Alice loved nature and desired a place at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia where children could experience the beauty of nature in an area all their own. With 50,000 children expected to visit each year, the Children’s Garden will be positioned to have a profound impact on young minds around the state. Children will learn as they explore an underground root system, see the forest from a bird’s eye view, recognize a cloud structure, climb up a spider web, discover a new vegetable or investigate the hidden world of worms. Some key components of the project include a canopy walk with

multiple observation decks, the Theaterin-the-Woods, edible landscapes, an underground adventure area, pond, bog garden and many more interactive and educational elements. Not only will the Children’s Garden delight visitors of all ages, it will also provide the perfect outdoor classroom for teacher-training and education research at the University of Georgia. As part of UGA, they have the resources to continually improve the ways we engage children with the natural world and develop programming to be shared statewide that emphasizes the importance of nature, healthy foods, and healthy bodies.

Features of the Children’s Garden • Over, Under, Through: A largerthan-life fossil wall, leading into a dark cavern overflowing with stalactites and stalagmites • Georgia Discovery Plaza: Watch water erupt and trickle through a granite map of the state from the piedmont area to the coast, with a touch of a button. The granite highlights an important habitat and industry in Georgia and was locally sourced from Elbert County • The Pollinator Plaza: Constructed of mosaics by local artist Krysia Ara, this artist area is for young visitors to explore and use their imaginations • What Lies Beneath: Transparent panels, changed periodically, offer insights into this ecosystem and a look at the roots supporting plant life • Chestnut Tree Portal: Climb through the ribs, limbs and skeleton of the once massive, majestic native forest species, the chestnut tree. The chestnut tree was once a staple in American life and lumber industry until the chestnut blight rapidly wiped out these trees in the early 20th century • A Treehouse in the Woods: Discover the forest canopy while jumping on nets and climbing through the treehouse – or take the canopy walk into this wild, natural area of the forest n 9

driversed By Liz Conroy

Teaching Teens about Backing Up Safely with G.O.A.L


Driving and Crying

WHEN THEIR TEENS GET behind the wheel of a car, many parents work hard to be sure they learn caution. For example, backing up vehicles without rear-view cameras, especially trucks, takes a lot of practice. Too often, that extra practice doesn’t happen. A look in the rearview mirror to see if all is clear means many young drivers feel ready to go into reverse. Perhaps music blasts, the driver talks with friends, or he swallows a snack – sometimes all at the same time. Then the vehicle may strike an object or living creature that the driver never saw or heard. Recently, my dog, Autumn, and I were struck by a teen driver backing up his pick-up truck. My husband, Mike, and I were driving home from Florida after Thanksgiving. We pulled into a small gas station in Eatonton to fill up before heading to Athens. 10 Athens-Oconee Parent

The evening air was chilly so I put on my thick vest and jacket and was glad to have sturdy jeans on, too. Those layers protected me. An older man selling peanuts in a nearby booth also was bundled up in a heavy jacket. I got out of the passenger side and eased my 14-year-old Lab out of the back seat to take a short walk. We moved several feet away from Mike, who was busy putting gas in the car. Autumn’s harness was loose so I leaned down to tighten it. Suddenly, WHAM! Out of nowhere, a huge, dark object slammed into me and my dog, knocking us down onto the concrete. A man was yelling in a deep voice, “Stop, stop!” I realized my dog and I were under the bumper of a truck which was still moving. The loudest, highest pitched scream possible shot out of me. Before the wheels reached

us, the truck stopped. I couldn’t move but at least knew death was no longer near. A small crowd gathered around me. My old dog lay motionless on her side, her leash tightly entangled in the truck’s hitch. The grizzled face of the peanut man floated above me. “I kept yelling STOP,” he said to the crowd. “But he had his windows rolled up.” Then he asked me, “Can you get up?” My vision had cleared and I answered, “Wait, I need to be sure nothing is broken.” Slowly, I struggled to my feet and found myself standing next to a young man who was cracking his knuckles, looking terrified, and ghostly pale. “I’m sorry, so sorry, didn’t mean it, couldn’t see you, heard you scream,” he poured out his words in a panicky voice. I began shaking badly. A kind woman draped her thick coat over my shoulders.



Driving is a Privelege Bill Beausay, author of Teenage Boys!, describes driving as a privilege. Rules, such as using seat belts, must be specific. If the teen breaks the rules, then “take his keys and oil up his bike.” Parents need to establish clear driving rules against: • Transporting drugs or alcohol (by the driver or anyone in the vehicle) • Drag racing • Off-road stunts • Ear-splitting music • Eating, holding a phone or texting while driving • Allowing underage friends to drive

To that set of rules, add these “backing-up” rules: • Before backing, “Get Out And Look.” • Learn where the “blind spots” are. • Move head and shoulders to actually look around. Don’t just depend on the view in the mirrors. • Backing up slowly is important and only as far as necessary.

