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The Human-Animal Bond: How Owning a Pet Can Help Your Child’s Bond with Others

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. Our youngest son, Sean, has always been a bit of an introvert. He has a few friends at school but doesn’t really socialize anywhere else. My husband and I read online about how pets can help people come out of their shells and be more expressive. We took a chance and got Sean a dachshund for his ninth birthday. He instantly fell in love and now walks Hot Dog (his name choice, of course) almost every day. They both get so much attention at the dog park, and Sean loves...

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Being Bored: Why it’s a Good Thing for Your Kids

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. Last Tuesday, my husband and I took our two boys to the doctor’s office for their annual check-up. Now, they’re not undisciplined but they do get bored quite easily and, when that happens, they can both become a handful. In fact, no matter what my husband and I did, the boys just weren’t having it. They kept jumping, running, yelling, and generally throwing a fit. You can imagine how embarrassed and hopeless we both felt as we tried to relax them. I don’t remember ever acting like that when I...

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The New Form of “Smoking”: Record Numbers of Teens Follow the Vape Trend

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. Sebastian will soon be in high school and my wife Roxie and I are both a bit nervous about many of the new, and not necessarily healthy, things he’ll be exposed to. One of these is smoking: cigarettes, joints, etc. Roxie is extremely concerned about this and I don’t blame her. However, some of the methods she’s considering to prevent Sebastian from smoking seem a bit odd to me. For example, she mentioned letting him “vape.” According to her, e-cigarettes (e as in electronic) are safer than traditional cigarettes and...

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Kids and Suicide: Having a Serious and Frank Conversation About the Topic

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. It just broke my heart to hear in the news that two students who survived the Parkland shooting in 2018 died by suicide related to PTSD. I can’t even imagine the psychological trauma they endured from such a horrible tragedy. I have a son and it worries me sick thinking of something like that happening at his school. I also can’t help but think that there might be other unimaginable things he and kids his age go through that might trigger feelings of suicide. It scares me to death, and...

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Child Tech Talk: When Limiting and Teaching Screen Time Meet

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember. Even after I got a full-time job, I still found time to get in front of the screen and play my favorite video games for at least an hour a day. Now, as Sandra and I await our first child, I’m wondering if I’ll have to completely eliminate gaming from my life. I wouldn’t want to open the gates for my child to a pastime that becomes an unhealthy obsession. I want to set a positive example, but...

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Would You Cheat for Your Kids? How Far is Too Far When it Comes to Helping Them Get Ahead?

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. My oldest son is in high school and has a big project due for history class. I’ve always loved history and really want to help him with it. The thing is, the last time he needed help with something this large in school, I practically did it all for him. And it wasn’t because he asked me to. I hate to admit that I did it because I felt his work wasn’t good enough to begin with. Rather than talk to him about it and offer pointers on improving...

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Ongoing Study Finds That Over 2 Hours of Screen Time a Day Can Negatively Affect a Child’s Brain

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. Andrea and I will be welcoming our daughter in just a few weeks! We couldn’t be more excited! Of course, this also means we’re beginning to discuss how we’re going to raise her. While we agree on almost everything, we disagree on technology. Andrea says she wants our daughter to have a tablet along with access to apps that will provide her with endless learning and entertainment opportunities. I’m very apprehensive. Too much technology already seems to negatively affect adults, so wouldn’t it be even worse for kids? Over the...

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White Lies: Your Child’s Deceit May Not Be as Bad as You Think

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. “You cannot lie to me, Sarah. Do you understand?” My husband Stephen’s tone was soft but serious. Sarah’s little toddler head nodded. A few hours later, after we had put her to bed, I asked Stephen what that was all about. He said he caught Sarah lying to him about dipping her finger into the Nutella jar. I giggled, of course, and told him he shouldn’t be upset about that. He then went on to tell me that if he doesn’t teach Sarah that lying is bad, she’ll be...

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Starting Over: Not Reaching Your Goals May Just Mean That You Haven’t Figured it Out “Yet”

The human condition is amazing for its ability to fail at something repeatedly and, when it is important, to keep on trying. This week’s vignette comes from a personal experience of mine. The struggle began in high school when my mother and I tried out the “Stewardess Diet”. All I remember was that it included beets, a new food for me at the time. I can’t recall if either of us lost any weight, but we definitely bonded over our efforts. I’m not even sure if I needed to lose weight! Now, after many years and at least as many diets, I...

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Taking it One Step at a Time: Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. My coworker, Jane, recently lost her terminally-ill grandfather and has since been visibly gloomy. I asked her if everything was okay, but of course, she is devastated. I keep hoping that her mood improves. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case and she’s become increasingly secluded and avoids everyone at the office. She’s also requested a few personal days from work. I offered to visit her at home, but she didn’t want to talk to anyone. Is there any way to help her? Losing someone you love can be one of...

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