What We Take For Granted

While we complain about our first world problems, others look at us in the developed world wishing to have our problems. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about a story I recently read. It was about the experience that Soad, a grandmother from Iraq and her son, Haider had when they were brought to Georgia so that her granddaughter, Noor could get medical attention. You can read more about baby Noor here

While Soad and Haider were in the U.S. they saw many things in a very different light than most of us Americans do.

For example, Soad was astonished at how clean our produce is in American supermarkets. She was amazed that misters would spray the produce every so often to keep it fresh. And she noticed that produce was not swarmed with flies the way it was in markets in her country. 

The Eye-Opener

Soad and her son viewed the American medical system that we so much complain about in a whole different way:

“Their idea of medical care was limited to an Abu...

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Mistakes Do Not Define Who You Are

My daughter came up to me after a rough week of behavior challenges and asked, “Was I, good kid, today?”

This is to say, I was stunned by that question. I felt awful that she thought she was not a good kid at any time.

I also blamed myself for the way she was thinking of herself. Perhaps I’d been too strict. Maybe my tone was too harsh, but at the same time, I thought about the actions she had done that led to me correcting her. 

Kids can go through phases of defiance. However, they don’t last long if we help kids correct those actions right away. I am not a perfect parent. Believe me. I have a lot of regrets about how I handled some situations. 

Therefore, I try to consciously think things through even when I’ve very upset about something that my kids have done that I don’t agree with. 

As I was having a conversation with some parents, one of them asked me about how to help a kid who has bullied others and is trying to do...

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Helping Kids Manage Chores

 

I walked into my daughter’s room and my irritability immediately shot up! After days of reminding her to clean her room, it appeared as if she hadn’t made any attempt whatsoever to improve the mess. 

Can you relate?

Surely, every parent has experienced this type of frustration and anger. As I stood there looking at everything in that room, I realized that a lot of it was my fault. 

It’s A Parent’s Responsibility

You see, my husband and I were the ones who allowed all the toys to come into the house. The high stack of stuffed animals didn’t just appear out of nowhere. And the overfilled hamper hadn’t been checked for two weeks. 

 

When you make cleaning playful for kids, it doesn’t seem like a burden to do chores.

Similarly, the closet hadn’t been inspected by my husband or me either. Why? Because we were exhausted and we decided to see what would happen if we didn’t stay on top of their chores. 

...

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Using Music to Help Improve Reading Performance

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By Jessica Bonner-Gomez

In October 2019, it was reported that Alabama 4th graders ranked 49th (out of 52 U.S. territories) in reading on the nation’s report card. This rank is two levels below the former rank in 2017, indicating that reading proficiency has decreased.

I’m particularly concerned about Alabama 4th-grader reading performance because I am an Alabama educator. Aside from teaching English Composition I and II to college freshmen for 3 and ½ years, I have been tutoring students for the last 11 years in English and writing (the last 4 years include more focus on reading through my tutoring business, For Other Prizes Consulting).

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Further, this month I have finished my master’s degree in speech-language pathology, a field that helps students enhance their speech and language (including reading) skills.

Disheartened by the numbers, I attempted to understand why they were so low. I realized,...

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The Perfect Gift Can’t Be Wrapped

One of the most stressful parts of gift-giving holidays for me has always been shopping. I’m unsure if the reason behind my stress is because I think very practically about spending money or because I don’t like shopping. The act of shopping has always given me anxiety. 

Too many things and too many choices seem like a heavy burden for me. It truly kills the joy out of trying to gift someone something special. As I said, it might just be me, but I feel like the push for me to spend money is so prevalent and strong that I’m turned off to gifting. 

Can you relate? I’m sure I can’t be the only one to feel this way.

One of my main goals is for my children to not grow up to expect gifts for holidays or special days or to think that those events are all about gifts. 

It’s important for me that my children understand that the material things aren’t the main focus of any celebration and when I’ve tried to do a non-gift event,...

