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Volume 2 • Issues 1 & 2 • Summer + Fall 2015 www.emmajackmagazine.com
Letter from the Editor As summer ends the world prepares for renewal and we celebrate. Halloween and Thanksgiving provide plentiful fall-colored groundcover to kick up in a backyard game of football. Our expectations and appetites are greeted with family traditions. Shorts become jeans and corduroy. For kids, it is shorter family holidays in a preamble to the most magical time of all, Christmas. As families, we all face personal challenges. We hope that we remember that when we bare witness to another family’s hardship. Our greatest successes are often found in those moments when we find compassion and generosity in our hearts for others, even if they are strangers. I hope that the season treats you well and that your last year has been a success. I hope that you and your family finish the year being fair and kind to others, adding blessings to the world around you. – Bryan Carter Editor-in-Chief
Publisher P2 Publishers Editor-in-Chief Bryan Carter Contributing Editor Matthew Jackson Project Coordinator Tabitha Yarber Visual Design Justin Maxwell, Sweta Desai Photography Bryan Carter, Justin Maxwell Advertising Director Fran Riddell Emma Jack Magazine is published by P2 Publishers. Reproduction of Emma Jack magazine, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without written permission. We do not accept responsibility for any unsolicited materials and may not return them. All information in this magazine is taken from sources considered authoritative, but P2 Publishers cannot guarantee their accuracy. Inclusion of editorials, images, advertisements, or other materials in this magazine does does not constitute an endorsement for products or services by the publisher. ©2015 P2 Publishers.
Contents 6 Always There As a Parent, It Is All About the Obvious
12 The Modern Bully Brand New Technologies, Same Old Problems
20 Music Benefits Everyone Music can do more than just change your mood and enhance your day.
28 Kids These Days Personality types may not change, but generational environments and circumstances affect behavior and views.
36 Fall Feasts and Festivals History and Reflections
42 The Truth About Children and Headaches Solving the Mystery of Migraine
48 Lunchtime Lessons Sometimes the things we forget are the reflections worth remembering.
54 Using Your Brains
Safety is an Investment. No Cure Beats Prevention
58 A Home for the Family Build, Buy, or Remodel. Which is Right for Your Family?
68 Dave Says... Advice From America’s Financial Advisor
PLEASE SEND ALL INQUIRIES TO: EMMA JACK MAGAZINE, 655 LAKE HARBOUR DRIVE, STE 100, RIDGELAND, MS 39157 OR CALL: 601-707-8350 WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMMENTS. VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.EMMAJACKMAGAZINE.COM OR EMAIL US AT INFO@EMMAJACKMAGAZINE.COM OR ADVERTISING@EMMAJACKMAGAZINE.COM
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JACKSON PSYCHIATRY “A comprehensive behavioral health clinic dedicated to serving the needs of individuals and families”
Call for an appointment. Located in The Quarter 1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite P121 • Jackson, MS 601-366-4696 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.jacksonpsychiatry.com
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Doug Byrd, MD
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BY BRYAN CARTER / FEATURED WRITER
Like riding a bike, getting married, and driving, parenting is one of those things that you have to experience to understand. There is nothing greater, and nothing more impossible to convey, than the importance and meaning that comes with being a parent. Being a good parent is a lifelong choice. And, for most of us, it is an easy one.
The Rule Book
No matter the generation, parenting is a half-charted adventure. We enter parenting with ideals, faith, and general direction, but very little is concrete. As parents, we rely on the treasure trove of lessons taught to us by our parents and lessons we learned as children as we dealt with our own par-
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ticular challenges. Our children will inevitably present us with new challenges of their own and prove to us time and time again that there is no rule book! While the particular challenges change, there is a need that remains constant — to do one thing above all else — always be there for our children.
As parents, we are an extension of our child’s support and security system. We are able to empower our children with concepts of what is possible and what is right, before they have learned those lessons for themselves. Our children place trust in us like no one else in their lives. That does not mean they will always listen. While easy lessons are celebrated, the hard ones seem inevitable. All are important. My father always explained it to me this way: “There are some lessons you learn the easy way. There are some you learn the hard way. The worst lessons are the ones you never learn. Now, which one is this going to be?” With us as a safety net, our children are able to take risks, explore the world, and take on challenges that could not be managed without us there to catch them when they fall. The role of a parent in expanding the world of possibilities and the landscape of learning opportunities is both monumental and irreplaceable. And at some point later in our children’s lives, it is truly appreciated.
We are there for our children from the time they are born until the time we leave this Earth. It is a lifetime commitment that, as parents, can be difficult on the surface when we are supporting our children through hardships of every kind, but
the heart level comes naturally and easily, even in the face of adolescent defiance and conflict. We may be angry or disappointed, but deep down we always love and will do anything to responsibly provide the best for our children. Is it fair that our children put us through so many trials and tribulations? What would our parents tell us?
Sometimes a One-Way Street
Of course, our children do not have our perspective. There are things naturally taken for granted — shelter, food, even the love of family. Without those worries, their development is free to find focus in other areas. Just because their attention is elsewhere and they are taking our love for granted, it does not mean that our love is not shared and anchoring their lives. Hold hope. Lessons of gratefulness are an investment.
Many of the lessons we pass on to our children, many of the efforts we put forth, many of the resources we expend, are not appreciated until later. Although some appreciations certainly come when our children branch out on their own, some appreciations are not realized until our children step into parenting roles of their own. All of the lessons of appreciation that seem unheard will surface later when they are ready to be understood. Just as it happened for us. The home-cooked meal that sends a wave of appreciation and comfort through that college student’s face as they take their first bite of fresh-from-the-oven homemade joy is proof of our success. The difference between laundry “just being taken care of ” and our children appreciating us helping them out with switching laundry on a weekend home from college gives us hope as parents that everything we did was not in vain.
Even small successes let us know that we have done our job and that traditions have a chance to live another generation — traditions of support, of holidays, of love, and of the importance of family.
It is not until our children have children of their own and are successful as parents that we get to rest. It is a time when our children get to experience first hand the joy that comes from being “always there” for their children. When our children become successful parents we get to pass the torch to them. That is when our children get to experience the journey and do their part to secure the future for generations to come before passing the torch themselves. Bryan Carter is an author, business owner, father, and husband. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with his wife Shelley and two beloved children, Jack and Emma. SUMMER + FALL 2015 - 9
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FIND THE ONLY MALONE SCHOLARSHIP SCHOOL IN MISSISSIPPI. ST. ANDREW’S Episcopal School is one of just 50 schools nationwide and the only school in Mississippi chosen to receive a $2 million grant from the Malone Family Foundation. The Foundation awards grants to the nation’s top private and independent schools for the purpose of creating scholarships for gifted students with financial need. But its status as one of the 50 Malone Schools means more to St. Andrew’s than just the ability to grant scholarships. As a member of the Malone Schools Online Network, St. Andrew’s offers all of its students advanced courses in computer programming, math, chemistry, meteorology, and other classes offered by no other secondary school in Mississippi. MALONE SCHOLAR KENNY BRYSON
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BY MATTHEW JACKSON / FEATURED WRITER
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We have all seen it, participated in it, heard about it, or been victims of it — childhood bullying. Whether it is stolen lunch money (or other valuables), physical violence, or name calling and shaming, children being bullied by other children is an old problem with many manifestations, and one we adults cannot entirely solve for the generations coming up after us. As the old saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” People are people, and though our surroundings and interests and technologies differ from one generation to the next, basic human nature does not. There are bullies, and there are the bullied — but this does not mean adults should sit on the sidelines and do nothing to intervene. Quite the opposite.