The driver was a 17-year-old. Both of us stood dazed as someone called the sheriff. My husband checked on us, saw I was able to stand, and helped our stunned dog back into the car. The teen and I talked as we waited for the sheriff. I noticed “Senior Hater” written in white paint across his truck window and asked: “Is that why you hit me?” He looked horrified and said, “Oh no, that’s from homecoming and just has to do with high school seniors.” “Well, what happened?” I asked. “How did you not see us?” He explained, “I can see cars and people standing up, but I couldn’t see you at all when you were bending over your dog.” Now I felt horrified and exclaimed, “I was exactly at the height of young child, or someone in a wheelchair!” His head jerked as he realized he couldn’t see anyone below four feet high. “I need to take ‘backing up’ lessons,” he said glumly. I agreed and added that people kill their own dogs and cats when backing up that way. n Liz Conroy is an Athens-based freelance journalist who hopes all drivers remember G.O.A.L. 11



“Ready, robot.� Double Helix STEAM School Wins Robot Design Award

12 Athens-Oconee Parent

DOUBLE HELIX STEAM SCHOOL, a small private school serving 3rd through 8th grades, competed in the First Lego League (FLL) tournament on December 8th, 2018 at Hilsman Middle School. The team of twelve students, led by instructor Erica Parson, competed against more than a dozen other area schools, advancing to the Super Regionals. The team then competed at the Super Regionals against 11 schools on January 12th, 2019 at Athens Academy where they won the coveted Robot Design award. Using Lego Mindstorms technology, teams must design, build, and program their robot to demonstrate a solution to a real-world problem, while also incorporating FLL CoreValues of Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, and Fun. This encour-

ages students to work together, explore new ideas, and use their creativity to positively impact our world. They must then present their ideas in front of the judges, allowing them to showcase their creativity, team-building skills, and STEM applications. Double Helix STEAM School wowed the judges, taking top honors over other competing teams. Double Helix is waiting to hear back on whether they will advance to the FLL State Finals. To stay updated on their progress with FLL and other school happenings, go to https://

About First Lego League


uided by adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMSŽ technology, then compete on a table-top playing field. It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s signature Core Values. Every year, FIRST LEGO League releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic. n

ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Max van Wagtendonk, Katie McArthur, and FLL judge OPPOSITE PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Vic Mize, Tommy Newsome, Coach Erica Parson, Rocket Callen, Finn Gibbs, Katie McArthur, Mike Callinan of Athens Academy, Spencer Farmer, Max van Wagtendonk, and Ozzy James 13

“Th e e l d d i M l o o h Sc ” Wal l



By Jonathan C. Robinson, Ph.D.

Dear Dr. Robinson,

My middle school daughter says she hates school! She comes home crying at least twice a week. She refuses to do her homework. Her grades are dropping. She was so sweet, engaging, and full of life and a great student in elementary school. What happened? What can we do to help her? Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate, Your daughter has hit the proverbial “wall” of middle school. Many kids fly through elementary school but get overwhelmed with the changes and challenges of middle school. Multiple teachers, each class requiring homework, pre-adolescent attitude, and heartbreak. Yep. That’s the “wall.” Both you and your daughter will get through this stage. Help her take a deep breath (you too!!), calm down, and make a plan. It starts with your de-coding her despair. She’s giving you conclusions (“I hate school.”) and solutions. (It won’t matter if I don’t care and blow off homework.) You will start a meaningful conversation with your middle schooler by sidestepping the words and zooming in on her feelings. This is called active listening. It will both help her calm down and engage her in her problem-solving, with your encouragement and support. Also, if this behavior and attitude has gone on for more than 6-8 weeks, it might be more than a mood. It might be a symptom. To be sure, take her to her physician (hopefully female?). A thorough physical will rule out anything medical. Also, check the hormone box. She’s at the age where she might be starting her period, which just compounds everything. Finally, if, after your best efforts and ruling out medical issues, the attitude and behaviors continue or intensify, consider psychotherapy. There are on-line lists of capable child & adolescent clinicians who can come along side both of you to help 14 Athens-Oconee Parent

you make sense of, and good choices about, the circumstances. Hang in there. I’m praying for you and your family.

Dear Dr. Robinson,

My twins are now 3 years old. I’m getting heat from family and well-intentioned friends to get them into pre-school, even though I’m a stay at home mom and running after those rascals is my full-time job. So, from a developmental perspective, when do children start learning? When are they ready to start school? Will I do more harm than good if I keep them home until the law requires them to be in school, the first grade? Signed, Just Curious

Dear Curious, Good for you for not just bowing to friend and family pressure. How and when you get your lovelies in school is a big decision, and one that you don’t have to make alone, although you do have veto power. First things first. Children start learning in utero. Yep, even before they are born. Neurologically, as soon as brain cells form and grow, they work. They are taking in information and spitting out actions. It’s true that classical music soothes a restless tummy baby, and your preborn child does hear his daddy talking to your belly. From pre-birth through their entire lives, your twins will continue to learn. Second, your twins will tell you when they are ready for more formalized schooling. If you have educational toys and games they love, and they are glued to Sesame Street for the entire show, their actions show they are ready for school. If they mostly play nicely with their peers, listen to grown-ups, and follow direction, they are ready for school. These are the goals of pre-school anyway. Finally, you will not cause your kids irreparable harm by keeping them home until they are ready, or until first grade. If you have a high school diploma yourself, you can even home-school them. In Georgia, many school-aged children are homeschooled. Between you and me, though, I’m not trying to teach my teen high school physics and chemistry. However, if your kids are routinely rowdy, listen only after you yell at them, and if your me-time is in short supply, then send them to school. School will likely both settle them down and give you daily R&R. Being the mother of pre-schoolers, you are one of my heroes. n Dr. Robinson is a licensed, clinical psychologist. His specialty is in school-clinical, child psychology, with emphasis on child development, parenting and family counseling. He is also author of Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, now available nationwide in bookstores and on-line as an e-book. 15


