Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is Facebook Promoting Porn? 8 Guidelines for Parents

posted by Linda Mintle

Facebook has massive appeal. It allows us to stay in touch with friends, re-connect with people with whom we’ve lost contact, communicate with relatives, be aware of the needs of others and so much more that is good and healthy.

But Facebook has a dark side. It has become a place for child predators to group. Child predators look for places where children can be found and this technology has given them a breeding ground. With millions of children on Facebook, an investigative report on WND.com found Facebook groups with titles like Kidsex Young, Preteen Lesbians, Love Little Kids and more.

And even though efforts are made with photo software designed to filter illegal child abuse images, it doesn’t stop the predators from using Facebook as a platform. WND.com determined that the sites are being used to trade and post child pornography.

Parents, what can you do to protect your kids from pedophiles who may pose as their “friend?”

1) Follow the guidelines. Children under 13 are not supposed to have their own Facebook pages.

2) Friend your child so you can supervise his or her account. Because of the dangers involved, this is not a place you want to give your child complete privacy. You pay the bill for the Internet. Predators often pose as friends.

3) Reconsider allowing posting of photos. Pedophiles can take them and use them on pornography sites. Once the photo is public, you have no control.

4) Don’t give a young child a mobile smart phone.  Facebook has mobile apps that pose a risk.

5) Customize the settings. Do what you can to protect if you give them an account. Use the family’s email address.

6) Keep the computer in a public space in your home and monitor usage.

7) Teach your child to NEVER share private information.

8) Teach your child to ignore anyone who is not a personal friend that the family knows. “Friend” has a different meaning than a real friend.

If You Give a CHILD a Cookie…

posted by Linda Mintle

A friendly elderly man brings cookies and candy to the Y every day.

As soon as the children walk in the door, he offers the treats. Again, on the way out the door, the same treats are offered. And he makes it really hard to say NO.  I’ve seen some of the children say NO THANK YOU, only to be pressured to take the cookies.

Maybe this behavior seems harmless to you and you are thinking, cut the guy a break, he is just trying to be nice.

I think he is trying to be nice.

However, I sit on a community coalition that works hard at changing eating habits in children. With record rates of childhood obesity, we don’t want children associating exercise at the Y with unhealthy snacks as rewards. Those children then grow up to be adults who reward themselves with empty calorie food. The seemingly harmless behavior is teaching children the wrong eating habits. And some of the parents do not want the cookies offered by a stranger.

People have complained. I’ve suggested a compromise. How about if he brings small oranges, grapes, bananas or nuts and seeds instead. Or the money he spends on cookies and candy could be spent on stickers, sugar-free gum or something else if he is wants to engage the children. Or make a policy that junk food is not offered when you walk in the door.

Nothing has changed.

You might think, what is the big deal? Aren’t there more important issues to face in life?

The big deal is that so many people I work with have to change their relationship with food and stop rewarding themselves with treats every time they do something that requires physical discipline. This “food as reward” habit is often learned in childhood and carries over to adult life. Praise, activities, stickers, high five, anything else can be used to reward behavior without teaching bad eating habits.

Being nice to kids doesn’t have to include giving them daily cookies and candy at a place trying to promote healthy habits in kids and adults.

If we change these small unhealthy habits, they lead to bigger changes.

 

 

 

 

Dogs at Work: A Surprise Benefit!

posted by Linda Mintle

When I say goodbye in the morning and see those sad black eyes looking up at me, I want to tell my dog to get in the car–she’s heading out with me. I’ve often wished I could take my dog to the workplace. She would be great. She rarely barks, is very obedient and would sit most of the day and watch me work. At noon and at breaks, the two of us would motivate each other to get up and take a quick walk. Seems like a win win. This is how it works when she is in my home office. Well, apparently my fantasy has merit!

A new study by Dr. Barker (I am not kidding, that is his name) at Virginia Commonwealth University, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management  found that dog owners who brought their pet to work, lowered their stress. And that stress stayed low throughout the day. In contrast, those pet owners whose dogs stayed home, not only increased their stress during the day, but doubled it by day’s end. It turns out that man’s best friend is also a stress reducer!

Some of the dogs in the study were noisy (imagine the routine barker), not so clean, and at times, destructive. So the idea of the quiet pup who sits by your side lovingly gazing into your face is not always reality. But some employers might institute the take your doggy to work day when they learn that workers felt more productive. And the people who came in contact with the dogs at work were more satisfied on the job.

Try talking about increasing productivity, workplace satisfaction and stress reduction and see if your employer invites Fido to join your morning coffee!

An Unusual Wish for a Child With Brain Cancer: How You Can Help

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s hard to imagine what the family of nine-year-old Ryan Kennedy is going through these days. Ryan has a rare form of brain cancer that has required multiple surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Despite all the medical efforts,  the tumors continue to attack his brain. Young Ryan has decided to stop the treatments, knowing that this will most likely end his life. He is currently at home with his family in hospice.

Like many kids who know they are dying, Ryan has a wish. But Ryan’s wish is unusual-he wants to trend on Twitter. When this wish was made public, several celebrities tweeted their followers to make the wish come true. Ryan’s wish is getting noticed. We can all help fulfill it.

Just tweet #RyanKennedy.

With so many well-wishers, Ryan’s mom says he feels cared about and loved. What a fabulous use of Twitter–bring awareness to a killer disease and support a child facing death unless a miracle occurs.

Ryan, I not only tweeted you, but my prayers are with you and your family. You are not only loved by all who see your brave fight, #RyanKennedy God loves you too.

Previous Posts

Have You Found Your Soul Mate?
People tell me in therapy that they have or want to find their soulmate.  I'm really not sure what that means. Murray's new book, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead defines  soulmate as your closest friend to whom you are sexually attracted. I like this definition because of the importanc

posted 7:00:17am Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Should You Marry Young?
Friends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young. But is marrying young a good idea? Well, for me it obviously worked. I'm about to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Yes, we ha

posted 7:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Hope of the Resurrection
It’s Good Friday. Do you sometimes feel as if your life is lived  in a perpetual Good Friday mode? Like the movie, Ground Hog Day, it seems you are replaying the same bad day over and over, fighting despair and struggling. Disease, broken relationships, prodigal children...the landscape looks

posted 7:00:41am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Honey, Do Your Know Where My Glasses Are?
It's a running joke in our house. Where are mom's glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don't think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years. Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis

posted 7:00:14am Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

It's Tax Day But How Is Your Emotional Bank Account Doing?
Yes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don't want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships? An

posted 7:00:26am Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.