Page 1


October 2015 + November 2015

Laura Markham Susan Merrill Maya Author

6 Mistakes College Freshmen Make pg. 7

Pumpkin Carving and safety Halloween Tips pg. 15

It's hard when a best friend isn't around —

Letter from the Publisher We’re turning FIVE!


Fall Editors Pick pg. 22




Staying Connected with Your Child pg. 28

Every year with our October-November issue we celebrate our anniversary. This year is our fifth year bringing our fans articles, editorials, product reviews and much more which we love putting together for our readers to enjoy! I want to send a special “thank you” to our advertising clients who have given Sprinkles Magazine the opportunity of having them in the publication and our fans who keep us going! I want to wish you all a safe Halloween and a Very Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Follow us:

Communication pg. 8 Angelica Rohr

Editor’s Pick pg 22

maybe because she moved to a different school or a different class, or maybe she's just home sick for the day. Recess or lunchtime can feel lonely without her. Will it ever feel the same? You want to have new friends, but how do you make them? Maybe it seems like everybody else already has their friends. But remember, there's always room for more friends. Start by looking around your classroom — think about which kids you'd like to play with at recess. Look for chances to say hi to them, smile, and be friendly. Offer to share something or give a compliment. Invite someone to play with you or say "Do you want to sit here?" in the lunch -room. When you're at recess, walk over to kids you want to play with, act friendly, and say "Hi, can I play, too?" or just join in. If you have trouble doing this or if you're feeling shy, ask your teacher to help you make new friends. Teachers are usually pretty good at matching up friends. The best way to make friends is to be a friend. Be kind, be friendly, share, say positive things, offer to help — and pretty soon, you'll have one, or two, or even more new friends.

You might still miss that special best friend.

But when you see each other, you can share something you didn't have before she left:

You can introduce her to your new friends!

With attack intensity. As a mom, I sometimes feel like every day is a series of strategic battles. So if my husband approaches me in attack mode, he may get a warrior woman reaction. This is the fight or flight response taking over. I respond much better to a gentle approach. With his mind already made up. Mark is a lawyer, so it is impossible to argue him out of something he’s already made up his mind about. I tend to not respond well when I feel like he’s just trying to persuade me to agree with a decision he’s already made on his own, especially when it’s a family matter. Late at night. I am too tired late at night. That’s just me. After nine o’clock, it’s not a good idea to bring up any kind of complicated conversation with me. With criticism. Criticism in communication takes my focus away from the topic and immediately puts me on the defensive. If I feel like I’m under attack, it can undermine the trust that is crucial to healthy relationships.

Let’s Talk About Marriage Communication

Communication is the glue that holds a marriage together.

But I can tell you that during our 25 years of marriage, there have been countless times when Mark and I have come a little unglued. Early in our marriage, I struggled to navigate the sticky communication situations we sometimes found ourselves in.

I had to start by figuring out how to communicate…about communication!

As crazy as it sounds, I learned that to improve our communication, we had to talk about the way (conversations were getting ugly, at times) we talk to each other. Not in the heat of the moment, but sometime later when we had both cooled down and were relaxed. And in order for me to effectively express myself to Mark, there were three questions about his communication that I had to answer for myself.

What don’t I like?

Every person has communication preferences, and it’s so important to know what those are. There are certain things Mark can say or do when we are talking that wear me out or tear me down. Over the years, I have taken the time to analyze my feelings and reactions so I know exactly what I don’t like, and how my husband should not communicate with me.

With thousands of words. If Mark starts pontificating in a conversation, I get worn out listening. I need him to get to the point, or I will get lost in all of the words. How do I want to be spoken to?

Mark can be a great communicator, and encouraging that leads to better results—for both of us! I like to give Mark positive examples of how I want to be spoken to. It helps him understand what sounds good to me, and it affirms him. For example, “When you asked me what I thought about that idea before telling me why it’s great, it really freed me up to be honest about my concerns.” Or, “Thank you for noticing that I was exhausted and asking me how you could help even though you were also busy.” It’s so important to be able to point to concrete examples of good communication!