Compiled by Sarah Danis


n Athens Mothers’ Center

n Ice Skating Athens on Ice Public Skating will be offered outside the 440 Foundry Pavilion at The Classic Center. Skating only available on select days, so be sure to check their website. classic n Storytimes at the Oconee

Come and meet other moms experiencing similar joys and challenges! Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-11:30am year-round (except when Clarke County Schools are closed). Dads are welcome on Fridays. Covenant Presbyterian Church n Fantastic Friday Drop in gymnastics program for ages 10 months to 4 years. An instructor supervises the fun while a parent and/or caregiver lead their little ones through amazing obstacle courses. A parent or caregiver must remain with the child at all times. Fridays through 4/26 (No program 3/15 or 4/19), 10-11:30am, Bishop Park Gym, $5-$7.50 per child per visit. Register online prior to coming to the program. You may also register the day of the program. athensclarkecounty. com/6210/Fantastic-Friday n Lego Club at the Oconee

County Library

Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am and 11am. Storytime is for all preschool aged children and their caregivers. Come for stories, songs, movement, crafts, and fun! 769-3950 n Bogart Library

Story Time

Fall in love with stories, rhymes and songs every Monday at 11:30 for ages 3-5 and Wednesday at 10:30 for ages 3 to 8. Free. Located at the Bogart Ag Building (141 Thompson Street) while the Bogart Library is closed for renovation. 614-9231 n Bogart Library Monday

Funday Story Time for Little Ones

Little ones ages birth to 3 and their caregivers are invited to join Miss Donna for songs, finger plays, wiggles and lots of giggles on Mondays at 10:30. Free. Located at the Bogart Ag Building (141 Thompson Street) while the Bogart Library is closed for renovation. 614-9231 n Athens Library Preschool

Story Time

Story program for children ages 18 months to 5 years old and their caregiver. Books, songs, puppets, nursery rhymes, early literacy and preschool activities. Tues and Wed 9:30-10am and 10:30-11am. 613-3650 n Open Chess Play at the

ACC Library

All skill levels, come out for chess! Led by volunteer members of our local Chess and Community Conference who assist players and build skill levels. Open to ages 7-18 years. Athens-Clarke County Library. Mondays. 4-6pm. 613-3650. 16 Athens-Oconee Parent

Some events, dates and times are subject to change. Please call individual event organizers to confirm schedules. All area codes are 706 unless otherwise noted.

Social Group

County Library

Let’s build! Join us in creating Lego art and playing Lego-based activities. Lego blocks provided! For children up to age 11. Free. 4pm. Feb 12, 26, Mar 12, 26. 769-3950 n Babies and Beasties


Interact with nature through hands-on activities, crafts and outdoor adventures. Ages: 18 months - 2 years with adult, Saturdays 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28 from 10-10:45am, Sandy Creek Nature Center, $12-$18, 613-3615

FEBRUARY 2019 2 Family Program: Animal Appetites

Come enjoy spending time preparing food for the animals. Families can get up close with animals and learn more about their diets. While helping prepare lunch for the animals, you

can discover their personalities. Sandy Creek Nature Center. Ages 6+. 1-2:30pm. $2/$3. 613-3615

23 Brownie Groundhog and February Fox

Brownie Groundhog is searching for signs of spring when he comes across a hungry fox. Will Brownie outwit the wily fox? Join us for this charming February story with a surprise ending and learn about Groundhog Day! For children ages 4-11 and their caregiver. Athens-Clarke County Library. 11am. 613-3650

4 Cinderella at The Classic Center

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. This Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting., 357-4444.

7-9 Athens

Consignment Sale

Huge consignment sale. 2/7 sale open to the public at 5:30-8pm for a $4 entry fee (no kids under 12 except babies in carriers); 2/8 the sale is from 8:30am to 6pm with no entry fee; 2/9 the sale is from 8am to 12pm with many items HALF OFF. Tuckston United Methodist Church.

9 GMOA Family Day: Cele-

brating Black History Month Explore important works of art from the museum’s permanent collection by artists of color, including the special exhibition “Stony the Road We Trod,” which highlights works of art from the 1940s to the present, then make your own work of art. Georgia Museum of Art, 10am-12pm, 542-4662


9 ESP’s

Big Hearts at Bat Experience the magic of Extra Special People (ESP) as individuals leave their disabilities in the wings and shine on stage in a heartwarming show. This moving show has music, dancing, and a chance to support the kids of ESP. Tickets are $18. The Silent Auction opens at 3pm. The Pageant begins at 4pm. A banquet follows for those interested in purchasing a table. Tickets are on sale at The Classic Center box office or by visiting extraspecial

14 Baby Music Jam

Preschool-aged children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library, 10:30am, 769-3950

16 Car Seat Safety Class

Come to our free car seat safety class for parents and caregivers with Allison Craig from the Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program. Free. Oconee County Library. 10:30am. 769-3950

17 Read to Rover

Come read with and meet our new doggie friend, Bandit! Reading aloud to a dog creates a relaxed, non-judgmental environment that helps children develop their reading skills and builds confidence. And it’s a lot of fun, too! All ages! Free. Oconee County Library. 3pm. 769-3950

21 Infant Story Time

Babies love books, too! This is a special Storytime for the youngest readers-to-be, 0-24 months. Stories, songs, nursery rhymes, bouncing, and cuddling, and then stay for some playtime with friends. Oconee County Library. 10:30am. 769-3950

