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like a big deal, and don’t even make eye contact if you don’t have to. Car rides, shared chores, and dark rooms before bed are ideal times and places for tough questions.
school, don’t take over the conversation and start lecturing about how to fix it. Instead, ask what they think they should do and work together to develop a solution. If all else fails, do a little research. Both Psychology Today and Life magazine have excellent lists of questions to ask your teen instead of “How was school?” Questions like “If your day at school today was a movie, what movie would it be?” and “If you could be invisible for the day at school, what would you do?” are guaranteed to yield interesting information, even if it’s not the kind you were looking for. “I taught either junior high or high school for almost a decade, and I get that communication with that age group is an art,” Liz Evans wrote for HuffPost. “But when you get dialogue, engaged dialogue, with a teen, it’s never disappointing. It’s guaranteed to be interesting; sometimes it can be very enlightening, and it’s always worth the work. Always.”
Instead of jumping right in with a blunt question — like “How was school today?” — you’ll probably have better luck if you talk around the subject. Try leading with something new you’ve noticed about your teen’s behavior (a new book, a different kind of music playing, etc.) or something you’ve heard about a teacher or peer. That way, you can set up a discussion rather than an interrogation. Whatever you do, be careful not to sound accusatory when you’re commenting on their behavior, even if it’s suspicious or concerning.
Listen and Learn
It can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, but try to let your teen do most of the talking. If they bring up a problem they’re facing at
their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org . Honoring the Canines of 9/11 THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during
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