Neither of us has mastered marriage communication, but we both try hard. Learning how we should and should not communicate with each other has been key. See more at:© 2015, Susan Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at

Can I define and explain it?

Nothing frustrates my husband more than when I tell him that I don’t like the way his communication makes me feel, but then I can’t explain what exactly bothered me. After 25 years of marriage, I know and am able to explain to Mark five ways he should not communicate with me: 8

October 2015 + November 2015

October 2015 + November 2015


Carbon Monoxide Prevention for Big Kids Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can't see, smell or taste. Children process carbon monoxide differently than adults, may be more severely affected by it, and may show signs of poisoning sooner.

Here are a few tips to help keep your kids safe:

Top Safety Tips Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances. Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available. Don't use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window. If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Don't leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage.


MONOXIDE Safety Tips Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm. If you don’t have one, please go out and get one. As with smoke alarms, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances. You won’t know that you have a carbon monoxide leak without a working alarm. So test alarms regularly and replace them every five to seven years depending on the manufacturer’s label. For the best protection, have carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available.

Understand How Carbon Monoxide Can Be Harmful Don’t use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window. If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Don’t leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the doors are open. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. On the outside of your home, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris. Carbon monoxide can accumulate in or around your motorboat, so install an alarm on your boat.

Leave the House If the Alarm Sounds If the alarm goes off, immediately go outdoors or to an open window or door for some fresh air. Make sure that everyone inside your home is safe. Call 911 or the fire department. Stay outside or by an open window until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Store Gasoline Properly If using gasoline-powered devices, store gasoline in a locked location where children cannot access it. Keep only small quantities in an approved container that has child safety features. Keep gasoline away from any source of heat, spark or flame. Even common household appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers can start a gasoline fire. Be sure to store your gasoline away from anything that could ignite it. Store gasoline in a well-ventilated area outside your vehicle and living space. The safest place to store the container is in a detached garage or shed. Never mix gasoline with fire. There is no safe way to start a fire with gasoline. See more at:


October 2015 + November 2015

Scientists have found a way to predict which couples will end up divorcing: those who don’t insure that they have at least 5 positive interactions for every negative one. According to John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, it is likely that maintaining this 5 to 1 ratio is effective insurance in every relationship, including between parents and children. Life, with its infinite distractions and constant separations, has a way of eroding connection. All parents need to repeatedly recon -nect with their children, just to repair the daily erosion created by life’s normal separations and distractions.

While our children are separated from us, they orient themselves around other things: their teacher, their peers, their computer. As Gordon Neufeld, author of Hold On To Your Kids , says, when we recollect our children physically into our orbit, we must make sure we recollect them emotionally as well. Effective parenting is almost impossible until the positive conn -ection with your child has been re-established, so think of this as preventive maintenance, before there’s a problem. How?

Staying Connected

with Your Child

by Dr. Laura Markham


October 2015 + November 2015

1. Place a premium on relationships in your family. If your expectation is that re-connecting after time apart is an important part of life, your children will share that expectation. 2. Acknowledge relationship and separation. When you leave, say goodbye. When you return, say hello. When you first see your children in the morning, make a point of greeting each of them, preferably physically. This may seem obvious, but lots of families don’t do it. Research shows that men who kiss their wives goodbye in the morning live longer, earn more, and are happier. While there is no data yet on how this applies to parents and kids, you can bet I kiss my kids, as well as my husband, goodbye! 3. When you physically reconnect, consciously refocus your attention. Otherwise, it’s automatic for all of us to keep thinking about the meeting you just attended or what you need to pick up at the grocery store. 4. Until you’ve re-established the connection, keep distractions to a minimum. If you can discipline yourself to turn off the news when your child gets in the car, you're lots more likely to make a connec -tion with him and hear about what happened at band practice. If she’s coming back from a sleepover, try to avoid having family friends over at the same time. Insist that she spend some time interacting with the family before she gets on the phone or computer to chat with her friends. When one of you arrives home, don’t answer the phone during your greeting, even if it was a routine separation. As automatic as it is to answer the phone, greeting each other and reconnecting is ultimately more important. That’s what answering machines are for. 5. Attune to your child’s mood. Your moods are unlikely to be in sync after time apart.To re-connect, you will probably need to adjust your mood to your child’s.

