by Jennifer Byrne
‘Tis the season – to tell massive lies to your kids!
Yes, even in the most open-minded, truth-embracing households, it’s common practice for parents to annually impersonate an obese saint who has no tolerance for shouting, crying, or pouting. What about lying, Santa? Hmm, it seems Santa is conspicuously silent on that issue, even though “cry” and “lie” are probably the two most commonly rhymed words in songwriting history.
But if you’re a parent, you know exactly what your job is at Christmas: to buy and lie (this, by the way, happens to be the title of my new Christmas song). Your task is to pass down the same absurd whoppers your parents told you, the ones that caused you such disillusionment and psychic pain when you got down to their rotten core (Hey, at least Mommy’s “adulterous” makeout session with Santa Claus stopped weighing on your tortured little conscience after that!).
Ah, childhood! It’s so magical!
Of course, you technically don’t have to lie, but what are your options, really? You could be one of those rare, super-PC parents who decide to empower your children with the truth, also known as “the least popular parent on the block.” You don’t want to be a sopping wet Snugli, do you? Here are some tips for more effective deception:
1. Develop Your “Character.” One of the first flaws your kids are likely to find in the whole Santa Claus farce will be that shoddy impersonation seen at the local department store, Moose lodge, or holiday parade. Often, these are out-of-work actors, college kids working for minimum wage, or that crazy old man in town whose jolliness may or may not come directly from a flask of Jack Daniel’s.
Your child might ask, “Why did Santa’s beard fall off while I was talking to him?” or “Why does Santa have D-cup breasts?” or “Why does Santa’s breath smell like Nick Nolte after a rough night?”
At first you might want to panic, but don’t. This one’s easy; just rely on the time-tested “helper explanation.” Tell your children that this isn’t the real Santa, but a local helper who dresses up as his likeness. Sort of like Elvis impersonators, they represent the actual Santa, because he can’t be everywhere at once. Also like Elvis impersonators, they have unconvincing hair and ridiculously oversized belt buckles.
Another important trick is to individualize your family’s version of the myth.
Unfortunately, most co-conspirators of the Santa scam are decidedly small-time, “Mom& Pop” operations, and seem to have a lot of trouble keeping their stories straight between households. Your kids are going to come home from school saying, “At Braden’s house, the Reindeer leave a note” or “At Sophia’s house, Santa wraps the presents” or “Jayden gets a $100 bill in his stocking.” Explain to your kids that since he is so amazing and omniscient, Santa treats each child individually. Tell them, for example, that at your house, Santa writes the note personally, since he knows your kid is way too smart to be corresponding with some dumb reindeer. Or you can say that Santa knows how environmentally conscious your family is, and would never waste paper on your behalf. Or say that Santa only gives cash to kids he doesn’t love enough to shop for. Yeah, maybe skip that last one.
2. Use a Time Travel Theory. OK, so you’ve convinced your kids that the barely credible mall “helpers” make public appearances because Santa can’t be everywhere at once. But then you’re going to turn around and tell them that on Christmas Eve, Santa makes it around the entire globe in 12 hours. I’m sure you see the problem here. Oops, there goes your credibility, right down the chimney!
Sooner or later, your kids are going to have serious doubts about the whole time setup. At this point, you can either give up, or raise the level of your game. Try introducing a theory of time travel, which claims that for one night only, Santa is able to transcend the space/time continuum and occupy infinite parallel universes. Whereas before, you had to just shrug and say, “It’s magic,” now you can shrug and say, “It’s a traversable wormhole.”
3. Keep the Magic, Lose the Hypocrisy. Anyone who has ever lied knows that the best way to do it convincingly is to believe in your lie. And the best way to believe in the Santa lie is to not be a steaming pile of hypocrisy about it. This means not using Santa Claus as a means of enforcing moral behavior in your kids. Yes, yes, that notorious Santa-as-Big-Brother song encourages it, but that ditty was written in 1934, when it was also cool to get your kids to mix you an Old Fashioned while rolling you a cigar. You, as a modern Santa, might feel a little bit uneasy about using a colossal lie to keep your kids from doing wrong. So don’t! That’s what “Wait ‘til Daddy gets home” is for.