22 Pagemasters Kids’ Book & Movie Club

11-13 Spring Break Mini-Camp at the State Botanical Garden

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick: which was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! We’ll have copies of the book available at the Circulation desk for check-out all month long. For elementary school-ages. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950

Send your kids on a naturalist adventure at the garden during our spring break mini-camp! Each day will be filled with activities that connect youth to the natural wonders that surround us. Ages 5-11; bring a lunch and water bottle. Register online http://botgarden. $135-150. 9am-3:30pm

28-Mar.2 Kindermarket

14 Baby Music Jam

Consignment Sale

Huge consignment sale. 2/28 sale open to the public at 5pm for a $4 entry fee; 3/1 the sale is from 9am to 6pm with no entry fee; 3/2 the sale is from 8am to 12pm with many items HALF OFF. Athens YMCA. 915 Hawthorne Avenue

MARCH 2019 5 Mardi Gras Party

Laissez le bon temps roulez! Let’s celebrate with music, crafts, and extra-special snacks, and prizes! Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950

Preschool-aged children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library. 10:30am. 769-3950

16 Holi Festival of Colors

Let’s celebrate and get ready to welcome Spring! Wear white clothes that you don’t mind getting messy and prepare to get doused with color – we’ll sing, dance, and throw colored powder everywhere! Free. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950

17 Read to Rover

Come read with and meet our new doggie friend, Bandit! Reading aloud to a dog creates a relaxed, non-judgmental environment that helps children develop their reading skills and builds confidence. And, it’s a lot of fun, too! All ages! Free. Oconee County Library. 3pm. 769-3950

19 Toddler Tuesday: Renaissance Riches

Join us for a tour, story time in the galleries and an art activity just for the little ones. Discover precious palace decor from Renaissance Italy and then paint your own treasure chest. This free, 40-minute program is designed for families with children ages 18 months to 3 years. Space is limited; please email or call 542-8863 to reserve a spot in advance. Georgia Museum of Art, 10am, 542-4662

21 Infant Story Time

Babies love books, too! A special Storytime for the youngest readers-to-be, 0-24 months. Stories, songs, nursery rhymes,

bouncing, and cuddling, and then stay for some playtime with friends. Oconee County Library, 10:30am, 769-3950

22 Pagemasters Kids’ Book & Movie Club

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende: which was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! We’ll have copies of the book available at the Circulation desk for check-out all month long. For elementary school-ages. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950

23 Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden Grand Opening at the State Botanical Garden

Activities and free play will fill every part of this much-anticipated destination which is loaded with learning adventures. Be ready to get your hands dirty, enjoy community and learn about what makes our state so unique by beginning your Garden Earth Explorers passport in this new playscape! Free. 9am-4pm.

8 Spanish Storytime

Come listen and practice fun Spanish songs and stories! You don’t have to speak Spanish, just come have fun and learn! All ages! Free. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950

9 GMOA Family Day: Life, Love and Marriage Chests

Renaissance Italy comes to Athens in this rare and very special exhibition of painted marriage chests and palace decor. In addition to gallery activities and an art project, there will be face painting and Renaissance demonstrations. Decorate your own treasure chest in the Michael and Mary Erlanger Studio Classroom to take home. Georgia Museum of Art, 10am-12pm, 542-4662



w By Melissa Donohue, Ed.D.

Have Confidence in Your Own Worth WHEN KIDS LEARN ABOUT money, they learn critical life skills like salary research and negotiation, and the need to maximize their incomes throughout their lives to build wealth and financial independence. They also learn about investing, and the power of compounding and time. That information can help kids learn to start saving early in their careers, to ensure sufficient funds for retirement. Finally, financial literacy means a foundation for creating a life with opportunities and choices. The scary financial story for our girls today is that despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and lots of press about Hollywood

18 Athens-Oconee Parent

and other industry wage discrimination, women working full-time continue to earn a fraction of what their male counterparts do -- coming in at 80 cents on the dollar in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Even scarier is that our academically successfully -- and frequently superior -- recent women college graduates continue to under-earn their male counterparts. According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, recent women college grads earn 86% of what men earn in 2015, down from 91% in 2000. So, what does that cost women in a lifetime? Studies show that a half a million

dollars is what under-negotiations a first salary can cost someone by age 60. Why is this still going on despite policy changes, publicity, and overall greater awareness of the problem? One thought is that women earn less because they do not negotiate salaries as effectively as their male counterparts, if at all. So why not? Let’s take a step back, and look at what happens as girls grow up, and what they learn about speaking up for themselves, and knowing and acknowledging their talents and skills. Psychologist Carol Gilligan has shown that girls learn between the ages of 11


