Encouraging Positive Communication Kids are more connected now than ever. Mobile devices are a normal part of life, and parents can use these great tools to keep tabs, stay in touch, and monitor their kids’ activity when they are out of the house. But the devices don’t come without downsides — and that doesn’t just mean the hours kids lose playing games or watching videos. Our phones do everything, and for the upwards of 84% of teenagers who have or use a cellphone daily, this can be overwhelming. Kids can receive calls, texts, emails, and photos from anyone who has their contact information. Many parents and educators also believe that this widespread access to devices is making cyberbullying easier than ever, which may have more severe consequences than in-person bullying. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that 90% of students age 12–17 who were bullied online had rumors spread about them, whereas only 62% of those bullied in person were subject to rumors. Social media apps, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, are often the primary setting for cyberbullying, but bullying through text messaging is common as well. One of the best ways to combat cyberbullying is through communication and education. When you give your child a mobile device, it’s important to set ground rules for its usage. Parents can utilize the tools developed by Verizon, AT&T,
KIDS, CELLPHONES, AND YOU
T-Mobile, and other companies to monitor their kids’ usage, but nothing matches open and honest communication.
Discuss online safety and include topics like social media and image sharing. Remind kids that once photos and personal information
appear on the internet, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove them. This is especially true of photos and videos that can be seen and copied by other people. It’s also important to communicate that the person who initially shared the photos may have little to no recourse, depending on what’s been shared. Also, discuss both etiquette and boundaries. Let kids know where and where not to use phones (e.g., in class, at the theater, and one of the biggest: while driving). Explain why they should avoid unknown calls, texts, or other messages — and that if they do receive unknown, questionable, or troubling messages, they should report them to a trusted adult as soon as possible. Encourage a safe communication environment based on trust, not judgment.
EASY IRISH SODA BREAD
THE DOGWHOHELPED TAKE DOWN AL-BAGHDADI
Inspired by AllRecipes.com Ingredients
With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part
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1/2 cup margarine
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4 cups all-purpose flour 4 tbsp white sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided
of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well. According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1. Heat oven to 375 F, and lightly grease a large baking sheet. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. 3. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and egg, and mix until dough comes together. 4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a round before placing it on baking sheet. 5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. 6. Brush the raw loaf with this mixture and cut an “X” into the top. 7. Bake loaf for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of loaf. You may need to continue brushing the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
DO NOT HIRE A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY! (Until You Have Read This Book)
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