Instead, focus on the positive aspect of this lie, which is to keep the magic alive for your kids.
The truth is, we live in a world where “magic” is a retired basketball player and “wonder” is a processed white bread that’s horrible for you. If your kids are lucky enough to believe in Santa for a while, let them. Sure, it’s all a big act, but it’s an act that will make their little faces light up with anticipation and joy. And really, it’s not exactly the only holiday that is jam-packed with B.S. and crushing disappointment. Just wait until they experience Valentine’s Day!
Jennifer Byrne is the author of “Fake It: More than 100 Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts Every Woman Needs to Know” (Adams Media) and “The Intrepid Parent’s Field Guide to the Baby Kingdom” (Adams Media). Visit her online athttp://jenniferbyrnevirtually.com/.
Walgreens Provides Resources to Help Decrease Cancer Disparities
Newark Valley, NY – Many of us know someone whose family is dealing with autism; once considered rare, now 1 in 88 children in this country are diagnosed with an Autism Specific Disorder (ASD).
Silently Seizing: Common, Unrecognized and Frequently Missed Seizures and Their Potentially Damaging Impact on Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAPC Publishing) by Caren Haines, RN, and valuable input by Nancy Minshew, MD, deals with the overwhelming challenge for those living with silent seizures. Many are confronted by anger and falsely accused of disorderly conduct, indecent exposure and drug abuse; while some are even unfairly arrested because the bizarre actions exhibited during a seizure have led to frequent misdiagnosis, medical mismanagement and, in the worst case, commitment to a mental institution.
Because they are difficult to diagnose, or due to a lack of awareness and understanding, as many as 30% of all children and young adults with ASD may have undiagnosed seizure disorders. Silently Seizing is a breakthrough book that explores what most doctors won’t tell you – that often the symptoms of autism are caused by seizures, undetectable with standard diagnostic tools.
At age 2, the author’s son was diagnosed with autism. By the time he was 12, his diagnosis didn’t account for his uncontrollable aggression, the acrid smells that lingered in his mind and the odd voices that screamed at him from inside his head. By the time he was 18, his out-of-control behavior mirrored a mood disorder with psychotic features. Silently Seizing begins with a close-up look at this family’s journey and examines a disorder that cannot always be identified in a clinical setting.
As a registered nurse, Caren Haines relied on her training to help her decipher her now 24-year-old autistic son’s perplexing behaviors. Based on knowledge gained from years of intensive research and information from top researchers in the field of autism, she is helping families become free from the debilitating symptoms of silent seizures and psychosis.
Haines’ says, “Intersecting at two medical subspecialties, neurology and psychiatry, the child who has autism and partial seizures is at a serious disadvantage. By inadvertently allowing children’s brains to “silently seize,” we are robbing them of their ability to function normally. Untreated, these seizures can predispose children to develop behavioral disturbances, such as self-injury, aggression and psychosis, which are seen in many cases of autism. If they are treated early with anti-seizure medications, many children show amazing gains in expressive language and comprehension. More importantly, many children lose their diagnosis of autism.”
Backed by up-to-the-minute research, Silently Seizing: Common, Unrecognized and Frequently Missed Seizures and Their Potentially Damaging Impact on Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders is a must-read book that includes sections describing autism, the seizure-autism connection, tips for diagnosing and treating seizures, as well as how to better understand children’s behavior. It acts as a virtual guide to help parents navigate through this complex and mystifying disease. For more information, please visit: www.bit.ly/Rb2WBW and www.aapcpublishing.net
Caren Haines is also co-author of Georgia, The Flying Dog, a children’s book that explores the concept of unconditional love and acceptance of our differences.
Article courtesy of Forbes via The Lowdown
Researchers recruited 48 adults for the study who were asked to learn and perform a specific finger pattern (pushing keys on a keyboard in a particular sequence as fast as possible in 30 seconds). Once participants had learned the finger exercise, they were separated into three groups.
One group included an evaluator who would compliment participants individually; another group involved individuals who would watch another participant receive a compliment; and the third group involved individuals who evaluated their own performance on a graph.
When the participants were asked to repeat the finger exercise the next day, the group of participants who received direct compliments from an evaluator performed significantly better than participants from the other groups. The result indicates that receiving a compliment after exercising stimulated the individuals to perform better even a full day afterward.
