VALENTINE’S LESSONS Talking to Your Adolescent About Relationships With Valentine’s Day approaching, stores are filled with chocolates, stuffed animals, and cards for significant others. Love is in the air! Even though you may not realize it, your kids may also be feeling the pressure. Crushes, dates, and broken hearts are part of their lives, too, but they may struggle to talk with you about it. Thankfully, developmental romantic feelings, let them know you’re there to talk to them about it. Respecting Others
Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, believes it’s especially important to talk to adolescents about respecting boundaries. “One of the big lessons we want to be sending to kids at any age is that there are two people to consider,” he writes, explaining that adolescents tend to only focus on their own feelings and need to learn to consider how their crush may feel about them. This awareness might prevent them from overstepping someone else’s comfort zone. Respecting Themselves At the same time, kids and teens should know the importance of respecting their own feelings. Setting boundaries can be especially important when your child is confronted
with an unwanted Valentine’s Day card or request for a date and feels pressured to reciprocate. “Boundary setting is imperative to learn during adolescence because it is a time of identity formation,”writes Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell in Psychology Today. “Healthy boundaries allow teens to feel respected, valued, and empowered to build positive relationships in their lives.” It also helps them handle uncomfortable social situations with grace and maturity. Crushes and first dates are a part of growing up, as is learning how to contribute to healthy relationships. Much like a first step or learning to drive, patient, loving parental support makes all the difference.
experts have weighed in on how to approach these important and delicate conversations. No Laughing Matter Judith Myers-Walls, professor emeritus of child development at Purdue, urges parents not to treat their kids’ crushes as silly. We may know these early expressions of love aren’t that serious in the long run, but to an adolescent, the emotions are very powerful. “They are very easily embarrassed about those feelings,”Myers-Walls observes, “so parents and other adults should be respectful and not tease about those issues.” Rather than make kids feel ashamed of these early
LEAP INTO 2020 Facts About the Leap Year
But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. Who The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.”The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. Where Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.”The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big.
Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. Why To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary.
Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
2 • www.lucasfoustlaw.com
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