The point is setting aside some time to just be present, daily, with every person in your family. 8. Welcome your child’s babyself.

It’s classic. Your child has been happily playing at child -care, but as soon as you show up, he has a meltdown. That’s because he’s been squashing his dependency needs so that he can function independently in a demanding environment. Your presence, with all of its comforting reassurance and warmth, signals to him that he can relax and let down his guard. Dr. Anthony Wolf calls this version of your child his "babyself." Scoop your child up, give him that snuggle he needs, and get him out of there. Some little ones need to cry for a few minutes in your arms before they're ready for the carseat; those who are still nursing often need to nurse. Preschoolers may need to revert to babytalk. Accept all this as proof of the age-appropriate solace your child finds in your company. Just remember not to make a meltdown the precondition for comforting, so you don’t set that up as a daily response. Offer a pre-emptive snuggle as you pick them up at the end of the day and you can often avoid a meltdown. Some parents object to this as "encouraging dependency." I see it as "allowing" the dependency that is there anyway, and will otherwise go undercover. Don't worry, your kids won't be dependent forever. 9. Remember the 5 to 1 ratio. Try as we might, all of us sometimes have less than optimal interactions with our children. Remember that each one of those interactions that leave anyone feeling bad require five positive interactions to restore a positive valence to the relationship. These can be little – a smile or pat on the shoulder – as long as you make sure they have a positive impact.

6. Connect on their level.

One caution -- don’t be tempted to buy five presents, even if you goofed royally. Occasional gifts for no reason are fine, but all kids distinguish between emotional connection and things, and they always notice when parents use money to buy their goodwill. They won’t turn down the gifts, but it’s a net loss to the relationship’s emotional bank account.

7. Everyone needs "floortime."

10. In addition to daily preventive maintenance, do repair work as necessary.

Neufeld and Mate, authors of the book Hold onto Your Kids and originators of the phrase “Collecting your child," call this “getting in their face in a friendly way”. For toddlers, it means stooping down to make eye contact. For older kids, the idea is to demand their attention in an inoffensive way, which usually involves getting in their space physically.

With toddlers, floortime is when you get down on the floor with them, in their space and in sync with their energy level, and connect in their world, whether it's building a train track or playing pretend or reading a book. When they're ten, floortime will probably take the form of snuggling on the couch while you chat, in a relaxed fashion, about anything from their day at school to the coming weekend to a TV show you just watched together. Forget about teaching or directing or rushing your kid to the next item on the schedule. None of those are quality time. Quality time means being in the present moment and responding to whatever is up for your child.

If your child’s attachment needs have gone unmet, for whatever reason, he or she has probably turned to the peer group to try to get them filled. Parenting becomes impossible when you aren’t your child’s “secure base,” as the attachment theorists say. You’ll need to do some relationship repair work to get your child’s attachment focused back on you where it belongs. by Dr. Laura Markham, founder of and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

October 2015 + November 2015


Make sure wigs and beards don't cover your kids' eyes, noses, or mouths. Kids shouldn't wear masks — they can make it difficult for them to see and breathe. Instead, use nontoxic face paint or makeup. Have younger kids draw pictures of what they want to look like. Older kids will have fun putting the makeup on themselves. Test the face paint or makeup on your child's arm or hand before applying to make sure the paint doesn't irritate the skin.

A Safe and Spooktacular


Avoid colored or decorative contact lenses, unless they have been prescribed by an eye doctor for your child. Put a nametag — with your phone number — on your children's costumes. Avoid oversized and highheeled shoes that could cause kids to trip. Make sure the rest of the costume fits well, too, which can help prevent trips and falls.

From the candy to the costumes, Halloween is a fun-filled time for kids and parents alike. But it can pose dangers to young revelers. To help make this year's festivity a trick-free treat, follow these simple safety tips:

Make sure that any props your kids carry, such as wands or swords, are short and flexible.

Trouble-Free Trick-or-Treating

Choose a light-colored costume because these are easily seen at night. Add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the costume and to the trick-or-treat bag.