Why teach girls about money? • End the gender wage gap • Promote economc empowerment • Ensure a safe retirement • Create opportunities throughout life

and 15 or 16 that it is dangerous to say how she actually feels, compared to younger girls who are more courageous. Conversations with older adolescents can be marked by the phrase “I don’t know” when a few years earlier, the girls were outspoken and confident. Another psychologist, Mary Pipher, talks in her book Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls about how girls who speak frankly are labeled negatively, and that girls are trained in society to be feminine, and to “achieve, but not too much.” In my experience as a mother and a teacher, I remember my middle school daughter and her friends starting to say that it was not nice to “brag,” which really meant, avoid saying positive things about themselves. Later, in my financial education classes with high school girls, I saw the evolution of that idea. When asked if my students would ever try to negotiate a higher salary, one girl said she would not ask for more money if it could hurt the company or other people working there. Another girl said she would never speak up for herself; she would work hard and wait to be noticed. And we see where that disposition leads. So how do we break this cycle for the next generation of women? The answer is money confidence. Money understanding is multi-faceted. There’s the knowledge that needs to be acquired, there are the skills that need to be developed, and then there are actions that need to be taken. For example, it’s not just enough to know that you should be earning what you’re worth, you actually have to negotiate the salary. In simple terms: Money Understanding: Knowledge + Skills + Disposition Money confidence is believing in your ability to take care of yourself financially, and involves the ongoing learning and demonstration of the skills, mindset, and deeper understanding of how the critical financial pieces of your life fit together. These pieces include human capital, wealth management, and value creation. In one recent high school girls financial education class of mine, we discussed the context of women and money, looking at issues around the gender wage gap, women and work, girls’ rising ambition levels, and

the importance of income in the overall financial picture. We did a fantastic exercise around salary negotiation, so the girls could begin to understand — and experience — that critical process. When we came back together for a debrief of the activity, the girls discussed the challenges of the process, and also the exultation when they had made a strong argument for a raise, and got it. We talked about what it would take for them to negotiate a higher salary in a real-life situation. In the exercise, the girls have to make a case for why they should be paid more. During the debrief discussion, one student remarked that she could see how much confidence in herself would align with what she would be paid in the future. The answer is obvious. Without confidence in your own worth, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to make a cogent argument on your own behalf, or even start the conversation for a higher salary. Salary negotiations can be tricky. Part of the process is speaking up for your skills and contributions, defining that value in the workplace, and asking for more of the employer’s scarce resources for yourself. So, if you are someone who has grown up being taught not to “brag,” chances are explaining your skills and asking for recognition of your value, is not going to be something that comes easily to you. While the gender wage gap is caused by a number of different factors, an unwillingness to negotiate is certainly one of them. Carnegie Mellon economics professor Linda Babcock suggests that men are four times as likely as women to negotiate their salary. When we look at the evolution of adolescent girls, it is easy to see where women’s reluctance in this area might come from. And once we know where a problem comes from, the solution becomes that much clearer. For more information about conversation points and activities to teach your girl how to grow in confidence, articulate her worth, and negotiate a salary, go to www. n Melissa Donohue, Ed.D. has done extensive research and writing on women’s financial literacy, and is the founder of Financial Nutrition a non-profit organization focused on women’s and girls’ economic empowerment. 19

lifelessons By Amy Lasseter

Live Your Life


[and no one elses!] OVER THE COURSE OF the last few weeks and months, I’ve been doing some thinking on protection and defense, not only how they are relevant in the therapy office, but also how they are relevant “out in the world.” In conversation, most people (myself included) will use these terms interchangeably and consider them to be synonymous. However, as I’ve given the topic some thought, I’ve come to realize that they are not the same.

Re-education: Protection vs. Defense I would love to say that it was some amazing insight, due to my superior intellect, that brought me to this conclusion. Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, as I pondered this topic, it was the Presidential Oath of Office that came mind and helped me determine that these two ideas are distinct. The oath says “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the 20 Athens-Oconee Parent

Constitution of the United States.” The oath was written over 200 years ago, and has been administered to George Washington, Donald Trump, and every president in between. It was written by the Founding Fathers who, for all of their faults, were intelligent and understood the importance of language. So, if the founding fathers included “protect and defend” in the same sentence, it was either bad writing, or it was because “protect” and “defend” are, indeed, different. I believe that they are distinct and here’s why... To come to that conclusion, I thought about my local YMCA (hey, insight and learning come from many areas of life!) I have never once seen an advertisement for a self-protection class. However, I have seen quite a few self-defense classes promoted. It was that small, seemingly insignificant detail that brought the thought: You defend yourself. Once that popped up, I tried to figure out where protection fit. And, I realized: You protect others. The U. S. military does everyday. They protect those that can’t protect themselves.

It’s what people have done for time immemorial; they protect their children, when their children can’t yet defend themselves. There are times when the parental protection of a child breaks down. As therapists, we see it when we deal with children of abusive parents. These children don’t receive the necessary protection from their parents, and as a result, they don’t develop the necessary self defenses against interpersonal conflict and internal self criticism (Thomas, 2003). Most people don’t like conflict and as we avoid conflict on a societal level and on a personal level this makes vulnerable conversations all the more challenging to navigate. It’s just how it goes. Conflict is uncomfortable, and makes a person face things they may not want to face. The most prevalent examples of conflict are found in the workplace and in our personal lives. Almost everyone has worked with or has come into contact family members who monopolized projects and/or behaved like a bully on occasion. Avoiding that person seemed like the easiest, and best, thing to do.

You defend yourself. You protect others. However, you are now left with a very important question: When you are your critic, who can protect you?

