This was the survey question I ran across while looking through an old copy of Parenting from 2010. The verdict?
49 % Yes
51 % No
Seems like people were split pretty much down the middle on this issue. And if you keep up with current events, you've probably read about instances where parents with crying kids have been asked to leave the restaurant, like this incident recently in Maine.
This got me to thinking about my own experiences as both a mother with a young child and being a patron when kids are being unruly. What side would I have taken, had I taken the survey back in 2010 ? My son, Tyler, is now 14 but I recall the many times we went out to eat when he was a toddler. I recall always feeling anxious because I never knew how he was going to behave. He is now and has always been a "spirited" child. But I like to eat out and didn't feel that he should stop me from being able to do so. I also like to enjoy my outings without kids running amok, so I can definitely understand patrons who feel parents should be asked to leave if they are disturbing others. Should a restaurant kick a family out much in the same way they would ask an unruly adult to leave?
Before I answer, let me tell you what I used to do to make sure Tyler was not too disruptive. First, I often picked family-friendly places to eat. Places that are generally noisy anyway and where a loud kid wouldn't get a second look.
I would often go to dinner early. I've found that during these early times, diners are usually other families or older adults, who generally don't mind a little excitement. I also always made sure I had something to entertain him... a few toys, crayon and coloring books, etc. Sometimes the server would ask if I wanted his food early but I find that meant he would finish first and then proceed to act up while I was trying to eat, so I made sure they brought our food at the same time.
I also made sure to check online for the menu so I had some idea what he would eat before I got there and often, we would decide in advance. This eliminated a lot of hassles. And finally, yes, I would bribe him and promise desert if he behaved himself.
Generally speaking, he did fine when we went out to eat, in fact, he was more apt to misbehave in the grocery store or at the mall or other places. So this brings me to my answer. I would have to say that I would vote against an outright ban but I wouldn't have any problems with the server or management asking the offending family to tone it done. I would also like to believe that parents would realize that letting their child behave inappropriately spoils the dining experience of others and would hope they would stop the situation before it got out of hand...without being told to do so. Hummmm, this sounds like a good scenario for ABC's What Would You Do? !
We've all done it. Sent that email that we'd like to reach into the Internet void and yank back before it reaches the intended receiver. In case you don't know, if you have Gmail, you can "unsend" a message... but you have to act quickly. What you'll need to do is navigate to "settings" and stroll down until you see "UNDO SEND". From the drop down menu, select the cancellation period. Your options are 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it comes in handy if you hit send by mistake or you've gone off on a rant to your boss and have told him to "take this job and shove it" and then realize you have far too many bills to pay and mouths to feed in this uncertain economy. Next, chose, "SAVE CHANGES" and that's it. When you send your message, a notification will appear advising that your message has been sent. This is the normal message you receive. However, you will see an "UNDO" option, that will remain for cancellation period. Once your time has elapsed, this option will vanish.
It would be nice if we were given more time, perhaps at least five minutes, but for now ....
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Summer would not be complete without everyone’s favorite cold confectionery treat—ice-cream. In honor of it being National Ice Cream Day, instead of chasing the ice-cream truck down the street or packing the kids into the car and heading off to Baskin- Robbins or Cold Stone Creamery, what could be better than making (and eating) your very own homemade ice-cream? Best of all, you won’t need any special equipment. Not only is this activity yummy, but educational as well. Making homemade ice-cream is such a fun and educational activity, your kids won’t realize they’re learning. Making homemade ice-cream in a bag incorporates reading, math and science into a fun and edible project.
How It Works
Let’s start with science first. Many kids will be skeptical (I was at first), that this project will work. After all, how can shaking ingredients in a bag, produce smooth, creamy ice-cream? You don’t have to get too technical about the science behind the experiment. Here’s a simple explanation. Like water, the milky solution has to reach a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze. Adding the ice won’t lower the temperature sufficiently because the heat from the mixture actually causes its’ temperature to increase. Adding the salt will decrease the temperature and aid in the freezing of the ice-cream.
Math and Reading Integration
The math link comes in measuring the ingredients. Younger kids will require help, while older ones should be able to independently measure the few ingredients. Your kids will also have to figure out how much ingredients they need based on the number of servings they plan to make (the recipe is for one serving). Students will use their reading skills to follow the recipe. They will have to read and follow directions, so reading comprehension is also touched on. Parents can take this a step further and allow their kids to shop for the ingredients. Create a shopping list and have your kids read and find the necessary ingredients.
This simple and quick recipe for making homemade ice-cream is guaranteed to get you through those long, hot days of summer. As an added bonus, your kids will learn a little science and use their reading, math and comprehension skills to create this edible project.
