Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Choking Game: Every Parent Should Read This!

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s all over YouTube and it is scary. Kids playing a dangerous and sometimes deadly game called The Choking Game. Kids know the game by other names–the Scarf Game, Cloud Nine, Purple Dragon, Space Monkey, Fainting Game and more.

If you haven’t heard of it, you join about a third of pediatricians who are unaware as well. Schools need to be aware as well. A teacher was accused of allowing her students to play this game at school under her supervision.

The “game” has been around for years but has surged because of the Internet. All a tween or teen needs to go is search YouTube for videos on how to play. They can watch people fainting to get high. Basically, the goal of the game is to self-strangulate in order to get high.  I know it sounds bizarre but kids get high by using ropes, scarves, or other items to momentarily strangle themselves in order to achieve a high. The high is achieved by the oxygen rushing back to the brain after it is cut off temporarily. A variation on this is having one person take a deep breath, hold it and a second person hugs that person from behind until the first person passes out.

Kids think this is a non drug way to get high, so it must be safe. It is anything but safe and in fact can lead to accidental death. Since 1995, 85 children have died from playing this game. Other side effects of playing this game can be coma, stroke, seizures, brain damage, broken bones and hemorrhages of the eye.

The CDC has put out a list of warning signs. They include:

Marks or bruises on the neck
Bloodshot eyes
Wearing clothing that covers the neck, even in warm weather
Confusion or disorientation after being alone for a period of time
The presence of unusual items such as dog leashes, ropes, scarves, bungee cords, and belts
Severe headaches, often frequent
Secretive behavior, irritability, hostility
Bleeding under the skin of the face and eyelids

Parents be aware! Your child could play this game thinking nothing bad could happen. You must talk about this and educate your child on the dangers. In fact, show your child this story of Ryan, a once vibrant 15-year-old who is now disabled.

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Tim Tebow Booed and Antonio Cromartie Pursued? What is Wrong With This Picture?

posted by Linda Mintle

So this past Sunday night, Tim Tebow put on a NY Yankees cap and attended a game in Yankee Stadium. When the giant screen showed him sitting in the stands, the crowd booed. One of the reporters at ESPN commented that it was too early for Tebow to earn the respect of NY fans.

Earn their respect–that is interesting. Apparently respect is only based on winning and has nothing to do with the man’s charity work and disarming humility.

Case in point, another NY Jet, cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, apparently has that respect and questioned the move to bring Tebow to the NY Jets. Antonio, you might want to befriend the man instead of questioning his presence. You could learn a few lessons off the field.

If you do not know who Antonio Cromartie is, he is now married and has had two children with his current wife. However, Cromartie has eight other children by seven other women in six different states. That makes 10 children from eight women and he is only 27 years old!

Cromartie better stay in the NFL for a very long time as his child support payments total more than a quarter of a million dollars a year according to NBC Sports.

So while the NY Yankee fans boo clean living Tebow, a TV production company pursued the Cromartie entourage for a reality TV show. Thankfully, “Cro” says “No,” but his baby mamas have an interest in doing it and think it would be great to do this type of show.

What is wrong with this picture?

So much.

Apparently it bothers people that Tebow stands for something more than fast living, bling purchases and entitlement. The “tolerance” for a man who loves God and wants to help people is so lacking they boo his very presence.

Instead, we encourage a media diet of dysfunctional relationships, loose living and indulgence. This is what we want to show our kids?  More “Jersey Shore” living? To what end?

To desensitize us to incredible dysfunction?

To make us all feel better that “we are not like these people?”

To erode our values and take the stigma out of immoral living?

To be entertained by broken people who are in desperate need of therapy? I am not entertained by such people. I want them to get help and stop acting out.

Instead of booing Tebow, why don’t we offer Cromartie a really good marital therapist. With his history, he will need help in this area.

Maybe we should be celebrating those who try to do the right thing and be happy we still have a few solid role models.

4 Parent Tips for Prom Night

posted by Linda Mintle

Yes, it is that season when high school girls say yes to their prom dress. Part of the fun is getting all dressed up, renting the limo and creating memories with friends.

But that fun night can turn into a nightmare if kids aren’t sensible. And that is the worry of most parents.

So if you decide to allow your teen to go to prom night, think about the conversations and guidelines you will need to have before the event.

Beauty writer and former child model and actress, Erika Katz, author of Bonding Over Beauty, A Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust provides these great tips for parents and prom:

·         Get the phone numbers of your child’s prom date and at least 5 friends so you can reach someone.  Inform your child, you expect them to answer their cell phones and texts should you call them.

·         Give Your Kids a Curfew – There is nothing your kids can do after 2am that they can’t do before 2am.  It’s not a trust issue, it’s a safety issue.  Do you really want your kids roaming around after 2am?

·         Remind your child that everyone has a camera.  With cameras hidden everywhere, it is so important your child realizes not to behave in public in a way that might cause them shame if it ended up on youtube.

·         Colleges can take away what they have offered.   A college acceptance can be revoked for illegal behavior and for getting expelled from high school.  Prom night is not Vegas.  What happens on Prom night could jeopardize their future.

Thanks Erika. Great tips for parents. For more from Erika, check out her website, bondingoverbeauty.com

Get Off the Scales and On With Your Life!

posted by Linda Mintle

Why is it that so many people are obsessed with weight and looking perfect?

One reason has to do with the distraction beauty and weight loss serve in our lives. For example, it’s easier to obsess over an outfit than resolve a conflict with a friend. The art of make-up can be mastered before you master how to cope with stress. Or you can spend time dieting instead of learning how to relax your body. In other words, body obsession serves a purpose or we wouldn’t do it. One purpose it to distract us from more meaningful issues in our lives.

Since you only have one body here on earth, you can make it your obsession, or you can take a more balanced approach and develop other parts of you. If you or someone you know, needs to let go of body obsession, here are five steps to help:

1) Stop pouring over fashion magazines and filling your mind with unrealistic images of what people are “supposed” to look like as determined by some fashion guru.

2) Refocus your conversations away from the superficiality of appearance. Talk about more meaningful topics.

3) Next time you are with another person, concentrate on his or her character qualities.

4) Accept your imperfections. We all have them!

5) Review your eating habits. Let go of fad diets or any diet for that matter. Focus on healthy eating- smaller portions and healthy choices. And if you eat a chocolate bar, don’t freak out! Give yourself a break without giving in to defeat.

 

For more help with body obsession, check out Dr. Mintle’s book, Making Peace With Your Thighs (and other body parts): Get off the scales on on with your life!

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