According to Professor Norihiro Sadato, the study lead and professor at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, “To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money. We’ve been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom and during rehabilitation.”
The practical takeaway: if you’re in a position of authority (manager, teacher, etc), be sure to use compliments (and/or spot bonuses) as a means to encourage learning new skills. You may find that your underlings come back the next day with surprising improvements.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and The American Cancer Society would like you to consider us as your primary resource for reporting about this important public health issue.
- This year, more than 4,000 people in Wisconsin will be diagnosed with lung cancer – that’s more than 11 people every day.
- This year, an estimated 3,000 people will die of lung cancer in Wisconisn – that’s more than 8 people every day.
- Lung cancer is expected to represent 13% of all new cancer cases in Wisconsin this year and 27% of all cancer deaths.
- As many Wisconsin residents die of lung cancer every year as prostate, breast, colon and pancreatic cancers combined.
- Nearly all lung cancers are preventable! Approximately 80% of lung cancers are caused directly by smoking, and many others are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smiling improves your life, your health, your mood and your appearance.
Here are some Benefits of Smiling
Smiling Releases Endorphins, Serotonin and Natural Pain Alleviation
Research has shown that smiling releases endorphins, serotonin and natural pain killers. Endorphins, serotonin and pain killers help us feel good. Give yourself smile therapy.
Natural Mood Elevation
Smiling sends a message to your system that you are happy and in a good mood. When you smile you feel better. You feel happier and more positive. You feel more like doing something. You have a more positive attitude. Smiling is a mood elevator.
Smiling Relieves Stress
When you smile you feel more relaxed, positive and focused. You are more alert and aware of the present. It is like happy mindfulness stress relief. Smiling meditation.
Smiling Helps The Immune System
When you smile you are more comfortable and relaxed and your immune system functions better. Improve your happiness and health by smiling.
Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure
Smiling reduces blood pressure. If you have a blood pressure monitor take a reading. Smile for a while. Then take another reading.
Smiling Helps You To Be More Positive
Smiling creates positive feelings and a more positive attitude. This helps to improve your health and to be more positive. Here is a test. Smile. Try to think of something negative. It isn’t the same when you’re smiling. Smiling gives you a more positive outlook.
Smiling Improves Your Appearance
When you smile the muscles used lift your face making you appear younger. Smile while doing diaphragmatic breathing for a rejuvenating beauty treatment.
People Will Like You More
Smiling makes people seem more friendly, likeable, confident, approachable, neighborly, agreeable and attractive. A smiling person seems more alert, happy and optimistic.
Smiling People Seem More Like Winners
Smiling people seem more proud and confident. Smiling people are more likely to be hired, promoted, approached and liked. Smiling people seem more successful. Smile at work, meetings and appointments and make a better impression.
Smiling Makes Other People Smile
Smiling helps other people to smile and be happy. Smiling improves their moods and attitudes. Smiling makes situations more happy, peaceful and positive.
So, Smile, Smile, Smile!
The larger your waist circumference, the greater your risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.
The study examined the association between waist circumference, body-mass index (BMI, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight) and type 2 diabetes.
Both waist circumference and BMI were associated independently with diabetes risk, but waist circumference was a stronger risk factor in women than in men, Claudia Langenberg, of the Institute of Metabolic Science at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England, and colleagues said in a news release from the Public Library of Science.
The findings, published online June 5 in the journal PLoS Medicine, suggest that measuring waist circumference in overweight people could be an effective way to prevent diabetes, because it would identify high-risk people who may benefit from counseling about lifestyle changes, the researchers said.
“Our results clearly show the value that measurement of [waist circumference] may have in identifying which people among the large population of overweight individuals are at highest risk of diabetes,” the study authors said.
About one-third of people in the United States and United Kingdom are overweight, Langenberg and colleagues noted in the news release.
Although the study showed an association between larger waist circumference and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Waist Size, BMI, and Diabetes Risk
About 19 million Americans have diagnosed diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Most have type 2. The body does not make enough of the hormone insulin or the cells don’t use it effectively.
Langenberg’s team, the InterAct Consortium, re-evaluated data on more than 28,500 people. They lived in eight European countries. They were in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study. It looked at lifestyle and other factors, and chronic disease.
