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S et B oundaries
process with contacts, music, photos, and anything taking up space. In his article, “Tips to Declutter Your Phone,” Ryan Reed includes the automation app he swears by, If This Then That. It can link all your apps and services to streamline your life.
One way to set an example is to limit screen time. This could take the form of an after- school “technology free” hour. It’s time that your family spends together without phones, only interacting with each other. Sound hard? Set the timer. Ask your kids how their days were. Try cooking together. If you feel that you really are addicted and can’t quit your device on your own, set up firewalls for yourself. Turn on your “do not disturb” signal during the nights and mornings. If you really want to take a break from your device, take a full day away from it, then reflect on how you felt afterward.
W hen I s the R ight A ge ?
This is a question that’s kept many parents awake at night. When is the right age for an adolescent to have their own mobile device? There’s a lot to take in. Yes, it can offer some security; you’ll (theoretically) be able to reach your teen at any time, and they can reach out if they are in danger. But there are drawbacks. Phones cause distraction, which doesn’t pan out well for driving or sleep, not to mention homework. Talk with your teen to find out what’s right for them and your family — and not just via text. Keep the conversation going, and you’ll build a stronger relationship, whether you choose to give them a digital device or not.
T rim Y our A pps
When you open up your phone, does your busy screen overwhelm you? Do you really need that MLB app that you last used two years ago? Start by deleting apps that you no longer use. Then organize your remaining apps into folders. You might also try the same
Train as a Pack for Better Results Become a ‘Dog Whisperer’
Your whole family adores your dog — but not the barking. This issue can lead to feelings of frustration, and the more frustrated you get, the more your dog barks. It’s their only way of communicating, and they’re telling you, “My needs are not being met.” As Cesar Millan, the original “dog whisperer,” explains, “A barking dog needs exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order.”
to your child’s chore list and help get out some of the kid’s pent-up energy, too. It may also be beneficial to practice obedience exercises and games that challenge your dog.
Of course, your dog needs love and attention to thrive — a lack of it could contribute to barking behavior. Reinforce silence by giving your dog a treat and an encouraging pat when she demonstrates good behavior, like not barking. “Our pups want to work for our attention,” Cesar Millan reminds us. “Allowing her to do that and to see your happiness is, to your dog, the biggest reward of all.” To make your training program successful, consistency is key. Enlist the help of the whole family to stick to the principles. Together, you can foster a calm, peaceful home where you and your dog happily coexist.
To put a stop to the behavior, you’ll first need to change any of your behavior that’s reinforcing it. Any attention your dog gets when he’s barking — even yelling, “Rover, stop!”— teaches him to keep going, because you’re rewarding him with attention. Wait until your dog has stopped barking to give him any sort of attention, including looking at them. “To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking,” advises the Humane Society.
Part of the barking issue may be due to pent-up energy. According to the humane society, “A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.” If you already take your pup on a morning walk, try adding in an evening walk. You could add it
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