Defending Yourself with Care


elf-criticism happens out of view. As such, no one can step in and protect you, well, except for you. Self-criticism is damaging and hurtful; however, stopping self-criticism is difficult, because of social ideals. Society tells us things every day that conflict with what we feel in our person. That is, in fact, the advertising industry’s only purpose. This multi-billion dollar industry’s mission is to make us feel less than (enter in voices of never enough.) To make us feel inferior to the people in their ads, because we are older, shorter, fatter, paler, and/or having a day that pales in comparison to the people in their advertisement. In making us feel less

than, they know they have a better chance at us buying the product that will make us appear skinnier, more beautiful, younger, and so on. Being bombarded with “never enough” messages can lead to ongoing self-criticism. My goal isn’t to shame the advertising industry, they have a job to do, and they do it well (I have eye cream fro the dark circles under my eyes!) My goal is to help you be aware that society sells you (and me) ideas that don’t line up with our internal compass and truth. It’s also important to point out that this internal conflict doesn’t have to be presented or offered by a billion dollar industry. In fact, you and I invite this conflict and self-criticism into our lives willingly, multiple times a day. Now, how would we do that? Well, let me share with you how: • Facebook has 2.27 billion users • Instagram has 800 million users • Twitter has 330 million users This means, approximately 3 billion

people, potentially, have access to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As someone who has been on social media, I see that it isn’t always a positive experience. Wait, I take that back. I’ve noticed that positive, radiant, and envy-inducing images and messages are often what I find. I see people living their best-ever life, and it often looks better than the life I am currently living. People are smiling, on glamourous vacations, celebrating extravagant birthdays, showcasing ideal family moments, always expounding upon how perfect their lives are. This leads to the inner self-critic coming out because... In comparison, my life seems like a dumpster fire. I have moments where I’m not always happy and smiling. I am not always taking amazing vacations, and when I do, there are hiccups--lost luggage, arguments with my other half, sunburn, and bug bites. My birthday cakes do not look like something off of Pinterest (even though that’s where I got the recipe). My 21


kids aren’t always on their best behaviour, and people in my house don’t always agree or get along with one another. If the reality of life, compared to social media life, doesn’t make you feel like a societal outsider, I’m not sure what will. So, how do we cope with this–what feels like an enormous onslaught of “not enough” and “less than?” And how do we stop bullying ourselves? Well, there are, literally, 15 different ways to defend yourself from internal and external conflicts. They vary in level of health and effectiveness, and they range from denial, regression, and acting out, to sublimation, compensation, and assertiveness. (Grohol, 2017) Grohol’s article does a pretty good job of describing the different self defense mechanisms and their effectiveness, so there isn’t a need to go get a master’s degree just to scroll your Facebook feed.

Life is real. It was not meant to be compared to or lived online.

Confronting the Struggle Between Self-Acceptance and Societal Stories


hen you are confronted with this conflict between how you feel and how society says you should feel, not only on social media and through advertisements, but also in your neighborhood and office, there are ways you can respond that will help you align with the truth. As is usual for a therapist to recommend, these responses involve asking questions. The first question:

Is there truth to what I am seeing or hearing? This is a very important question to ask and one that can almost immediately diffuse the internal conflict you are having. If you ask, and the answer is no, then it is much easier to move on. It’s akin to watching a movie. For example: You watch a movie and you see something that is amazing. You wish for that fleeting moment that your life were like what you are seeing on the screen. However, you remember, almost immediately, that the movie is a work of fiction designed as an escape, and then you move on. You know that you live in reality, and movies are fiction. If there is truth to what you are seeing, such as on a Facebook post showcas22 Athens-Oconee Parent

ing a friend’s amazing vacation, and if your friend really did go on that amazing vacation, dig deeper. Yes, they went on vacation, but remember, everyone lives in reality, and reality is messy. Maybe that vacation was a last ditch effort to save a failing relationship, and it didn’t work. Maybe that vacation was a bank buster, and now the participants are struggling to make up the expense. Perhaps that vacation was paid for with money awarded as a result of an unspeakable tragedy that you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Maybe there is no terrible tragedy connected to the vacation. But, the point is, with a few extra questions, and a little information, you can put things into context. You can see it as reality.

How am I contributing to this situation? Sticking with the theme of Facebook, ask yourself this: • “Am I part of this problem?” • “Do I only post the best possible things that happen to me?” • “Do I take a bad situation and ‘fudge’ the details online to make it look amazing?” If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then you are likely putting yourself in the position of trying to one up, or keep up, with your social circle. And, in this way, you are creating a self perpetuating cycle that doesn’t have an end, a healthy outcome, or (to put it bluntly) a redeeming quality. So, what to do? Think. Think twice and think hard before posting on social media,

or engaging in the office conversation with that “I am perfect” person. If you decide it’s worth it, reflect before you act. Ask yourself: • “Is what I’m about to say/post uplifting, positive, relevant, or necessary?” • “Is this interaction going to ‘force’ someone else into the cycle of ‘perfect lifeitis’?” • “Is this engagement going to push me into ‘perfect life-itis’?” If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then don’t engage. I know it sounds simple, but I also know that it’s not easy. It’s like changing any habit, it takes time and effort.

What do I need to do to get out of this effectively, and how will I care for myself while I do it This question is probably the hardest question to answer, and the most difficult to implement. The answer to this one will involve a slow and steady approach. In regards to social media, it may involve changing the way that you use it, and how much you use it. Even those involved in its creation say that social media is damaging. Perhaps a slow disengagement from the platform(s) of your choice is in order. By not participating in the cycle, you will be able to break the cycle. Start slow and easy. What that looks like for you depends on your specific situation, goals, and relationship self-criticism.