Cyberbullying — New Form, Old Issue
The statistics about bullying in the United States can be frightening for parents, if we pay attention to them for just a few minutes. As examples: it is estimated that 25% of kids are bullied in school; most schools address bullying very poorly; statistics show that bullying is one of the top motivators in school shootings carried out by students; and being bullied by peers can have lifelong implications for behavior and selfesteem. And now, in addition to the usual taunting and teasing of the past that required muscle and/or social standing, bullying over electronic communication, or cyberbullying, has become a real problem for our school-age children. We have seen some rather dramatic evidence of what this type of bullying can do 14 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
to a child on the evening news lately. Cyberbullying allows bullies to torment their victims not only at school but any time of the day or night, any day of the week. Cyberbullying can include text messages, social media (such as Facebook), pictures, and can even happen through email or in online chat rooms. In the place where children should feel the safest — in their homes — now the bullies have access there as well. A child who is being attacked at school can now be bullied around the clock, and online bullying can have an even larger reach and participation than at school. Social media posts can be made public and shared, pictures can be passed around via text message, and students can be humiliated and shamed horribly by cyberbullying. Though most schools have a policy that prohibits students from cyberbullying (just like there are policies against bullying at the school), proof has to be shown before any action can be taken. It is just as difficult for parents to discover cyberbullying as any other type, but if it is found, it is important that it be documented and reported. One positive (among many true benefits) about online communications is that they are often trackable, so a bully can be sought out and dealt with by the proper authorities, be they school administrators, parents, or even police (depending on age, circumstances, etc.).
For the Parent of a Bullied Child
It is desperately painful for us as parents to see our children going through difficult situations where we feel helpless. We cannot fight our children’s battles for them (at least not when
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the “foe” is another child), but we can help them. Often our children will not open up and share about bullying situations for various reasons, so parents have to be attentive and watch out for potential signs. Some of the signs that your child might be getting bullied include: • physical injuries • inexplicably missing/damaged personal items • change in habits (eating, playing) • not wanting to go to school • declining self-esteem • out of character, destructive, or self-destructive behavior When a child is picked on, shamed, or physically attacked by other children, the harm to them is real. It is important that those situations be addressed properly and that parents be supportive and helpful for their children. Children affected by bullying are already victimized, so any type of reaction from parents that might reinforce negative feelings or diminish self-esteem should be avoided. It is crucial to keep lines of communication open with our children so that they feel safe and comfortable sharing with us. Children should be able to trust us with their feelings, their problems, and their egos, knowing that they are not jeopardizing our pride in them when they share their struggles with us. Discussions about what inspires people to bully others are good, but it is important that real action be taken as well. A bully often has many victims, so by bringing attention to what is going on, many people could be helped, including getting the bully the help he or she needs.
For the Parent of a Bully
Almost as difficult as watching our children suffer is knowing that our children are the cause of someone else’s suffering. No parent wants to hear that their child is a bully, but we need to hear it and be able to help our children through that situation as well. Bullies may “grow out of it,” but often the reasons they target weaker children go deeper psychologically and need to be addressed for the child to change. There are two main character traits among kids who bully others, and they are opposite sides of the same coin. Some bullies are very dominant, and tend to be in charge of their friends and social groups. They typically care a lot about their popularity and are interested in keeping and increasing their power base. The other side of the bully coin are those children who stand more apart from their peers. They may have low self-esteem and be less involved in social structures and in their school. No matter which of these two personality types a bully may exhibit, or something inbetween, at the center of their attacks on other children is the way they feel about themselves. If you are belittling another to feel powerful or to increase your power, you are really doing the same thing — focusing on power. The same goes with self-esteem: whether you are trying to show how much you do not care or trying to feel better about yourself, the focus is still on self. This is the main reason that bullies, not just victims, need help. Bullies have something going on inside of themselves 16 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
that gives them the feeling that they need to lash out at other people in order to somehow establish or validate themselves or their feelings. These types of personality struggles can have far-reaching implications in adulthood and need to be addressed in order for a person to thrive throughout their life. If you hear from the school, other kids, or other parents that your child is suspected of bullying other children, it is important that you not react defensively. Certainly we all want to defend and protect our children, but that also means protecting them from their own actions. So listen, talk to your child, observe, and come to your own conclusions with an open mindset and out of love for your child. Also, it is important that we not correct a child who is bullying others from a place of anger — this will only validate their own behavior toward those weaker than themselves.
Many things are unclear when it comes to the future, but some things are certain — bullying, death, and taxes. They have always been around, and they will continue to be. But when it comes to bullies, it is clear that both sides of the equation need addressing. Bullied children need help, as do those who bully them. All parents try to raise compassionate and empathetic
children. That is the best way to combat bullying before it ever begins. People who think of others and care for others are much less likely to turn around and take advantage of others. But, if and when bullying happens, it is important that parents be attentive and know how to respond and get help for all of those involved. Thank you to Laurie Heidon of MCHS for providing us with stats and references about bullying, including: • Bullying — How Parents, Teachers and Kids Can Take Action against Bullying. American Psychological Association. (2014). • Bullying Facts. (2009). • 11 Facts about Bullying. Do Something. • Stopbullying.gov. Matthew E. Jackson is an author, an avid reader, and the father of five children. He also works in advertising, loves to travel, and maintains a blog of book reviews.
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BY JEFF KERSH, PHD
Music can do more than just change your mood and enhance your day. Music is a tool for empowering, healing, and adding vibrancy to lives, one day at a time. Music is all around us — some good, some not so good, but always available. The car radio, smart phones and iPods, any elevator in any building, the “shopping soundtrack” in stores; we can’t avoid music’s influence on our daily lives. We don’t have to be passive “victims” of whatever music others choose to play for us. As active listeners, we can use music to make the day better, make work seem easier and faster, and reinforce our moods. To become active listeners, it’s helpful to understand how music affects us and how we can use those effects to our advantage.
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The Internal Beat
Rhythm is inescapable. The heartbeat is a rhythm; the human circulatory system, the respiratory system, and all our other systems function in a rhythmic fashion. When we get sick, it’s often because a rhythm is “off ” — we live in a constant set of rhythms that complement each other. Is it any wonder that a beat can either thrill us or make us feel uncomfortable? Think about that car or truck passing by with a bass drum vibrating the windows, entirely too loud. How often does that phenomenon make us dance? We’re more likely to be annoyed. It’s an unwanted rhythm that offsets the rhythms we’re experiencing. Just walking down the sidewalk carries its own “beat” that’s easily interrupted.
Music to Heal
Music Therapy utilizes rhythm to help mentally and developmentally challenged people deal with their conditions; the Remo drum company has a therapy arm called “HealthRhythms” that offers workshops in drumming for the handicapped that improve thinking skills, mood, and general functioning. In essence, drumming can help the handicapped reset their rhythms a bit, or establish rhythms that resonate with their own experiences. The same techniques can work for anyone. While you read this, tap your foot. Establish a rhythm that feels comfortable for you. Then, maybe tap a hand on your 22 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
leg, building on the rhythm you’ve started in your foot. It feels pretty good, doesn’t it? We don’t have to be professional musicians to benefit from a well-placed rhythm; in fact, dancing is nothing more than moving the body to a rhythm that feels comfortable. It’s when we stop thinking about getting the rhythm “right” and let our bodies move that we enjoy the experience.