Langenberg compared about 12,400 people with type 2 diabetes with about 16,100 people without. They looked at their waist and BMI data.
Among the findings:
• Overweight women with a large waist (35-plus) and overweight men with a large waist (40-plus) had a 10-year incidence of diabetes similar to that of obese people.
• Higher waist size and higher BMI were each linked with higher diabetes risk.
• High waist size was a stronger risk factor for women than for men.
• Obese men with a large waist (40-plus) were 22 times more likely to develop diabetes than men with a low-normal BMI (18.5-22.4) and a smaller waist (less than 37 inches).
• Obese women with a large waist (35-plus) were nearly 32 times as likely to get diabetes than women of low-normal weight and a smaller waist (less than 31 inches).
Do you have 6 weeks to get fit? If you do, then Hip Hop mogul Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, says he can help you make it happen.
First albums, movies, vitamin water, energy drinks, books and a clothing line. Now, the popular rapper is launching his “Formula 50″ workout video series, and sharing his workout secrets with the world.
“Medical costs are among the biggest budget busters, especially when health issues are unexpected,” said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a national non-profit credit counseling agency. “While some bills can’t be prevented, you may be surprised that you can drastically cut your overall health care expenses by questioning, negotiating and shopping around.”
Sullivan explains further with these 10 tips for saving money on health care:
- Stay Healthy: First and foremost – commit to healthy living. Eat well, exercise and steer clear of unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, medical expenses for an obese person are about 42 percent higher than someone of healthy weight. Likewise, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it costs 18 percent more to insure a smoker.
- Take Preventive Action: Preventive care is crucial for keeping health care costs down over time, and many insurance plans now provide preventive-care screenings without charging deductibles and copays. Annual well-visits give your doctor an opportunity to provide necessary medical advice and identify health concerns before they become major issues.
- Choose In-Network Providers: If you have medical insurance, choose in-network health care providers to keep your out-of-pocket costs down. This applies to your family doctor, specialists, healthcare facilities and even medical labs.
- Assess Urgency: If you need to see a doctor after hours, consider an urgent care or convenience-care clinic over the ER. You can save hundreds of dollars for relatively minor issues like a sprained ankle or the flu.
- Maximize Your Deductible: If you’re close to meeting (or have already met) your insurance deductible, schedule any necessary medical procedures or physician visits in the same calendar year. Your deductible starts over at year’s end, and waiting to schedule procedures means you’ll pay a larger share of the cost.
- Inquire About Medical Necessities: Some medical procedures are urgent and necessary, others are less so. If money is tight – especially if you’re a private-pay patient – ask your doctor about the feasibility of delaying your procedure.
- Negotiate Costs: If you need to see a doctor and you’re paying out of pocket, be sure to compare prices. It’s important to know, too, that many providers will negotiate prices or provide cash discounts to private-pay patients. While the ER is no place to barter, consider this tactic for non-urgent or elective procedures.
- Review Your Coverage: If you’re self-insured, review your coverage annually to make sure you’re not under- or over-insured. If you’re insured through work, evaluate your plan during open enrollment. With health-care reform changes and a variety of insurance plans to choose from, the coverage you selected last year may no longer be the best option.
- Find Rx Discounts: Many pharmacies extend special offers on prescription drugs. One pharmacy may advertise a $4 cholesterol medication while another may offer a low-price on blood-pressure meds. Be sure to shop around. If you have multiple prescriptions, it may be more cost-effective to fill them at separate pharmacies. Additionally, ask your doctor to prescribe generics whenever possible.
- Consider Online and Mail-Order Prescriptions: Search Web and mail-order pharmacies for deep discounts. Some even offer a three-month supply of drugs for the same price as one month at a neighborhood pharmacy.
Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period. Officials said residents in the state should have a hurricane kit, containing food and clothing for three to seven days.
It should include important papers, in a plastic bag to protect against rain and flooding.
Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:
- At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
- Non-perishable food
- Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Prescription and non-prescription medicines
- Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
- Battery-powered radios and flashlights
- Plenty of batteries
- Extra cash
- Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)
The kits should also include a supply of any prescription medications needed, personal hygiene items, cash or a checkbook and a first aid kit.