Here’s what you will need for 1 serving:
You can also modify this project by placing the bags in a large can, like a coffee can or a plastic container. It makes the shaking process easier, especially for small hands.
The release of the much anticipated second novel by Pulitzer Prize winner, Harper Lee, has cause much excitement and a bit of dismay from readers. In Go Set a Watchman, which takes place twenty years after the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird, the beloved hero Atticus Finch is portrayed as a racist. It amazes me how some people have gotten their nickers all in a bunch and are now wondering if Ms. Lee is a some kind of undercover racist.
Some have vowed to not read the book because they don't want their image of Atticus tarnished. Some say they won't read it because she never meant for it to be published or because it had previously been rejected by a publisher. The fact is, the book or rather a draft, was written before TKMB. It is not a sequel and frankly, characters do change overtime and isn't it plausible that he might have gone dark?
Furthermore, it's a work of fiction and people need to calm down and realize this simple fact. If you're gonna go after an old lady, then you need to examine all of the other writers who have created despicable characters and ask yourself if they too are racist. Is Tarantino racist because he used the word nigger 113 times in D'Jango Unchained? Was Norman Lear racist because he created the Archie Bunker character? You get the point (I hope).
Personally, I'm going to read the book and enjoy it for what it is... a work of fiction. My feelings toward Harper Lee won't change one bit.
I'm continuously amazed at the number of "publications" and websites that solicit writers to work for them for free. They claim doing so will help pad their portfolio and ultimately lead to paying writing assignments. Sorry, if you can't pay me, then I can't write for you.
I've noticed a lot of ads lately that offer everything from free "swag" to a free snacks (yes, I'm not shitting you. I saw an ad that was looking for a college student to write from their office in exchange for daily snacks!). To these people I still say, "no pay, no writing".
Here's why. First, I make my living writing and I can't afford to write to you for free, or for exposure or for snacks. Snacks won't pay by electricity bill. What's even more annoying are the online sites that claim they receive millions of visitors and ostensibly make money from their ads yet they don't want to pay contributors for their content. People wake up! Maybe at one time you needed to write for free to get clips but today anyone can provide writing samples by starting their own blog and blogging about topics they love. This should be all the samples an editor or potential client need to see to decide if they want to hire you.
If you feel you really need to work for free, then I suggest you find a non-profit or other organization that could really use your talent and offer to complete a few writing projects for them as part of your portfolio. Once you get a few of these projects under your belt, then you may be able to land more paid writing assignments. When I first started writing professionally, I wrote a piece for which I received $0. But, I offered the piece because I needed the clip. Mind you this was wayyyy back in 1998. But that one clip lead to a piece in a tech magazine and a $200 check and from their I was off and running. So don't let anyone tell you your talent is worth no monetary value or a bag of salty chips.
In an a previous blog, I offered a tip on how I was able to control my obsessive-compulsive need to constantly check my email. Another issue I have is keeping my inbox organized and free of clutter. I devised a two-step plan, which I'll share with you now.
Unsubscribe from newsletters and lists you no longer read. Well, duh! Seems simple but I have so many lists I'm on, ones that I have been on forever, never (or seldom) read but simple have been to lazy to hit the "unsubscribe" button. I've finally gotten the number of newsletter and other subscriptions down to a workable number and I've unsubscribed from all the others. I also am not so quick to subscribe to new lists and once I do, if after a month I'm not reading the information or I don't feel it's useful...I unsubscribe immediately.
Use folders. When it comes to managing my documents, I keep my information neat and organized for easy retrieval. But, for my email, I've historically not been so organized. As a result, I used to sometimes spend a lot of time searching for messages. But not any more. Now, I create folders for all of my messages so that I can easily find what I'm looking for with a quick click.
And don't forget your sent messages. I find that often I send messages that are unimportant (unsubscribing, for example) but I never delete the message and as a result I end up with hundreds of sent messages taking up precious space. The same is true of sent messages that are important. Sometimes I will forget to put the message in the proper folder. So now, weekly, I clean up my inbox and my sent messages. My goal at the beginning of each new week, is not to have any old messages in my inbox. They should all be neatly tucked away in their proper folder... or in the trash.
And that's how I've managed to de-clutter and organized my email.
Writers write. But sometimes we procrastinate. I'm easily distracted by shiny objects, noise outside my window, the humming of the refrigerator and a million other things. One of my greatest distractions is checking my email constantly. As a result, I can easily waste precious hours each day- time better spent working - checking my email. After some false starts, I finally came up with a plan to keep my email obsession to a minimum. If you come closer, I'll share a tip with you.