Music and Lyrics
Yet rhythm is only the tip of the iceberg. Local bars and restaurants come alive on Karaoke nights, often standing room only. Why is Karaoke so popular? Because it provides an opportunity for amateurs to “play pro” for a few golden minutes. Singing a favorite song in public, even if the performance is less than perfect, is an adrenaline rush and an ego boost. That’s what makes it fun. Hitting that high note or getting that one lyric just right is exciting; professional musicians have those moments all the time. It’s exhilarating to have just one after a long day of mundane work. Melodies are memory triggers. Think about your favorite
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songs; more than likely, the melodies come immediately to mind. Songwriters count on that. A catchy melody (which professionals call a “hook”) sticks with us. We remember it, we hum it at work, we sing it in the shower, and we pay good money to have a copy around when we need it. A good melody, regardless of musical style, makes us feel good. It connects us to the content and the emotion of the song. Add a good lyric, and the memory is undeniable. Many people can’t remember their own phone number, but they can sing a dozen songs off the top of their heads. That’s how powerful music can be.
to deal with negative sounds. There are so many songs and styles of music we’ve never experienced because we get stuck in a rut. An open-minded attitude toward music (“Why do so many people seem to like that? Is there something I’m missing? Maybe I’ll take a listen”) could reveal some tunes that could make your soundtrack, and your life, more vibrant. Jeff Kersh, has a PhD in English, and is a published poet and author, a musician, a music teacher, and a father.
Maximize Your Listening
Given these examples, how can we get the most out of our daily “soundtrack?” A few ideas: Be aware of how music affects your mood Sad songs can often give us something to commiserate with during a bad day, but maybe some high-energy dance music or crunchy metal would help release those negative feelings instead of letting us wallow in them. Try something new YouTube and other outlets offer a treasure trove of different styles and influences. Why not check out some African tribal drumming, or Indian classical music? Or, if you only listen to Country, try something harder and heavier, or some light, lush New Age music. Don’t forget instrumentals We tend to identify pretty heavily with lyrics; often, listening to music without words enables us to put our own “lyrics” to the sounds and textures we hear. Instrumental music, from jazz to World Music and beyond, offers a more open listening experience we can use to express our feelings. Try deep listening Say there’s one song you really enjoy. Most of us focus on the vocals and the lyrics and don’t think much about the rest of the music. Try focusing on the drummer’s rhythms or the bass player’s accompaniment. How does just the guitar or keyboard part make you feel? Isolating one or more elements of a song can awaken the analytical part of the brain, resulting in something similar to working a crossword puzzle or Sudoku, with no pencil and paper necessary. There’s certainly nothing wrong with being a passive listener, letting the music flow over us and have its way with our emotions. But getting more active, feeling the interplay between our natural rhythms and those in the music, and being aware of the way the music makes us feel can be very therapeutic. We can tailor our music to intentionally change our environment every day, if we choose to.
Choose your Beat
Everyone has a personal soundtrack; why not make your own soundtrack overwhelmingly positive, helpful, and useful for your daily activities? Life is stressful enough without having SUMMER + FALL 2015 - 25
Let’s Have Class Outdoors!
Providence Hill Farm is proud to coach and host the Jackson Prep Equestrian and Gun & Bow Teams for middle and high school students – the ﬁrst of their kind in Mississippi! If you’re interested in joining us in the great outdoors for one of these teams, call or email:
Dr. Brett Shufelt 601-757-8233 email@example.com
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Now s perso chedulin g nal for tours 2016 our acad -2017 emic year
The mission of Christ Covenant School is to partner with Christian parents in teaching, training, and equipping their children academically and spiritually so that they would be able to love the Lord, to think biblically, and to glorify God in every area of life.
www.ccs.ms | 601.978.2272 752 Pear Orchard Road | Ridgeland, MS 39157
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BY BRYAN CARTER / FEATURED WRITER
Personality types may not change, but generational environments and circumstances affect behavior and views. What difference can you make as a parent? Every generation seems to discover the same insight and point of view once they hit their thirties: the generation being raised is nothing like the one in which they were raised. It is a perspective that finds reinforcement with every decade they add to their life. Parents feel that kids have no idea how tough it was to be raised in the previous generation. Kids have it relatively easy. Everything is taken for granted. There is no appreciation. The world is going downhill to (you know where) in a handbasket.
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The human race continuously faces change. The surrounding culture and events define generations. Today’s youth don’t know what a cassette tape is, long-distance calls, a phonebook, a rotary phone, an encyclopedia, or a VHS tape, let alone a “handbasket” within which they are supposedly taking a trip to the worst of places for actions that are not particularly well defined and are certainly not apparent to them. In every generation, the kids “these days” feel greatly misunderstood.
Quick to Point Fingers
The greatest irony of all is blaming children and young people for their generation, even though it is the adults who are fundamentally to blame for shaping the world. For it is the adults who set the rules, acknowledge social issues, integrate communities, support boundaries, define ethics, run businesses, go to war, establish norms, regulate industries, enact education reform, and rule the home. It is adults who truly have the greatest influence in defining the environment and setting the foundations for the next generation of children, by defining the world around them. The children adopt a generational identity and are, ironically, passed all the blame and the credit.
People Don’t Change
The same personality types pass through different generations and are influenced by their parents and the world around them. The differences in nature and nurture become apparent as members of the new generation turn interpretations into action, further demonstrating how much influence adults have in defining the generation being raised. 30 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
Taking a Turn
Even as adults have a heavy hand in defining future generations, each generation takes the stage and has an impact on the world around them. They develop their own language and their own beat. They build upon the foundations that have been set for them. They make decisions based on what they see as right and wrong in the world. They will rebel against some ideas and rally to others. They take collective action. The directions the generation takes socially, ethically, politically, and financially ultimately build that generation’s legacy.
Talkin’ ‘bout my Generation The Greatest Generation (Born 1901-1924) Branded the “Greatest Generation” by news anchor Tom Brokaw, this generation grew up during the Great Depression and went on to fight and win against the Nazis and their allies in World War II. Also called the “G.I. Generation,” the members of the Greatest Generation contributed in the war effort from home and abroad through participation and sacrifice. The Greatest Generation learned to save everything because they could, and would, use it someday. They are / were frugal, efficient, and appreciated any job because they lived through a time when there were few to be had. The Depression generation taught their children the value of hard work, while they were careful not to waste a thing. The Depression generation is the generation that did without and saved. Adults were the center of attention. Children experienced a great deal of autonomy and were considered wellbehaved if they were seen but not heard. The Baby Boomers (Born 1940-1960) Thanks to their parents, Baby Boomers have a strong grasp of the equation: you solve problems with hard work. This generation faced war in Vietnam and the massive protest effort that grew out of it and became the peace movement in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Much of the hippie idealism evolved into conservative values as people had children, established businesses, and worked to send their children to college. There is a strong mix of new social ideals and traditional values that makes this a very interesting generation with which to be connected. The Baby Boomer generation became the generation of awareness, as they were exposed to drastically different perspectives and were allowed to participate in them. Their children were raised to be aware and independent and to understand the social equation. They recognized that a great idea applied could result in immense accomplishment. They taught their children to not just work, but to work smarter. Generation X (Born 1961-1979) Generation X experienced the birth of video games. It was the first generation to be exposed to large-scale commercialism.