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Forgotten Heroes Living Among US

In 2013, a friend of mine asked me if I was interested in volunteering for an organization called Honor Flight Austin. This organization’s mission is to find World War II veterans who have never been to Washington, D.C. to see their monuments. While Honor Flight Austin’s main focus is WW II vets, they also make this trip possible to Vietnam and Korean War Veterans free of cost.

Honor Flight Austin provides free airfare, meals, and lodging for our heroes and they rely heavily on volunteers who are called Guardians so that each veteran is assisted for an entire evening and day in D.C.

As we all know, this generation of veterans is getting very old and one thing that Honor Flight Austin wants to do is to get as many WWI veterans to D.C. before they are no longer with us.

Although their highest priority is to make this trip available to WWII Veterans, they offer this trip to other able and willing veterans on a first-come, first-served basis and then priority goes to our...

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Stereotypes are disrupting our kids’ learning

 

He kept calling me a dumb Mexican because I have an accent, but so does Jimmy. He’s from France. I just don’t get it. I know English just as much as he does. I’m also not from Mexico.

-8 year old, Ana in Maryland

When adults hear about conflicts among kids such as Ana’s, they’re often dismissed as child bickery, a rough phase of childhood, or just part of being a kid. But if this scenario where between two adults, it would be considered harassment or discrimination.

So, why aren’t educators taking the time to teach kids to not use stereotypes in the classrooms? Sadly, schools also don’t strongly consider the effects of stereotyping (such as misogyny or sexual harassment) more seriously-and they should! They know they exist, but they don’t actively focus on this issue.

 

Subconscious stereotyping is important because

  1. it negatively affects academic progress
  2. some students are punished harsher than others
  3. these actions...
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Consider making this list

 

As the year comes to a close, a lot of people start creating their list of new year goals (download our free worksheet- Reflecting + Goals 2017). But instead of making ONLY your new year goals, consider making a list of all the things you appreciated this year no matter how many bad things happened to you in 2016.

Focusing on this will help you realize how many blessings you’ve had and that in the midst of not such good times, very good things DO happen. We must start appreciating what we’ve got before we start expecting more blessings.

This year, I got to travel back to Nicaragua, the country I was born in. It was a very expensive trip for my family because it was several of us. However, my husband insisted on going because I’d always say we’d go and the total trip expenses always seemed so high.

I’d always say we’d go next year and I have many excuses. Excuses like….next year because our savings would be larger and I’d feel...

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The Power of Persistence

In 2007 I was already a mother to a 15-month-old baby girl and by the end of that year, I had given birth to my second child. I was in the military about to get out after ten years of service. So, I was excited about becoming a civilian and being able to take care of my family.

The plan was something like this. I was going to take a few months off after giving birth to my second child. I would find a good job in a different state because I didn’t want to stay in Maryland and I would carry on with my life with my little family. Oh, how wrong I was! When life throws a challenge, it really throws it hard!

So, I left the Army one month before I gave birth at the end of 2007. My hubby (Henry) and I had a nice nest egg in case something happened. Henry was doing great in the real estate field despite some injuries he experienced during his military service.

But life gave us a twist! 

In 2007 the housing market started crashing…along with everything else. It hit some...

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Surviving a lifetime of being bullied! by Kishva Daniel

Surviving a lifetime of being bullied!

As a child, I was bullied, and it was a long process for me to recover. I was teased, made fun of and told that I would never be anything. This was by my family from birth throughout my early adult years. I also endured years of being jumped on and beat-up by my cousin for no reason.

This resulted in me being shy and my self-esteem was very low. I was also teased in school because I was skinny, and my teeth were crooked. As a result, I walked with my head down and I never smiled. There were so many days that I would come home and just cry.

I was doing poorly in school because I was suffering from depression. I vividly remember one day I was in health class and a classmate told me that I was skinny enough to hula hoop in a fruit-loop. I was called grandma and told me that I was homely! which hurt a lot. That was just a tiny bit of the things that were said to me.

Unfortunately, I was struggling with being bullied. I stayed faithful and knew that...

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