JANUARY 2020 THE
FROM PAC-MAN TO FORTNITE Kids and Video Games Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I were married in 2013, Heather agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys, Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 18 and 19 years old and face growing up in a world very different than the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents, but we do our best. Our newsletter chronicles some of our successes and some of our less-than-stellar moments. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find some entertainment in the moments we share. One fateful evening at Columbo’s Pizza Parlor in Bozeman, Montana, I gained serious “street cred” with my teenage boys. Despite being in retirement for over 25 years, I was able to get back on the Ms. Pac-Man horse and totally destroy Andrew and Chandler at what was a mainstay at the video arcade when I was a teenager. I was able to not only beat them but also humiliate them. I more than doubled their score every game we played. It was a moment of glory I will not soon forget. While playing video games was a once-in-a-while treat when I grew up, today’s kids are falling into what experts are calling a compulsive psychological disorder when it comes to video games. As crazy as it may seem, addiction to video games is a real problem all over the world. In a WebMD feature on the definition of addiction, psychiatrist Michael Brody, MD, set forth the following criteria:
My wife Heather and I each grew up in homes largely without video games. (In the Foust house, we purchased Pong some time in 1970s and an Atari in 1983. They collected a lot of dust). Games today can become an all-consuming way of life for some kids. Heather and I made a decision early on that our home would not have video games. Like our decision to hold off on cell phones, we were in the minority. I had no idea just how outside of the norm we were until I read a few articles on the subject. I was amazed to discover that two-thirds of American families regularly play video games. A staggering 80% of households own video game consoles. Although I now know I am a nerd, I would not change this for anything. Our house is on a very tight routine. Andrew and Chandler are at school until 6 or 6:30 p.m. We have dinner, they do their homework, we maybe watch a little television, and then we end the day. As busy as Andrew and Chandler are, I have no idea where they would find time to play video games. Like most rules, Heather has stuck to her guns and we have not purchased a gaming system. I tend to think our world is a little bit better because of it.
1. The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to keep him going.
2. If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, he becomes irritable and miserable.
- Lucas Foust
If your teenager cannot get enough of a video game and becomes irritable and miserable if it is taken away, he or she may be more than just a little cranky. Video game addiction is very real.
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HELP YOUR KIDS ACHIEVE MORE THIS YEAR With Simple and Actionable Goals
KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND ACHIEVABLE. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day.
areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate.
With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. SET A CURFEW Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. HAVE A CHAT Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age- With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’NewYear’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on NewYear’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gymmembership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to NewYear’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track, too.
When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.
DON’T DO ALL THE WORK FOR THEM.
While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal
SCREEN-TIME STRATEGIES How to Set a Family Media Use Plan
It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.
appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. CONSTRUCT A ‘MEDIA DIET’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online.
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Escape to a Winter Wonderland
CHILL OUT IN THESE FROSTY DESTINATIONS
THE ANTARCTIC This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.
Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. BULGUKSA TEMPLE, SOUTH KOREA Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. THE DOLOMITES, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone?
Take a Break!
SIMPLE PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH
Inspired by The New York Times
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2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups milk
Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar, optional
1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.
SOLUTION ON PAGE 4
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Foust Law Office
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
www.lucasfoustlaw.com 406-587-3720 Fax: 406-879-4400
3390 South 30th Avenue Bozeman, MT 59718
INSIDE THIS ISSUE From Pac-Man to Fortnite PAGE 1 Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions PAGE 2 Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan PAGE 2 Real Winter Wonderlands PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Simple Pancakes From Scratch PAGE 3 Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig PAGE 4
MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers
Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local
Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered“yes”to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.
therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags.
So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!
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