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Your Compass MONTHLY
FROM THE DESK OF Ty Wilson
Last year, video games eclipsed television as the most profitable and popular form of entertainment in the world. According to a Reuters report, the estimated revenue for the video game industry totaled a whopping $116 billion in 2018. If you have children of any age, odds are some of that revenue came from your household. For the most part, parents today don’t suffer from the “games will rot your brain” thinking that was pervasive a generation ago. Books like Jane McGonigal’s “Reality Is Broken” persuasively argue that games can be beneficial in all types of ways, including improving problem-solving skills and self-confidence. “You [gamers] have not been wasting your time,” she writes. “You have been building up a wealth of virtual experience that can teach you about your true self: what your core strengths are, what really motivates you, and what makes you happiest.” But just as the perceptions of gaming have changed since the days of “Pac-Man” and “Super Mario Bros.,” so have the games themselves. The biggest change in recent years has been the rise of online multiplayer games. Whether your child plays “Madden,”“Fortnite,”“Street Fighter,” or “Splatoon,” they’re probably playing online with friends and strangers. Online gaming presents all sorts of social risks that gamers of the past never had to deal with. And with games being more popular than ever, it’s time that parents gain the tools to help kids navigate this new world. KIDS AND ONLINE GAMING HOW TO KEEP THEM SAFE
Interesting thought: There is a Chinese proverb that says, “A man grows most tired by standing still.” Think about that; I think we are meant to move. When we are stagnant, we start thinking about being tired. When you have something to do and you are focused on doing that task, you may become tired doing it, but it is only once you have stopped that you focus on how tired you are, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a month of St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. In Savannah, this is a big deal, and I love seeing happy people. If you attend the celebration be careful. This is also a time when most people will take a gamble and drive when they should not be driving. It is not worth it, so take a cab or Uber because the price of being arrested for a DUI or the guilt of hurting someone can be hard to recover from.
Enjoy the beginning of Spring and get out doors.
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Learn What They’re Playing
games will allow you to add funds to a player’s account piecemeal or connect a bank account directly. Always choose the first option. That way, your child will never spend an exorbitant amount without you realizing what’s happening.
Both consoles and games have settings that will allow you to adjust which types of chats are permitted and who can access them. If your child wants to set up a private chat with their friends, you can configure it so nobody else can enter. This middle ground allows for the positives of a shared online experience while limiting the negatives. Games are expensive to make, so developers and publishers have to be creative when it comes to monetization methods. One fashionable model uses in-game purchases, called microtransactions, to bolster revenue. At best, these add-ons are optional content that have a minimal impact on the gamer’s experience. At worst, they’re a rapacious play- to-play tactic designed specifically to obtain more money from players. Monitor Microtransactions Horror stories of children spending thousands of dollars on in-game purchases are not uncommon, so it’s important to keep financial information out of your child’s hands. Most
Before we get to the online-specific portion of this guide, here’s some advice that’s as true today as it was when people still called games “the Nintendo:”Learn about the games your kids play. The Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) provides movie-style ratings for all titles, as well as descriptions of what you’ll find in the gameplay. You can also learn more about a game through a quickWikipedia or YouTube search. In doing so, you may learn some hip slang to make yourself sound cool around your tween’s buddies. If even you’re totally confident that the content of a game is appropriate for your child, you can’t protect them fromwhat a stranger may say over chat. Online voice and text chats are notoriously toxic places, full of bigoted comments, bad attitudes, and bullying. Unless you’re okay with your child engaging in trash talk with college boys and 40-year-olds, it’s best to entirely disable the public chat feature for young children. Disable Public Chat
Practice Safe Online Behavior
The same tips that apply to every area of our digital lives also apply to gaming. A username like “bigdog2k19”may sound dumb, but it protects a child’s anonymity. All online accounts should have strong passwords, and children should never respond to unsolicited messages. Teaching your kids these tactics early will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Online gaming can be a pastime parents regard with skepticism or contempt. Whether you think it’s a revolutionary new form of entertainment or a nonsensical pursuit, you owe it your kids to learn a little about online gaming.
WHEN SHOULDYOUR KIDS STARTWORKING? Out of the Game Room and into the Workplace
retail and food service industries, and the numbers have only gone up from there. But work ethic is changing among American teenagers. Just one-third of individuals aged 16–19 had a job lined up for last summer, compared to 51.2 percent for the same age range in 1997. While surviving on minimum wage as an adult is a topic of great debate, raking in around $10 an hour as a 14-year- old can seem like a king’s ransom. A few working hours here and there will do your grown baby a world of good and prepare them for the next chapter of their lives.