Confronting Societal Demand In Reality


hen it comes to confronting societal demands and ideals in real life, and not online, it becomes a little trickier. You can’t just cancel your “Life-Book” account, or “unfriend” everyone you come across. Well, I guess you could, but that isn’t healthy either. Instead of canceling and unfriending, you may need to start engaging differently. Perhaps slowly changing your lunch schedule, or varying where, when, and with whom you take your breaks or vacations with. This can create much needed breathing space for you, so that you aren’t constantly surrounded by situations that challenge your personal preferences and values while you work on some healthy defense mechanisms. If you can’t create that space, then I recommend the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny. It helps to outline ways to have difficult conversations with anyone, from co-workers, to neighbors, to partners.

Your Reality, Celebration, and Gratitude In order to care for yourself through the process, it becomes imperative to focus on reality, not virtual reality, or the alternate reality that other people may be trying to convince you is right, or best. Your reality. It’s also important to celebrate, privately as well as with those that truly love and support you, the good that happens in your life. If it’s a raise, or promotion, focus on how important it is to you, and not how it stacks up to the job or salary that your college roommate or second cousin may have. Celebrate your kids and their accomplishments in the context of your kids and your family. If you go on a vacation, be grateful that you were able to go on vacation. Be proud that you were able to save enough money to relax in a way that is relaxing to you and yours. In essence, what matters most to you is what matters. Most importantly, the best way to care for yourself, is to be thankful for the life you have and for all of the loved ones that you have in it. Life is meant to be a journey, and it’s supposed to be a little messy. It will be bumpy, with some ups and downs. Life is real. It was not meant to be compared to or lived online. It is meant to be lived #nofilter. n Amy S. Lasseter is a Psychotherapist and Growth & Success Mentor. Grab more information at 23

stayinschool By Katharine Raczynski, Arthur M. Horne, Hsien-Lin Hsieh, and Lusine Nahapetyan

Two Behaviors Linked to High School Dropout Rates

w WHILE THE NATIONAL HIGH school dropout rate has declined, many school systems still struggle with a high number of students who do not finish high school. The factors that may lead to a student’s decision to leave school are complex, but a new study from the University of Georgia sheds light on how two behaviors – aggression and weak study skills – contribute to the problem. “What we find in our study is that the students who are dropping out have complex behavioral and academic problems,” said Pamela Orpinas, a professor of health promotion and behavior at UGA’s College of Public Health and lead author on the study. The returned benefit of reducing dropout can’t be overstated, she said. A good education can level the playing field for students who may face other challenges in their environment, such as living in resource-poor neighborhoods or an unstable home. 24 Athens-Oconee Parent

“Graduating from high school is almost like a miracle drug,” said Orpinas. “If you think of one thing that we could do to improve students’ health, it’s make sure kids have a good education and graduate from high school.” Orpinas says that the key to helping a student stay in school is spotting the signs and behaviors that put students at risk of dropping out earlier in their academic careers. Students exhibit both aggression and study skills early in school, and both behaviors have been independently associated with learning and success, or lack of it. Orpinas’ study is the first to track the two together over a period of seven years. The researchers randomly selected 620 sixth-graders from northeast Georgia schools. Teachers completed a behavior

rating scale for these students every year from sixth through 12th grade. Based on teacher ratings, the students were grouped into low, medium and high aggression trajectories from middle to high school, and into five study skills groups. Orpinas was particularly interested in tracking behaviors that teachers could observe and, more importantly, affect their classrooms. “You can examine dysfunction in the family or problems in a neighborhood, but there’s very little teachers can do about it. Aggression and study skills are issues that the teachers could manage in the classroom,” she said. Students classified in the high aggression/low study skills group had a 50 percent dropout rate compared to students with low aggression and high

study skills who had a dropout rate of less than 2 percent. “That is a dramatic difference,” said Orpinas. “The study illustrates how well these behaviors predicted dropouts across all groups of students.” This study points to the importance of supporting schools and educators with the resources they need to detect and correct all behaviors that put students at risk, Orpinas said. It will not be enough to address just one of them, either aggression or study skills. “Simple and single solutions do not work,” she said. n The study, “Longitudinal Examination of Aggression and Study Skills from Middle to High School: Implications for Dropout Prevention,” was published February 2018 in the Journal of School Health. Co-authors on the study are Katharine Raczynski and Arthur M. Horne with UGA’s College of Education, Hsien-Lin Hsieh with Kaiser Permanente, and Lusine Nahapetyan with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. 25

childonboard By Tina Phonekeo and Monira Silk


Car Seat Safety AS A NEW MOM, I had no idea the complexities and rules regarding the best practices for car seat safety. In fact, my baby came early and I didn’t have an opportunity to get my seat checked! When we finally did, we were doing several things wrong! In the majority of car seats that I have checked at reBlossom, there is usually at least one thing that we can fix. Here are some safety guidelines to ensure that our littles travel safely every time they’re in a car:



Children 2 years and under should be in a rear facing seat, however, ideally they will remain rear-facing until the child has reached the maximum size for the car seat 26 Athens-Oconee Parent

... get it right! in that position. Infants can start off in either an infant seat or a convertible seat. Convertible car seats have the option to either rear or forward face. Most convertible car seats now have higher weight and height limits to allow for extended rear facing because it is five times safer than forward facing! Once the limits have been reached, the convertible car seat can be used forward facing, but remember to use the top tether anchor when you turn your convertible to face forward! If you outgrow a convertible but want to remain harnessed, you can move up to a forward facing car seat with a 5-point harness. The last stage is a high back booster, or a bottom

booster seat which uses the car’s seat belt, not a 5-point harness. High back boosters and booster seats should only be used for children who are able to sit up straight and tall the entire car ride, in addition the seat