While this generation grew up, their parents complained about Christmas advertising occurring anytime before, or near to, Thanksgiving. Star Wars hit the theaters in 1977, and studios and other industries began to recognize, and realize, the true potential of merchandising. Toy aisles were about to evolve into entire departments and even entire businesses dedicated to selling toys. The fast-food industry blossomed. Generation Xers did not have everything, but they saw what was available as brands and franchises exploded. Children watched to see the next thing and waited in great anticipation for an entire year to watch a holiday special that only played once and only on one network station. Generation X became the generation that wanted. Growing up, Generation X kids did not get to play every sport, but they often
played one, and only the winners got trophies. Generation X kids learned that in order to be successful you must work hard. Children of Generation Xers have been encouraged to engage technology and the world around them — to be independent, empowered, and smart. Generation X is also the first generation to take on the monumental new parenting challenge of technology, social media, and the overwhelming availability of content of all kinds at the fingertips of their children. The Millennials (Born 1980-2005) It must be mentioned that there is a Generation Y that was a kind of bridge between Gen X and Millennials, but it is with Millennials that we see a very distinct demarcation. Millennials grew up in a world where evSUMMER + FALL 2015 - 31
eryone got a trophy for playing, a trend that has not lost momentum. Children took center stage in the family like no other generation. They grew up in a world of abundance. They played multiple sports and participated in multiple paid-for activities. There was not a need to wait until Christmas to watch the Grinch — they (or their parents) could buy it, and it could be watched over and over ad nauseam whenever the mood struck them. Even Christmas could be year-round through the world online, and Christmas retail advertising and displays were starting to appear before Halloween. The world had undergone a digital revolution while Millennials were being conceived. They grew up owning cell phones before they could drive. The Millennial generation is the generation of “have.” Everything is just there. They are challenged to understand a world of want and need. They have not witnessed one. Millennials challenge the business world with expectations and entitlement. Even some of the brightest and most accomplished members of this generation are less interested in making partner and more interested in an eight-hour day with a great salary and vacations, so they can then leave work and enjoy their personal lives. They haven’t yet had to face the reality that someone has to run those companies so that those great jobs can exist. Generation Z, A Generation TBD (Born 2006-present) We are now raising a generation that may be considered part of the Millennial generation or may separate and distinguish itself. Children still get trophies just for showing up. Children are still the center of families. Children are still recognized for moments of brilliance that get generalized as inherent greatness in the child. These factors are in common with the Millennial upbringing, but there are some trends evolving that may help set this next generation apart. Difficult job markets, added to frustration with attitudes of entitlement, have spurred parents to renew a push for competition, entrepreneurialism, financial responsibility, and financial independence. The result of mixing these ideals is yet to be determined, but it has the potential to develop a generation of individuals who respect social ideals and also have the means
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to execute them and responsibly back them up. With this generation, given the right circumstances and demands, we may witness (fingers crossed!) the next “best generation.” Timing for that generation may be excellent given some of the religious turmoil, political instability, environmental evolutions, and financial turbulence developing for them to face as adults.
Ice Skating Uphill
Children can’t escape their generation or their generational perspective. As parents we can try our best to deprogram what is happening on the larger social landscape, but in doing so we are swimming against a current. Every generation of parents fights to save the morality and work ethic of the past generation, in the face of the perceived ignorance of the generation being raised, at least in “their” own children. While it is not possible to wholly escape the influence of culture without going to extreme measures, it is also not practical. The children being raised will have to take on the world sideby-side with their peers. They need to understand the world in which they live and the people with whom they live, in order to survive and thrive.
While you can’t literally move a mountain, you can certainly add to it. That is part of the art of parenting: helping children understand the world they are living in, even when, as a parent, you are new to that changing world as well. As a parent you are able to help shape your child and influence that child’s perspective and appreciations. You are able to prepare them with tools that may be used to solve age-old battles or deal with challenges never before seen. Sometimes you don’t have to move a mountain; you just have to add an ounce (or many ounces) of perspective. The importance of mentoring and preparation cannot be overstated. Your kids may be taking on world issues that may take generations to solve or, in some cases, your generation’s issues that just were not solved.
Passing the Buck
Each generation faces the challenges that are most demanding in their own time. As a society, it is not often that we face challenges ahead of time, before they absolutely have to be dealt with. Every generation leaves baggage for the next to handle. It is disappointing when we pass along problems rather than trying to correct them. But sometimes, through great effort, society tries to get ahead of grand-scale problems that seem too monumental to solve. We see it happen from resource issues such as recycling and fossil fuels, to human condition issues such as starvation and epidemics, to human race survival issues such as nuclear weapons and global warming. However, in most cases, we repeat the cycle of passing on known, ignored, and under-acknowledged issues using scale, ability, politics, religion, and feigned ignorance as excuses.
The Time Step to Up
We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change the world around us, and every generation seems to be facing certain peril. But each generation finds its way. And while, as children and teenagers, their views of how the world operates seem terribly sideways, even across an entire generation, things always seem to right themselves once they grow up with families, jobs, and responsibilities of their own. As adults and parents, it is our role to prepare our children and young people for their turn to rule the world. We are the providers. It is our role to ignore politics and outside influences and teach our children right from wrong. Once a generation is asked to step up, and have to step up, they do. And, they do so with the tools and the worldscape we have passed to them. In each case, the next generation always manages what is before them, both individually and as a whole. It is our responsibility to intentionally shape the world and the legacy we leave for the next generation. Bryan Carter is an author, business owner, father, and husband. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with his wife Shelley and two beloved children, Jack and Emma.
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VISITING EXHIBIT: SEPT 19 - JAN 3
Explore Japanese language, cuisine, fashion and traditions! Locally sponsored by
SATURDAY, OCT 3RD | 6:00-9:00 PM Fall Festival: Off to Never Land Take “the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning” for an adventure of a lifetime!
M, AT THE MS CHILDREN’S MUSEU
WE TAKE FUN SERIOUSLY ! www.mschildrensmuseum.com | 601.981.5469 Located in Jackson, MS at I-55 & Lakeland Drive This project is partially funded by the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hello From Japan is part of the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, funded by The Freeman Foundation and administered by Association of Children’s Museums.
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Marie Hull (1890-1980), Bright Fields, 1967. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art. 1972.008. RIGHT: Marie Hull (1890-1980), Self-Portrait, about 1910. pastel on paper. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art. Anonymous gift. 1996.019.
A MYRA HAMILTON GREEN AND LYNN GREEN ROOT MEMORIAL EXHIBITION
Traveler. Trailblazer. Teacher. Mississippi Master. Organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art, this exhibition presents approximately 100 works by beloved artist Marie Hull (1890-1980) drawn from the Museum’s unsurpassed collection of Hull’s work as well as those found at Delta State University, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The University of Mississippi Museum, and many private collections. Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the artist’s birth ON VIEW NOW THROUGH JANUARY 10, 2016 AT MMA TRAVELING TO NEW ORLEANS FEBRUARY 20 - MAY 28, 2016
MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM of ART SPONSORED BY:
MEREDITH & JIMMY
CREEKMORE BETSY & WADE
CREEKMORE The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
380 South Lamar Street Jackson, Mississippi 39201 601.960.1515 1.866.VIEWART
Ambassador John Palmer, with additional support from Susan and Ruff Fant.
925 Camp Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 504.539.9609
Hear the South @ Ogden After Hours! @OgdenMuseum SUMMER + FALL 2015 - 35
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As human beings, it seems ingrained in our nature to celebrate. We put on great celebrations for life events ranging from birth to death, from commemorating adulthood to marriage, and practically everything in between. We love to gather as families and communities and to give thanks for the wonderful things in life. Traditionally, celebrating the cycle of the seasons and the significant events of the natural world were also important moments for communities to gather and reflect. The original focus of these types of festivals has been largely lost in mainstream America, given many peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distance from nature and the fact that food supplies no longer rely primarily on local crops, but the coming of Fall can still be a time of celebration and consideration.