Accompany young children (under age 12). Make sure they know how to call 911 in case they get lost. Check to make sure they know their home phone number.

Only buy a costume that is labeled "flame-retardant." This means the material won't burn. If you are making your own costume, use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant.

For older kids who are trick-or -treating on their own, find out the route they'll be taking and when they'll be coming home.

Adorning Your Little Ghouls


October 2015 + November 2015

Also be sure that they: carry a cell phone, if possible go in a group and stay together only go to houses with porch lights on and walk on sidewalks on lit streets (never walk through alleys or across lawns) walk from house to house (never run) and always walk facing traffic when walking on roads stay away from candles and other flames know to never go into strangers' homes or cars cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop. Give kids flashlights with new batteries. Kids may also enjoy wearing glow sticks as bracelets or necklaces. Limit trick-or-treating to your neighborhood and the homes of people you and your children know. When your kids get home, check all treats to make sure they're sealed. Throw out candy with torn packages or holes in the packages, spoiled items, and any homemade treats that haven't been made by someone you know. Don't allow young children to have hard candy or gum that could cause choking. Make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home, too. Remove anything that could cause kids to trip or fall on your walkway or lawn. Make sure the lights are on outside your house and light the walkway to your door, if possible. Keep family pets away from trick-ortreaters, even if they seem harmless to you.

Gobbling Down Halloween Goodies Offer a filling meal before your kids head out to trick-or-treat so they won't scarf down too much of their haul. Consider purchasing Halloween treats other than candy. Stickers, erasers, crayons, pencils, coloring books, and sealed packages of raisins and dried fruits are good choices. Know how much candy your kids have collected and store it somewhere other than their bedrooms. Consider being some -what lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Let kids have one or two treats a day instead of leaving candy out in big bags or bowls for kids to sample at will. Consider giving some of the treats away. Take these quick and easy precautions to help your little ghosts and goblins have a hauntingly happy and safe Halloween.

October 2015 + November 2015



Don't let kids use knives. Have them draw their designs on the pumpkin with a black marker — then you or an older sibling can do the carving. Keep kids at a safe distance while you're carving the pump -kin so that they don't distract you or get in the way of sharp objects. Remove pumpkin guts safely. If your children beg to remove the guts of the pumpkin — as many kids do — don't hand over a knife to do it. Instead, let your little ones get messy by scooping out pumpkin flesh with their hands or an ice cream scoop. Clean up the mess. Pumpkin flesh is slippery and can cause falls and injuries when dropped on the floor. Layer newspaper or old cloths under your carving workspace and clean up spills right away so no one slips or trips. Skip the candles, which may cause fires. A burning candle in a pumpkin may become a blazing fire if left unattended. Instead, use a glow stick (available in many colors) or flameless candle to safely illuminate your jack-o'-lantern.


"Must-Have learning supplies for all homeschooling families" Store it all in one caddy! We love this rotating caddy. Keeps all your supplies handy and has an easygrip handle to grab and carry.


One of our "must have" is this fabulous magic board! The kids can take notes while learning and they will want to practice their skills again and again. Habitat learning? This ladybug land comes with every -thing you need to care and study all about these little creatures!

When its time for a nap, these heavy duty cots and rest mats are essential for the kids! Make dazzling patterns and dots with these dot art painters. No spills or mess!

The perfect size crayons for little hands!

For these and more learning innovative products, visit:

HERE ARE SOME HOMESCHOOLING TIPS TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS! EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES. Not everyone feels the same when it comes to learning. There is no book that says they must learn a certain something by a certain time. All kids are different. Where some may struggle, others may strive. PLAN AHEAD FOR MEALS. By planning your meals ahead of time, you will take the load off of stressing what to cook tonight. Plan ahead and prepare meals ahead that you can freeze and just thaw and heat during the week. DON’T COMPARE YOUR KIDS TO OTHERS. Trust your gut and get to know your kid.

GET OUTSIDE. There is so much to learning outside. Plant some flowers, talk about insects, catch some sun light. 44

October 2015 + November 2015

Fall 2015 Issue