In the U.S., most of us have about four decades of working to look forward to. Many start working in late adolescence and continue until retirement age. Now, that’s a lot of work to be had. So why rush it? Well, idle hands often spell disaster. Sitting around all day is a burden on both child and parent, whether they realize it or not. Those few years between hitting puberty and graduating high school are the sweet spot for your child to start their part-time career. There’s no shame in flipping burgers, stocking shelves, or mowing lawns. As of 2014, there were 16 million workers in the
When the dolls and baseball cards get pushed to the wayside for cell phones and movie dates, it may be time to gently nudge your child out from under your wing and into the workplace. It doesn’t have to be pushing shopping carts or spinning signs on the corner; working in any capacity during formative years builds character and gives your child real-world experience. Summer jobs teach the value of a dollar and give kids lasting memories, and after-school gigs lead to more pocket change for the weekends and less worrying for Mom and Dad. The hard part isn’t asking yourself if they should work; it’s asking yourself when they should work.
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WHEN DO YOU APPLY HEAT OR ICE TO AN INJURY?
Ice: Cooling treatments can also be found in cream or wrap form, but a bag of peas or ice from your freezer will work just as well. Ice should be used for short periods throughout the day. Icing treatments are best for bruised wounds and minor injuries because the cold can reduce the swelling in your blood vessels — the cause of bruising — and expedite your healing process. However, icing your chronic pain can be detrimental due to the stiffening reaction that decreases swelling. This is the opposite of the muscle relaxation you need for chronic pain relief. Eventually, heating treatments can be worked into a healing plan, but ice is a quick solution to a small problem. As with most treatments, what works for one person may not work for another. If icing an injury feels best for you and you see improvement, continue icing away your pain. Additionally, some patients find relief while rotating between cooling and heating. Regardless of your preferred method, it’s best to seek professional guidance in order to find a viable long-term solution.
When it comes to relieving pain, everyone has an opinion. Your mom might suggest taking pills and a nap, while your neighbor swears it’s best to walk it off. Meanwhile, yearly advancements offer more options — and opinions — for patients seeking relief. Among the plethora of available treatments, two remain constant — heat and ice. However, many people don’t know which to use, and unfortunately, the wrong decision can make your pain or injury worse. If you are unsure which method is best for you, here’s the answer to your heating or icing dilemma. Heat: These treatments can come in several forms, such as creams, pads, and wraps. Many medical professionals suggest using heat treatment for 30 minutes to four hours, depending on what is needed to fully relax the muscle. Heat often works best for chronic pain because it supports blood flow and loosens your muscles. Heat treatments can also be used to relieve stress and tension, but you should never use heat on an open wound or fresh injury.
Take a Break!
Everything is the best bagel flavor. This is not amatter of debate. Sprinkle the seasoning on popcorn for a delicious snack that will have people asking, “What does this remindme of?”
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
DIRECTIONS 1. In a small skillet over mediumheat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium- high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.
Recipe Inspired by foodnetwork.com
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Ty PAGE 1 Online Gaming Safety and Privacy Tips PAGE 1 Is It Time for Your Child’s First Part-Time Job? PAGE 2 When Should You Heat or Ice an Injury? PAGE 3 Everything Popcorn PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3 Candy? For Breakfast? PAGE 4
KEEP THIS OFF YOUR BREAKFAST TABLE Sugary Cereals Are No Better Than Candy
Honey Smacks is the worst of the two because it contains hydrogenated vegetable oil —one of the unhealthiest food-based oils you can consume. This type of oil keeps the cereal shelf-stable for longer, but the American Heart Association points to it as a major dietary cause of heart disease. Many other cereals are just as bad, including Kellogg’s Froot Loops and General Mills Trix. These two cereals hide behind the guise of“fruit,”which many people associate with better nutrition. But you won’t find balanced nutrition in either of these cereals. Froot Loops is just under 50 percent sugar by weight, andTrix is just under 40 percent. Both cereals also contain artificial food dyes and flavorings. Trix also contains corn syrup, which has been linked to the rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. When you eat 10 grams of sugar in any form— which is in just one cup of Trix—or more, depending on the cereal, you can expect a spike in blood sugar. A blood sugar spike early in the morning can often translate to low energy later in the day. Over time, a diet high in sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
It’s no secret that most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and carbs. Starting your day with a hefty bowl will inevitably give you a sugar high that crashes into a haze of fatigue not long after. What’s worse, however, is that some cereals are evenmore unhealthy than youmight realize. Do you remember the old Reese’s Puffs slogan:“Candy?! For breakfast?”Reality isn’t far off. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and Post Golden Crisp are two of the biggest offenders when it comes to sugar content. By weight, Honey Smacks and Golden Crisp are more than 50 percent sugar. That’s more sugar than your average cake or cookie. And there isn’t muchmore nutritional value tomake up for the excess sugar. These puffed rice cereals contain less than two grams of protein and one gramof fiber per serving, which is remarkably low. For reference, Honey Smacks lists 1 1/4 cups as a serving, while Golden Crisp considers 3/4 cup a serving. That said, most people don’t measure out food based on the recommended serving size. With these two cereals, the combination of puffed rice and a lack of proteinmeans you won’t feel full until you’ve overindulged. By eating twice the recommended serving (about two cups), you’ve consumed the same amount of sugar found in one can of soda.
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