Historical Celebrations of Fall
As the seasons changed and Fall began, the most important event for our ancestors (from the human perspective) was the harvesting of crops. They relied heavily on a good harvest for their food, especially to make it through Winter. Virtually every culture has, at some point in their history, had a feast to celebrate the coming of Fall and the harvest. Harvest festivals traditionally focused on family, community, and thanksgiving. Communities would gather together for a time of joy and sharing. The people gave thanks for making it through another season, for the abundance of their harvest, and also (amusingly) for the freedom from having to work long days in the fields. Fall and Winter brought extra hardships in past times, but they also afforded people time for a little rest. These festivals took place at different times of the year in different parts of the world, since the time of harvest varies as 38 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
the seasons vary in different locations on our planet. But many of the features would be recognizable to all â&#x20AC;&#x201D; large feasts, religious ceremonies/services, gatherings, games, and a general time of thanksgiving and joy. We see a similar pattern even now in our celebration of Thanksgiving in America. The timing does not quite coincide with the harvest, but many features of our holiday are shared with these traditional fall festivities. As nature begins to rest, the people come together in gratitude and remembrance of the past year. People enjoy some much-deserved time off with their families. There is a sharing of food and fellowship with both family and community.
Making the Time Your Own
Even though we may no longer live in a culture that is synced and attentive to the cycles of nature, we can take queues from ancient celebrations and what is going on around us to do a little personal reflection. The central focus of Fall feasts was giving thanks. It is easy to get overwhelmed by things we are not satisfied with, and we easily forget the good things life has provided us. As we look back at our lives over the last year (or even longer), how much can we find to be thankful for? Fall ushers in a time of rest. The budding life of spring and the vigorous growth of summer have slowed, and nature takes a break from growth and activity until Spring approaches again. We all need a little rest, a little break from our daily routines to recharge and reflect. What can we do to capitalize on a few extra hours for rest and contemplation? Preparation for the future, reflection, and learning are also key aspects of both Fall and harvest festivals. The people not only celebrated the harvest of their crops but also made plans for how those crops would be used until the next harvest. Nature inspires us to reflect as we witness the preparations for Winter, from the falling leaves to the animals scurrying to store food. Have we taken time to consider what the future may hold for us and our families and what we can do to shape that future? As Fall approaches, maybe we can all take a moment to slow down the hecticness of our daily lives and find some time to reflect. Perhaps we will remember how fulfilled and happy we are, or perhaps we will discover places in our lives that need care and change â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most likely we will find a little of everything. Matthew E. Jackson is an author, an avid reader, and the father of five children. He also works in advertising, loves to travel, and maintains a blog of book reviews.
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BY MATTHEW JACKSON / FEATURED WRITER
With subtle and misleading symptoms, pediatric migraines are regularly misdiagnosed. I remember my first migraine headache like it happened only yesterday. It was Christmas break of my first-grade year. My grandparents were in town for the holiday. I was curled up on a pallet of blankets on the floor in my parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; room. The pain was so bad that, as a six-year-old, I had no idea how to process it. Pain radiated through my head, the source of which seemed to be directly behind (or inside of ) my left eye. I was dizzy. I was nauseated. Movement, light, sound â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they all brought me agony. Normal painkillers did nothing to ease the suffering. Eventually that night I found the only two things that brought relief: stillness and sleep. For a person growing up with migraine headaches, I was actually one of the lucky ones. The adults in my life recognized my symptoms and knew immediately what I was struggling with. My mother and grandmother also had these headaches, and later my brother would be diagnosed and treated for severe migraine as well.
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Not Always the Obvious: The Symptoms
Many children are not as fortunate as I was in dealing with my migraine headaches. Evidence shows that up to 10% of children suffer from migraine headaches, and they are gravely underdiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, and therefore left untreated. Children can begin having migraine headaches at surprisingly young ages, even as young as two or three years of age. Christina Treppendahl, FNP-BC, Clinical Director of The Headache Center in Ridgeland, MS, says that “only 50% of people who suffer from migraine ever receive the diagnosis and get proper treatment and prevention.” Children are especially susceptible to misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis because pediatric migraine is notoriously difficult to recognize. Says Treppendahl, “Part of the difficulty in diagnosing migraine in children is that they often present differently than migraine in adults.” The symptoms may not seem like classic migraine symptoms, which leads to pediatric migraine being missed by parents and physicians alike. Some symptoms of pediatric migraine can include: • recurrent headaches • vertigo (dizziness) • abdominal (stomach) pain (this is a referred pain known as abdominal migrain) • nausea • vomiting • trouble concentrating • avoiding light or noise Because of the subtle (and sometimes misleading) symptoms in pediatric migraine diagnosis, it often requires a physician who specializes in migraine and headache care to properly diagnose and treat children with migraines.
Bringing hope: the diagnosis & treatment
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks migraine headaches as the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide. Between the prevalence of migraine and its dramatic undertreatment, it’s easy to understand how people suffering from
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this pain can lose hope of ever receiving relief, especially children who typically cannot articulate their symptoms as clearly as adults.
But there is hope!
For anyone experiencing some of the symptoms of migraine, the first step is to find a headache specialist and make an appointment. Diagnosing migraine requires several stages, since there is not something as simple as a single lab test to properly diagnose this chronic condition. Your specialist will note symptoms, frequency, and duration of symptoms, ruling out other potential causes. Assessment may also involve radiological scans (CAT, MRI, and others as deemed necessary) and blood work as part of the diagnostic process. If the diagnosis is migraine, then treatment begins. The treatment phase is another place where we see the real importance of having a trained specialist guiding parents and children through this process. Treppendahl tells us that “many children are given narcotics for treatment (when being treated by non-specialists), which can lead to addiction and other problems. Narcotics are not recommended by evidence-based treatment guidelines for children (nor for adults).” Since migraine is a chronic condition, the entire treatment approach cannot be as simple as taking a pill. A specialist and staff also have many different places where they can offer help to you and your child, including navigating migraine triggers, managing sleep issues, recognizing environmental factors that may be leading to migraines, mastering coping skills, and properly managing medicines. Proper treatment for migraine includes a multifaceted approach and can involve: • an individualized treatment plan • prevention medication to reduce the occurrence of migraine • acute or rescue medication for when a migraine happens • keeping a headache journal to help identify patterns and triggers • coping skills training such as relaxation techniques • migraine education • regular follow-up visits to the doctor
The rest of the story: the happy ending all kids deserve
Jump ahead about 20+ years from our opening story, and you will find me with children of my own, three of whom suffer from debilitating migraine headaches. Fortunately, because of my history, my children did not end up in that 50% of people whose migraines go undiagnosed and untreated. I recognized the symptoms, and my children are receiving the treatment that they need to help them deal with their diagnosis. I was very fortunate that I could receive knowledge and treatment for my migraines, and that my children have had that same opportunity. If you have a child or children with recurrent headaches, vertigo, unexplained abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting, or if they avoid light, activity, or noise, please take them to a headache specialist for examination. It might turn out to not be migraine, but anyone who is in constant pain should be seen by a physician and helped. And if it turns out that your beloved little one does suffer from migraine headaches, you can seek specialized treatment and start them on the path to feeling better. Matthew E. Jackson is an author, an avid reader, and the father of five children. He also works in advertising, loves to travel, and maintains a blog of book reviews.
