What To Do About Bullying

Stories of the school bully extorting lunch money from the kids who were smaller and more timid are common. Parents are also aware of the “mean girls” who start rumors for fun just to make other girls cry. What is a parent to do if their child is the victim? What if you discover your child is the bully? According to experts, these are things parents need to be aware of and here are some tips on how to handle these situations.

Bullying in school is common and widespread. If your child is a victim, reassure them that they are not alone. Let them know that you understand their pain or fear is very real and there are lots of tools available to make the situation better.

What Did You Say?

English is not my husband’s first language, although it is mine. He speaks English fluently, however, sometimes I say something that he just doesn’t understand and when he asks me to explain it, I am often at a loss as to how to do this. Idioms are cultural expressions that, to me, it just seems obvious as to what it means. Over the years I have noted some of these sayings as well as recorded expressions from other cultures that I have encountered when traveling or conversing with people from another country.

Upgrade Me, Please

This fall my husband and I plan to do some traveling. We don’t have loads of money to book first class accommodations throughout the trip. There are, however, some secrets on how to manage to receive upgrades and get the star treatment.

How can such a thing happen before you even arrive? How can an upgrade at the time of booking happen? How can you score a free room-service breakfast throughout your stay? How can you receive the privilege of late checkout with no extra charge? And a complimentary spa package you say? Yes! It’s possible!

What Are Hugs Made Of?

Some time after my mother had been widowed after fifty years of marriage, we talked about some of the things she missed about having her partner. She told me she missed being touched by another human being every day. She missed holding hands and hugs. Although I made it my personal mission after that conversation to give her as much contact as possible, I know I can never make up for the loss of my father. But it made me question just what kind of psychological and emotional stuff are hugs made of?

The Water Wars

In our household there has been the great debate, or Water Wars, depending on who you ask, about what is better to drink: tap water, bottled spring water, bottled purified water, or distilled water. What’s the difference between them all? Do those differences really matter to the average drinker?

Simple gal that I am, as well as cheap, I’m all for tap water. I believe our local municipality is doing its job to provide clean water for consumption as well as to be used in personal hygiene and cleaning. I tell everyone that if they are so paranoid about the city being involved in some kind of conspiracy to turn us into social zombies through our water supply we can always invest in one of those purifiers that attaches to the sink or sits in a water pitcher.

The Sky Is Falling

The other day I was driving home in a rainstorm and it began to hail. I pulled over under the protection of a bridge to wait it out then continued on home. Arriving late, my husband had been worried. I told him about my experience. He informed me that the news reported golf ball size hail. I commented that it certainly couldn’t have been any worse if it had actually rained golf balls. That’s when my youngest son, the king of trivia, then schooled us on all sorts of interesting things that have rained down from out of the sky, including golf balls.

The Astronaut Swimming Pool

Astronauts and swimming pools. These two don’t seem to be a match, huh? Well, on any given weekday astronauts arrive at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, don their spacesuit and slip into the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). The “laboratory” is a six million gallon swimming pool that is kept at a constant 86 degrees Fahrenheit. I recently got to see this baby when I chaperoned a field trip my eight-year-old granddaughter took with her school.

The American ADHD Phenomenon

According to the Centers For Disease Control, over five million American children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with boys being diagnosed  twice as much as girls. Caucasian children are disproportionately represented in these cases at a rate of almost four times as many as other ethnicities. Is this disease a serious epidemic in the United States? If so, why is it not so prevalent in European countries? Could the lack of ADHD cases in European children be evidence that, rather than a medical condition, ADHD is actually a symptom of a cultural dysfunction?