Check your email less often- sounds obvious and easy to do, but I admit, I was obsessively checking my email, at least once an hour if not more. If I received notification that I had a message, I always checked it. I reasoned that an editor or potential client might be trying to contact me about a job and if they couldn't reach me they would simply move on to the next writer on their list. I realized that was ridiculous and most people don't expect you to respond so quickly. Furthermore, if anyone needs me right away, they can call or text me.
So now, I check my email less often. I've gotten it down to three times a day. I give a cursory look when I sit down to work. I read the important messages only. I delete all spam and same the less important emails for
later. Round two, I once again, check for important messages and clean out all spam. I usually, wait at least
four hours from the first time I checked before I check again. The last round of the day, I check important
messages first, clean out the spam and then read all of the other non-urgent messages (newsletters, sales
solicitations, etc.). The last check is normally about 3-4 hours after the second check.
During each check, I also send any messages that I need to send and of course, reply to messages. Using this method, I have finally gained some control over my obsession with checking my email messages.
Once you get your need to stop checking your messages, the next step is to gain some control over the clutter in your inbox. But that's another blog for another day.
I’m one of those people who rarely believes anything anyone tells me...unless I see it with my own two eyes. And while I read a lot of the going ons on the Internet, again, I rarely believe half of what I read. Still I like to check things out, especially, when I’m having an issue. So when my tub was acting all cray cray, draining slow to the point that I had to keep buying Drano and plunging to get it to drain completely, I finally had had enough and decided to go online to see if there was a better remedy. Immediately, I keep seeing the same solution USE BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR. Ok, that sounded a little to science fair-ish to me but still I was intrigued and short of shelling out money for a plumber, or taking a bath in my/my son’s filth, I didn’t see that I had much of a choice. So after, reading, I decided I would give it a shot. Off, I went to Walmart and purchased a big old box of Arm and Hammer Baking soda and so generic white vinegar and decided, if nothing else, I was only out a few bucks. I admit, I was still skeptical but, on I trudged. I pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar and crossed my fingers. Immediately, it began to fizzle, as expected. Then, I used my son as guinea pig and had him take a shower to see if the tub would drain.
Well, did it? Well, I was pleasantly surprised that it worked! After taking a shower myself, it drained beautifully once again. And so far so good. It’s been a few days and it’s still draining.
Will I retire my skeptic's hat? Probably not but at least I can vow to be more open minded about things in the future. So, if you find yourself with a slow to drain tub, don’t fret, don’t buy a bunch of harsh chemicals, don’t plunge until your arms are tired and don’t call a plumber. Well, at least try the vinegar and baking soda first… it might save you time, money and lot of headaches.
This is a question that has plagued me for the past several months. You see, I was taking my (semi) daily walk in the park when I noticed several ladies walking backwards. Now, let me tell ya, I have enough problems walking forward so walking backwards is definitely out of the question. Still, I guessed there had to be a reason for this odd behavior, so finally, I decided I would do a little bit of investigating. Here’s what I found:
Apparently you can “Stimulate your fitness IQ by walking backwards”. At least according to Dr. Mercola in an article on his website. It’s called “retro walking” and is supposedly the great way to “build muscle, improve sports performance, promote balance and more.” Other benefits include, putting less strain on your joints, an increase in heart rate which leads to “greater cardiovascular and calorie-burning benefits in a shorter period of time.” Okay, so far sounds good. But that’s just one man’s opinion. So I delved deeper. I clicked over to livestrong.com, a popular fitness site. I found this interesting tidbit, “Although it may be folklore, it has been said that 100 steps backwards are equivalent to 1,000 steps forwards.” Okay, now I was starting to rethink my position. They agreed that walking backwards over a short period of time, uses more calories than walking forward. Hum. And, they also agreed that it’s less strain on the joints. Now, as someone who suffers with knee problems, this whole walking backwards thing was starting to sound better and better.
I decided to try one more article. I headed over to about.com, another trusted source. According to the walking expert, Wendy Bumgardner, “The most recent peer-reviewed study I found concluded that it increased the heart rate by 17% to 20%.” However, claims that walking backyards gives you ten times the benefits of walking forward, seems to be a bit of an exaggeration, based on studies she’s reviewed. “This would suggest that walking backward is a good interval training tactic to add bursts of higher intensity to a walking workout.”
So, three random articles seem to support the idea that walking backwards does offer some benefits and it probably does. I guess I could spend more time and find just as many people who claim there’s no benefit from walking backwards.
The point is, like any form of exercise, diet or whatever new fad you encounter, do your research before you jump in head first. For me, I’ll keep walking forwards...at least for now.
Myra Faye Turner, Writer