Christina Treppendahl, FNP-BC, is the Clinical Director of The Headache Center in Ridgeland, MS, and a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine and primary headache. A board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, she has a passion for treating patients of all ages who are affected with primary headache disorders, including pediatric headache. Treppendahl is a member of the American Headache Society, the International Headache Society, the Southern Headache Society, and the American Academy of Neurology. She is a regular attendee of national and international headache conferences and recently attended the International Headache Congress in Valencia, Spain. As an advocate for migraine awareness, and appropriate diagnosis and treatment, Ms. Treppendahl joined the lobbying efforts of Headache on the Hill in Washington D.C. to secure national funding for migraine research.
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French Camp Academy Walking with familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;helping young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;through difficult times Accepting boarding students in 1st through 12th grades A Christ-centered home and school that exists to serve young people and families for the glory of God.
www.frenchcamp.org (662) 547-6482 For Social Media, search French Camp Academy One Fine Place 46 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
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It is really the smell that hits you first, a mixture of stale fish sticks and Clorox, before the din of a hundred middle schoolers who are hopped up on caffeine and sugar make their way out of the slightly ajar double doors. The long tables are crowded with bobbing heads and flailing arms as Lunchable desserts are traded for leftover pizza amid a chorus of clattering plastic chairs and scraping table legs. My grey Converse tennis shoes make a sticky sucking sound as I wind through the cafeteria, stepping over stray backpacks and looking across the heads of rowdy tables of boys and chatty cliques of girls, searching for our table. My table. A few months earlier, as a transfer student in a new school, these steps were the most terrifying ones, looking for friendly faces among the unfamiliar ones. There is something universally unsettling, among students and adults alike, about walking alone into a crowded room. Even these days, with a secure friend group, it is not an experience I relish. I am also painfully aware that I have packed hummus, garlicky hummus, in my bag. But as any middle schooler knows, it’s less about what you eat than where you sit and with whom, which isn’t to say that packaging, the cellophane wrappers of the latest grab-and-go snack food or the innocuous brown bag and insulated lunchbox, is not full of meaning in its own right. Embedded in these twenty-five minutes of rushed chatter among peers are some of the most important 50 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
lessons students can learn in school and in life. Tenets of inclusivity, wellness, and socialization all characterize this ritual of lunchtime.
A Manner of Learning
One of the first lessons eating in a lunchroom will teach you is the importance of chewing with your mouth closed. In the literal sense, it is just good manners. No one cares to see the half-eaten bite of peanut butter sandwich in your mouth, and it’s impossible to understand what you are saying anyway. Beyond the social necessity, though, around the lunch table, you learn what it means to pause, to listen, to process. It is a time to learn to be respectful of others’ opinions. Chewing with your mouth closed, so to speak, gives you time to reflect on how you feel, and formulate your own opinions, before responding to the words of others.
Another thing to learn at lunch and in life is that, if you try hard enough, there is always room for one more chair around the table. Being in middle school and finding friends is hard work. It is intimidating. Oftentimes that fear manifests as exclusivity. As a veteran of pushing more tables together, perch-
ing on armrests, and sharing seats with friends, I can attest that the extra effort to include the shy girl from your history class or the awkward boy who sits behind you in biology is worth it for your sake as well as theirs.
At first glance, it seems like you can tell a lot about a person based on what and how they pack for lunch. Do they go through the hot line? Do they bring their lunch in paper bags or insulated lunch boxes? Are they eating something packaged or something their mom put together? As teenagers, we look for identifying characteristics of our peers that make it easy to categorize one another. But when you peel that packaging away, what you are really left with is food. There is something profound about people of all ages gathering and eating. Relationships are forged sharing food and friendship, no matter what kind of container it comes in.
A Lifetime of Perspective
It has been quite some time now since I have eaten lunch with those people in that place. Years have gone by without worrying who will sit where or whether or not I should pack this tuna salad. But I suspect that the interactions within school cafeterias have remained similar. I hope so. Lunch is one of the last times that preteens and adolescents are given permission to play, to be silly. It is a period of transition not just from morning classes to afternoon ones; the lunch period is a microcosm of growing up, full of â&#x20AC;&#x153;nutritiousâ&#x20AC;? lessons along the way. Hannah Saulters is currently a senior at Millsaps College studying anthropology. She is a freelance writer and plans to pursue a career in journalism after graduation.
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BY JEFF KERSH, PHD
We all remember riding our bikes all over creation in the “good ol’ days.” A bicycle was, and still is, a child’s idea of freedom. Who didn’t explore our little world on two wheels, and how many of us wore helmets or safety gear of any kind? Many of us remember the days of riding in the backs of pickup trucks and bouncing all over the backseat without child car seats.
A New Day
Times have changed. Our world moves at a much faster pace, and drivers are less likely to watch for children on the roads with their ever-present smartphones and other distractions. Everyone is in a rush to get where they need to go, and there are far more vehicles on the roads. Our children’s safety is a top priority in our lives, and we owe it to ourselves to make sure they can play and explore their world safely. 54 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
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A Cause for Prevention
The Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund program (TBI/SCI), a division of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS), is helping ensure children’s safety through preventing injuries instead of treating them after the fact. Their Use Your BRAIN program, administered by Allison Lowther, provides free bicycle helmets in elementary schools to encourage safety for bicyclists, skateboarders, and other children who participate in potentially dangerous activities. The group contacts schools to offer an assembly discussing safety issues, followed by the distribution of helmets. Young students are thrilled to have someone take their play seriously, and to get a brand-new helmet to wear.
100,000 Safer Kids
The multi-sport helmets are brightly-colored and fun, and children are encouraged to personalize them with markers, stickers, or whatever they can imagine. The helmets are more than just protection, but protection is the ultimate goal. As Lowther says, “We can give you a new helmet; we can’t give you a new brain.” The trust fund was originated by the state legislature in 1996, and Use Your BRAIN began in 2010. With more than 80,000 helmets already distributed to date, they are well on their way to reaching their goal of providing 100,000 helmets in all areas of the state. “There are still parts of the state we haven’t reached,” Lowther says, but they are actively pursuing relationships with schools they have not yet visited, from the Delta to the Gulf Coast. They speak to groups as large as 1,500, often twice a day. Lowther loves interacting with very young children; “if they grow up wearing a helmet, they’re likely to continue.” She encourages good safety habits early, since younger children haven’t yet stigmatized wearing protective gear at play. “The helmet is part of your uniform,” she says. Who wouldn’t want to wear a cool, colorful uniform to fuel fantasies of going faster and doing more impressive stunts? A child who protects himself or herself while riding is part of a team that will carry good habits into adulthood. 56 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
Lowther offers a wonderful, simple example of the benefits of safety gear. At some events, she will put a cantaloupe inside one of the free bike helmets and drop it. No harm done. Then she’ll take the melon out and drop it on the floor; it bursts into pieces. The human skull isn’t as delicate as a cantaloupe, but it can sustain serious damage from just one fall. Falls are the number two cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) behind auto accidents, and they are preventable.
Rising to the Standard
The Use Your BRAIN campaign receives funding from fees assessed for DUI arrests and moving violations, putting our tax dollars to work protecting the future. Specifically, according to MDRS’s 2013 Annual Report, “a $25.00 surcharge is
collected from every violation of the Mississippi Implied Consent (Driving Under the Influence) Law, and $5.45 from all other moving vehicle violations.” Fines related to the number one cause of brain and spinal trauma, automobile accidents, become an investment in preventing the number two cause, falls, ensuring that safety eventually becomes a habit for all. Use Your BRAIN is subtitled, “Best Routine Against Injury Now.” The word “routine” is key. Safety shouldn’t be controversial or complicated; it should be a routine part of any potentially dangerous activity. Harmless fun can lead to tragedy in seconds. It always pays to be aware of dangers, no matter how small they may seem. A free helmet is a simple gift that can save a life, as safety becomes as normal as getting on a bicycle or a scooter and going off for a ride. TBI/SCI provides helmets to kids at no cost; there are no requirements for receiving one, and no obligation. Part of the TBI/SCI’s mission is education and prevention, so who better than a group dedicated to researching and treating brain and spinal injuries to share common-sense methods of avoiding those injuries? Use Your BRAIN promotes awareness of the dangers all around us as we have fun in a fun way. It’s not paranoia, but simple mindfulness.
