Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

1 schoolYour child comes home from school and tells you the teacher treated her unfairly. There was a fight and she was sent to the principal’s office. But it wasn’t her fault and the teacher was picking on her.

Do you?

a) Side with your child and promise to call the principal and straighten things out.

b) Support the teacher and tell your child that the teacher did what she thought was necessary.

c) Get mad and go to the school to settle it with the teacher.

I hope you answered b. Why? Because that is what the teacher needs to be respected and carry out discipline in the classroom. The other two answers undermine the teacher’s authority and teach your child she doesn’t have to respect the teacher.

Unfortunately, respect is being lost among parents and students. According to a Harris poll that asked adults to compare their memory of “school dynamics” when they were students with today, 46% of parents respect teachers, a drop from 91%.

And only 31%of students respect their teachers, a drop from 79%.

This means that parents often undermine the teacher’s authority and make excuses for their children’s behavior.  Teachers are often unfairly blamed, which tears at their respect.

And I would argue that this lack of respect carries over to other authorities a well. So parents, here is the charge. Let teachers teach and stop undermining their authority. Will they always be right? No, but that too is a valuable lesson for the future. People are not always treated fairly in a job, by others and need to find respectful ways to disagree or obey when they don’t like it.

Even when my teachers were wrong, my parents taught ME to respectfully confront the situation and accept the final authority. This lesson has served me well in life.

Parents, you model respect every time you respond to a complaint or criticism. You have the power to teach your child how to follow directions and solve problems. Now, what will you do with that power?

coldTemperatures are expected to plummet to single digits again tonight. But is there an upside to all this cold weather when it comes to weight loss?

As they say in frigid Minnesota, “You betcha!”

It has something to do with brown fat deposits in our bodies.

According to Dr. Aaron Cypess of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston:

Most fat is  “white fat” used to store excess energy and insulate us in the cold. Too much is a problem.

Brown fat is mostly found in newborns, but adults have small deposits of brown fat that carries over from infancy.

Brown fat is the superhero because it burns fat, not stores it!

A chilly room can activate brown fat.

A study  by researchers in the Netherlands says lowering the temperature of your environment could help you lose weight. When you are exposed to the cold, your body goes to work by trying to balance your thermostat. Heat is generated from those brown fat tissues trying to generate energy. Your body burns calories to keep you warm. So turning down your thermostat from 72 to 62 degrees, for example,  could do the trick. Not only will you be green, but you could also lose weight!

Go outside in the cold and let the brown fat go to work! Use those dumb bells but add temperature training to the mix. See if you can tolerate more cold and let your body work out!

Forget that warm, cozy office with the heater at your feet! Turn it off and keep it chilly. Shiver and produce some heat! Make your work out a walk in brisk weather (not sub zero!) and train your body to tolerate colder air! Its temperature training time!

 

thinkWe know that when we feel negative towards someone, the relationship suffers and is difficult to turn around. So try these few ideas to think more positively.

Some one I know does loving kindness meditations. She thinks about the good qualities of people she knows. Actually, she is engaging in a biblical practice and doesn’t know it. Philippians 4: 8 and 9 says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

We can choose to think about others in a positive light. When we do, we end up happier.

In fact, University of Texas researchers found that when people wrote about their relationships for 20 minutes a day, for three days, they had a better chance of staying together. And when they expressed positive emotions in instant messages, they felt more positive.

If you need to feel more positive towards another, try writing positive things. Then engage in a few acts of kindness like filling up the gas tank, making coffee, or picking up the dry cleaning. Meditate on the good qualities of that person. It will boost your mood and build positive connections. A quick hug, a short back rub… do little things to make the relationship happier.

All of this is simple, but powerful.

When our President said that marijuana is no more dangerous to a person’s health than alcohol, not everyone agreed. Consider these 1o points:

1) The American Medical Association opposes marijuana legalization and continues to see it as a public health concern.

2) Stuart Gitlow, director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, says that marihuana use can cause a loss of productivity.

3) Gitlow also notes that in 1% of heavy users, psychosis is possible. And marijuana use impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, and learning.

4) Marijuana can be addictive, even though fewer than 10% of uses become dependent.

5) Marijuana does contain carcinogens, including tar and other toxins. That said, people don’t tend to smoke marijuana in the same quantities as cigarettes.

6) Today’s marijuana is more potent than days gone by. It contains a higher concentration in THC.  Here is the science: “The human brain’s cannabinoid receptors are typically activated by naturally occurring chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, which are similar to THC. There is a high density of cannabinoid receptors in parts of the brain that affect pleasure, memory and concentration. Some research suggests that these areas continue to be affected by marijuana use even after the “high” dissipates” (Quote from Well by Roni Rabin, Jan 17, 2014). Memory defects may persist six weeks after last use.

7)  According to Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens who start smoking at an early age tend to smoke more and more often, heightening their risk of addiction.

8) Those with an addiction, have withdrawal of anxiety, sleep problems, appetite and mood changes, irritability and depression.

9) Brain scans show that people who start smoking before 16 may lose cognitive function later in their brains.

10) A regular habit can take a toll on the lungs.

The greatest concern is adding another health risk to the teen population. Smoking pot impacts the developing brain and we don’t have enough long term data to know the extent of that impact. We do know that smoking marijuana affects health, brain function and memory. This is based on science, not someone’s opinion.