Car seats can be installed with either the LATCH system or seat belt, but never both. LATCH systems are in most cars that were manufactured after 2001. LATCH locations and specifications are located in the car manual, as are top tether locations. Center install is safest, but may not always be an option. Car seats have level indicators and install directions on the side stickers of seats, one side in English and one side in Spanish. If you are unsure about how to install your car seat, reBlossom offers car seat safety appointments that you can sign up for on their website www. You can also make an appointment with the Georgia State Patrol (706-552-4439) or you might be able to get help with your local law enforcement or fire department (call them to check).

February 16

Car Seat Safety Class Free class for parents and caregivers with Allison Craig from the Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program. Oconee County Library. 10:30am.

belt must fit properly across their chest. Often children are BIG enough for seat belt usage, but they may not be MATURE enough. Some people wonder why the bottom booster is so necessary, the reason is because it pushes the seatbelt down across the child’s lap and not across their tummy so they won’t have as many internal injuries if they are in a crash, similarly the shoulder strap hits their chest and not their neck. Each graduating stage of car seat provides less and less protection in the event of an accident. Graduating up to the next seat is not something that should be rushed or done prematurely. It is absolutely ok if your child’s legs are touching the seat in front of them, That doesn’t mean that they are not uncomfortable, and they are definitely safer in the rear-facing position. Similarly, the five-point harness is going to be safer than using a seat belt, so if they are fine, leave them be until they outgrow the weight and height limits of that seat. Similarly, your big kid doesn’t need to transition out of a booster seat into just a seat belt until they can sit comfortably with their knees bent at the seam of the seat. Ideally their feet should touch the floor board, they should be at least 4 feet and 9 inches tall, and they should be able to sit still and use a seatbelt properly!


The chest clip is designed to stay at armpit level. Car seat straps should be nice and snug, so you should not be able to pinch the straps. For rear-facing car seats, the straps need to be at or below your child’s shoulders. For forward-facing car seats, the straps need to be at or above your child’s shoulders. Jackets and bulky clothing should not be worn in car seats, as they affect the fit of the straps. Reading the manual will help you identify when it’s time to adjust the seat, or move to a bigger seat.


The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that children 12 and under should ride properly buckled in the back seat on every trip. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. n Tina Phonekeo is a Peer Counselor with Barrow County Public Health and Monira Silk is the owner of reBlossom Mama & Baby Center and a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. 27




By Carol Tuttle

[Remove this word from your vocabulary in 2019]

I WANT YOU TO pause for a moment and think of that thing you needed or wanted to do last year – December passed and you still haven’t gotten around to it yet, and you keep putting it off. The idea or project is just sitting there, and the unfinishedness of it is weighing on you. But when it actually comes down to doing it, you seem to have lost all motivation. So how do you recover motivation to do something you think you should do? You can start by giving up this one word in 2019, and replacing it with something much more powerful!

Say goodbye to the S-word Should. That one word can zap your motivation to do something faster than anything. I’ve found that whenever I used the word “should” I would procrastinate and avoid the activity or project I thought I “should’ do. That’s because the word “should” in the dictionary indicates a meaning of obligation or duty. Notice how often you might say something similar to these: I should go work out. I should eat healthy. I should lose 10 pounds. I should get out of debt. I should clean that closet. I should learn how to ____.

Why “should” can sabotage your success

Whatever it is for you, it might even be a necessary or good idea (organize a closet, clean out the car, take a class, plant a garden). But if you’re trying to force it, you either just won’t make the time or have the energy, or you’ll probably keep putting it off because you don’t enjoy it. Or it might be a good thing to do, but maybe not for you to do. Or maybe not at this time.

Get clear on what you want first Now, for every “should” statement you say, ask yourself, “Is this what I want?” Or do you think you should do it because someone told you to or you feel under some obligation to do it? Sometimes our choices are influenced more about what others want than we want. Although they might all be great choices, until we own them for ourselves we will not be motivated to follow through. So, the first step to healthy motivation in the new year is to examine your “shoulds” and get clear on what it is YOU want. You can also clarify what it is you want so it matches the outcome you want to create (i.e. I want to clean the closet so I can always find what I need.) Once we claim a choice for ourselves, we then can declare

[Replace with this word!] 28 Athens-Oconee Parent

them with “I am” statements. Replace “I should” with “I am” I am working out I am eating healthy. I am losing 10 pounds. I am debt free. I am cleaning that closet. I am learning how to ____.

Take your choice even higher with gratitude An even higher vibration of belief is to act as if you have already accomplished it and imagine your success with these statements of gratitude: I am grateful I choose to workout. I am grateful I eat healthy. I am grateful I lost 10 pounds. I am grateful I am debt free . I am grateful I cleaned the closet. I grateful I have learned how to ____. This simple but powerful shift can make a world of difference! Remember, when you declare your intentions you uplift your energy so it can support you with the motivation to do it when it is right and timely for you. n Carol Tuttle is a teacher, speaker, best-selling author, and pioneer in the field of personal development. For over 25 years, she has supported millions worldwide with her life-changing books and online courses. 29


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Monica, 1 1/2

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