Our children can’t explore the world around them as easily as we could in the 1970s and ‘80s, but they can still taste a bit of freedom. With a helmet and other protective gear, they can not only guarantee their adventures will be safer, but they can also venture out wearing a uniform like our heroes do, ready for any accidents that may occur. Invest a few minutes in keeping your children safe, and Use Your BRAIN will match that investment with a piece of equipment that will more than pay for itself. For more information on the Use Your BRAIN program, or to inquire about a visit to a local school, contact Allison Lowther at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeff Kersh, has a PhD in English, and is a published poet and author, a musician, a music teacher, and a father.
Peace of Mind
Parents benefit from the program as well; it’s easy to assume our children will be safe and careful, but it only takes one moment’s forgetfulness to bring on a disastrous, permanent injury. If we make our children’s safety a priority, we are likely to consider our own safety when we’re out having fun. A safe family is a sound family, with many years to spend having fun being together.
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BY BRYAN CARTER / FEATURED WRITER
There are weighty ordeals that we handle in the course of our lives. Among the most stressful of those ordeals is building a new house, buying a new house, or remodeling an existing house. Buying a new home involves many variables. Everything from financing, to schools, to selling an existing home, to moving belongings, to relocating lives. A new home means new neighbors, new friends, and a new community, even if it is only a move across town. At the end of the day, having a home is important. Having family is important. Appreciating the blessings we enjoy is important. However, that does not mean that a home does not need updating or that a growing family does not outgrow its walls.
You May Need a Friend
There is one person who is instrumental in home improvements and new construction and who can make or break your experience — the general contractor (GC). Jim Meng, owner of InVision Construction, advises, “Your GC will be by your side every step of the way, and should help you in more ways than you expect if he or she is good. In choosing a GC, you need someone who is extremely competent and available and is someone you can trust and get along with.”
The Right Approach
When the time comes to find a new home, or if there is a need for updating your existing home, don’t let stress get the better of you. Along with the costs of setting up a new home or remodeling an existing one, there are real benefits in the 60 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE
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homemaking experience. Those benefits are to be enjoyed. Are you in the midst of a house decision or considering your next move? If so, here is some common sense advice you may want to keep in mind.
It is extremely rewarding to move into a house that you have had designed and built. To achieve that reward, there is a lot of work to do. Anyone who has contracted to have a house built will tell of their excitement, as well as their story of long hours, endless decisions, and countless opportunities for cost overruns and budget discussions. But, once it is finished, your house is ready to be turned into your brand-new home. BRAND new. What are some of the key decisions to make to ensure your homebuilding experience goes as smooth as possible? Your General Contractor Meng encourages new home builders to first carefully consider their choice of general contractor. Says Meng, “The single most important decision you can make, aside from your budget, is who you decide to have build your home. You are going to trust this person and his or her company to help you complete one of the most important projects in your family’s financial life.” That is the case for most single-home families. Handling the Unexpected A good contractor/builder will help you navigate the process of building a new home and help you manage expectations of timelines, budgets, and unforeseen steps in the journey. A great builder will be proactive. You certainly want a great builder, especially if you are new to the process and require any hand-holding.
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The Budget Says Meng, “Once the plans are completed, the budget is set, and the loans are secured, you are on your way. The central conversation going forward always revolves around managing the budget. A house is a big project, and there are a lot of opportunities to go out of budget. A change in a showerhead, a moved door, a different countertop, it all adds up. If a client wants to make a change or an upgrade, we can accommodate it. But it should always be intentional, never a surprise.”
Buying an Existing Home
Buying an existing home is far easier on the management and timeline side since it is already built. Assuming there are not significant, time-consuming repairs to be done, the biggest challenge is finding a house that someone else built to their tastes that will suit your family and your budget. Only Option If you want to be in an established neighborhood with no new lots for sale, buying an existing house may be your only option. Hiring an Agent Shopping for a new existing home is always a challenge. Utilizing a real estate agent is always a help when arranging inspections, valuing property, and negotiating a sale. A real estate agent can also be essential if you are strapped for time and have to make the most of your shopping days — especially if you live out of town and do not know the area. Don’t Settle With the right help, patience, and a bit of luck, you may be able to find a house and community that suits your family.
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rated and furnished with sofas, chairs, and media centers. The kitchen has become the new central living space, complete with entertainment, cooking, and gathering spaces. There are several areas in a kitchen that need attention for real updating. Countertops, appliances, walls, and floors are still great areas to focus. All of these areas need to be current to bring your kitchen up-to-date. If your kitchen does have keeping area space, then walls and entertainment fixtures, such as a television and (possibly hidden) surround sound, and furnishings will bring the area to life.
Help Ensure Success
And, if it is almost right, you may be able to do a little remodeling to make it home.
Nothing spruces up a home like a few updates. Remodeling is often your best option. Even if you have been considering finding a new home, bringing your home up-to-date can buy you some time, improve value, and shorten time on the market should you decide to put it up for sale. Painting is always a basic, inexpensive way to make a big visual change. New floors are a change that bring you up-todate quickly. And, while hardwood floors are risky in rooms with water appliances — the kitchen, bathrooms, and the laundry room — there are now ceramic options that give you the look of hardwood and the durability of tile. These floors are also highly resistant to scratching and pet wear and tear, common issues with wooden floors. Closet space, particularly in the master bedroom, is a great focus area. And, if you have a fireplace, updating the mantle can have a great impact and change the tone of a room. Bathrooms Bathrooms are not only one of the best return-on-investment areas to update in your home, but they also offer some great options. Bathroom remodels can be as simple as changing out faucets, towel racks, and other hardware. Or, you can make dramatic changes with updated granite counter tops, new flooring, enlarged showers, and whirlpool tubs. Remodeled bathrooms can not only brighten and update your home, but they also can add to resale and increase marketability. Kitchen In today’s home, the kitchen takes center stage. With the addition of space for a “keeping room,” kitchens are now deco-
Whether you are remodeling, buying and updating a home, or building a brand-new home, make sure that any contractors you hire have a solid reputation, expertise, and experience in your type of project. Meng encourages customers to do their homework. Says Meng, “Referrals are normally provided by a good contractor, and services like Angie’s List help you check out many companies, and their reputations, online.” There are few projects that can mean as much to your family financially as your home investment. And, the investment is not just financial. In creating your home you are creating a space for lifelong memories, where your children grow up and life happens around you. An investment in a home is an investment in family. A great contractor will make the difference in your building experience and deliver your dreams. Your family, of course, will make the home. Bryan Carter is an author, business owner, father, and husband. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with his wife Shelley and two beloved children, Jack and Emma.
Jim Meng is the owner of InVision Construction. He is a father and a grandfather. His company helps families in home construction and remodelling. For questions and information on hiring the right contractor, contact Jim Meng at 601-376-9654. You can also visit the company’s website at www.invisionconstructionllc.com. SUMMER + FALL 2015 - 65
U N IV E R SITY PR ESS OF MI SSISSI PPI
Emmett Till Devery S. Anderson
The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement A gripping reexamination of the abduction and murder that galvanized the Civil Rights movement.
Return to Guntown John Hailman
Classic Trials of the Outlaws and Rogues of Faulkner Country All new tales of wild bad guys from an accomplished prosecutor of drug dealers, kidnappers, and con men.
Jack Cristil By Sid Salter with a Foreword by John Grisham
Voice of the MSU Bulldogs, Revised Edition The biography of the iconic, unforgettable announcer of Mississippi State sports.
Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Great Storm Haley Barbour with Jere Nash
Leading through Hurricane Katrina A first person account of the landfall and recovery following the worst natural disaster in American history.
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Mississippians in the Great War Compiled and edited by Anne L. Webster
Selected Letters A fascinating collection of correspondence from soldiers, nurses, and relief workers during World War I.
Bright Fields Bruce Levingston
The Mastery of Marie Hull A visually stunning biography of the great Mississippi artist.
A THE W Y TO
SHE’S HALFWAY TO COLLEGE. ARE YOU HALFWAY TO PAYING FOR COLLEGE? YOUR THIRD GRADER IS HALFWAY TO COLLEGE. Even if you haven’t started saving yet, it’s not too late. College Savings Mississippi makes it easy to save for college and offers special tax advantages. The MACS plan helps you save for tuition, books, room and board, and other qualified educational expenses. The MPACT plan allows you to lock in college tuition at today’s prices. With plans from College Savings Mississippi, there’s still time to make it to class. | www.TreasurerLynnFitch.com
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DAVE SAYS... Financial Advice From America’s Financial Advisor
Where are you in your financial plan?
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No need for professionals Dear Dave, My wife and I moved to Washington, D.C., about a year ago, and we’d like to put our old place in North Carolina that we’ve been renting on the market. We’ll be asking around $140,000 for it, so do you think we should consider professionally staging the home? – Ben Dear Ben, It would make a lot of sense if you were talking about a million-dollar house, but with a less expensive home like that I’d just make sure it’s really clean and neat and nice — especially the front area with the sidewalk and bushes. We’re talking curb appeal here. Make sure the front door, trim and porch area are all cleaned or painted, too. All this is like a first impression on a job interview.
There shouldn’t be any bad smells in the house, and everything inside should be crisp and clean as well. You can stage it yourself with a few pieces of nice furniture and such, if you have it available. And try this old realtor’s trick to make things a bit more homey: Put few drops of vanilla extract on an eye of the stove while it’s heated. It will make the whole house smell like you’ve been baking cookies. But no, I wouldn’t pay to stage a $140,000 house. – Dave Budget together! Dear Dave, I have a question about budgeting. I give myself and my husband $150 a month each for blow money to be used on whatever we want. I’m upset because he spends all his eating out, then he buys other things he wants that he has no money for. Am I being too stingy? – Cheryl Dear Cheryl, I think you guys are handling your money poorly. You’re acting like his mother instead of his wife, and he’s acting like a little boy instead of a man. You don’t want to give your husband an allowance and then not be happy when he spends money “he didn’t have” because he went over what you dictated to him. That’s a bad budget process. The budget process, if you’re the nerd in the family, should start with you writing it all out. Then he sits down with you, has an equal say in the decisions and you two okay it together. He needs to understand that this is you asking him to man-up and be part of the decision-making process, so that you can both be in agreement as to what’s best for the family. In one sense, you may not like it at first, because right now you’ve got control of things. But in another sense, I’ll bet you’re pretty tired of carrying the weight of all the financial decision making and being the only adult in the household. He doesn’t even have to work on all that much. I want you to lay it out, but I expect him to sit down and go over it all with you. You’re not asking him to be an accountant with a pocket protector, but you have every right to expect him to be in on the decisions that are made about your family and your finances! – Dave
Out of step with the Baby Steps Dear Dave, My husband and I have been following your plan. We just paid cash for our new home after selling the old one, so we’re out of the Baby Steps. But we’ve still got about $50,000 in student loan debt hanging over our heads. We make over $100,000 a year combined, so how would you suggest handling this? – Stephanie Dear Stephanie, Whoa, hang on a minute! I think you’re a little confused about the steps in my plan. You’re not out of the Baby Steps quite yet. You just got Baby Step 6, which is pay off your mortgage, done ahead of time. Go back to Baby Step 2, which involves paying off all your debt except for your house, and take care of the student loans. You guys make good money, so it shouldn’t take long at all. After that, if you haven’t already, move to Baby Step 3 and set aside a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Baby Step 4 is investing 15 percent of your income for retirement, and Baby Step 5 means putting aside money for the kids’ college education — if you have kids. The seventh Baby Step is building wealth and giving.
I hope that helps straighten things out. The good news is you won’t have to fight through a house payment while you’re paying off the student loan debt. So for now, just get into attack mode and make it disappear. Then, move on to the other steps. Other than getting the sequence a little mixed up, you guys are doing great! – Dave Stay with the bank Dear Dave, My wife and I are debt-free except for our home, and we’re currently putting money aside for our fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Currently, we have our emergency fund account in the same bank as our checking and savings accounts. Do you think we should move it to a different bank? – Steve
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Dear Steve, I wouldn’t worry too much about that if I were you. The only exception to that might be if you had loans that you owed to that same bank. Then, I would probably move my emergency fund out of there just in case something went wrong with the loans. Some commercial loan documents now give the bank the right to take money out of your account to pay the loan — without your permission. If you had a car loan, for instance, with that particular bank, I wouldn’t keep a bunch of money in that bank. They normally don’t do that unless you’re way behind on the bill — and then it gets pretty adversarial. Sometimes there can be things like a simple clerical error, and there’s no chance of that happening if the money’s in another bank. But in your situation, I don’t see any harm in you being there. – Dave
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Going to extremes is unhealthy Dear Dave, I’ve heard you talk about extreme spenders and extreme savers. Exactly what do these terms mean? – Marianne Dear Marianne, Some people have a tendency to live in the moment, while others think more about the future. Financially speaking, those who live in the moment tend to be spenders, while the other type tends to be savers. When you take these kinds of behaviors to unhealthy extents, you have extreme spenders or extreme savers. Either one can be an unhealthy thing. Extreme spenders may need to slow down, grow up and learn the value of money by living on a budget, setting savings goals and working to meet these goals. Extreme savers often operate out of fear and uncertainty. In some cases, they may have an
even worse spirit in their lives — greed. They have to learn that it’s okay to have a little fun spending and to give generously. When it comes down to it, there are only three uses for money: spending, saving and giving. You have to do some of all three in order to have a truly happy and healthy life! – Dave Do no more damage Dear Dave, I’m returning to school to finish my degree this year, and I’m going to ask my girlfriend to marry me. We both have decent jobs, but I also have some previous student loans that I could put into deferment. Do you think I should pay off the debt before getting engaged? – Colton Dear Colton, Congrats on finding that special someone! Now, if I were in your shoes, here’s the way I line up my priorities. First, don’t do any more damage where debt is concerned. I want you to pay cash for your food, lights, water, gas for your car and housing. Obviously, you have to live, but I want you to all this without adding any new debt. The next priority would be to pay for college, and pay cash for your tuition and stuff from this point forward. Remember, no new debt! After that, let’s save up and pay cash for a nice, inexpensive ring. The student loan debt comes last through deferment. I’d really attack it with a vengeance after I was married, out of school and had an even better job and bigger income. You’re going to be a busy guy for a while, but I’ll bet this lady’s worth it. Gaining control of your finances now will be a great gift for you both when you start your new life together. – Dave Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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The Renaissance at Colony Park 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy Suite 9016 Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-707-7480 SUMMER + FALL 2015 - 73