Archive for June, 2014


I wish that I had a Pound for every time I heard someone complain about ‘kids today’. “Kids today have bad attitudes. They expect everything to be handed to them. Kids want everything easy. Kids have no self-discipline. Kids think they are entitled to everything. Kids today don’t want to work for anything. Kids today have a terrible ‘work ethic’…” Why are there so many problems in our culture with entitlement, expectations and lack of work ethic?Very simple. Adults misunderstand the concepts of reward and gifts. When adults and parents misunderstand these concepts they communicate misinformation to children. In order to properly discipline (regulate) anything, the concept of reward must be understood by the giver and the recipient. The differences amongst given things isn’t what is given, but for what purpose it is given and how it is received. Here is a description of purposes that give things to children: benefits(needs), gifts,prizes, awards and rewards.

Benefits/needs: At the most basic level of parenting, are benefitsBenefits are things that children should reasonably expect from a parent: food, shelter, clothing, love, encouragement, nurturing and compassion. Benefits aren’t earned or lost. Benefits are things children cannot provide for themselves or by themselves. Benefits are every child’s birthrights. Naturally each family system interpretsbenefits a little differently. And every family is more or less able to benefit their child. Surprisingly, however, most families are pretty unilateral about what they consider to be the benefits owed to children.

GiftsGifts are things that a parent does not owe to the child. Gifts are given out of love or generosity, not compulsion or need. A child does not earn gifts. There are no strings attached to gifts, either to the child or to the parent. Parents should not expect children to earn presents. And children should not expect parents to give presents. There is no issue of deserving or not deserving with a gift.

PrizesPrizes are things that children win. Prizes are random and therefore impossible to earn. No control or choice affect the winning of a prize. Since no one has any idea who will win the prize, there should be no expectations involved. Prizes are given in lottery style.

AwardsAwards are a hybrid of prize and rewardAwards are earned, but they have a random nature also. Awards are earned based upon a competition amongst participants. The participant puts as much effort into his product, but success is tentative. Contests, sporting competitions, norm-referenced (high stakes) tests, merit-based pay and curved grading scales are examples of award systems. The award system is the only system in which there are winners and losers. In order for some to win, others must logically lose.

Rewardsrewards are defined as anything that must be earned. Rewards involve a cause and effect relationship, or an ‘if-then’ situation. Rewards must be a direct one-to-one correspondence. Rewardsare a sort of bargain or transaction. To earn a reward something positive must be done, or something negative refrained from. The key difference between rewards and all other given things is that the child has complete control over whether she earns the reward. It is completely her choice.

It’s obvious from these definitions, that it is important that children understand why they are receiving something. Children need to know how to earn a reward or receive an award. If something is earned by contest, it’s important to understand if the contest is a lottery prize or an earned award. Gifts should be understood as gifts, not benefits or rewards. Because our culture has skewed these concepts, ‘kids today’ reflect misunderstandings in their thinking. Kids today aren’t lazier or more selfish. Kids today don’t have a poor work ethic. Kids today are misinformed and have been confused by us adults. Getting these concepts straight as adults helps us discipline our children properly.

Look for my upcoming articles that explain more about the interaction of rewards, awards, prizes, gifts and benefits in parenting, education and child development.




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We all enjoy delicious food, 
Makes us happy, fixes our mood. 
It’s all about the juicy taste, 
Doesn’t matter, where the food is placed.

We should consider, nutritional support, 
We shall need it, if we engage in a sport. 
Energy; food provides – plenty
Need a bit more, if we’re over twenty.

A great dish, we should all savor, 
Eat slowly, as we taste the flavor. 
Choose our very favorite cuisine, 
Is it red? Or is it green?

by AnitaPoems.com

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b suit

I bought a new banana suit
and new banana shoes.
I stickered up my body with
banana-shaped tattoos.

I also bought banana socks,
a big banana hat,
banana scarf and jewelry,
banana this and that.

Around my face I wrapped
a yellow handkerchief/bandana,
then walked into the market
like an over-sized banana.

I filled a cart with every last
banana in the store,
and when I’d gotten all of them
I headed for the door.

The managers all stopped and stared.
They nearly flipped their lids.
But I just smiled and said to them,
“I’m rescuing my kids.”

–Kenn Nesbitt

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You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to prepare food for a birthday party. In fact, its the opposite! All you need to win a child over is simple and fun party food. Being creative can be easy. Kids taste with their eyes first. If the food doesn’t look appealing then good luck getting them to eat it. Try creative and decorative food. If it’s bright orange or looks like bugs they’ll probably eat it!

Some other great kids party food tips:

1) Keep the food familiar and simple. A party is not the time to try something new. Keep it familiar.

2) Creative naming is always a great way to get kids to eat. Taste is not most important, fun is what kids want, even in food. Fun names are a great way to get them interested.

3) Finger friendly food eliminates the need for utensils which helps to minimize accidents. Plus kids love to play with their food!

4) Make the food interesting. Fun shapes and colors are attractive to kids. Kids are more likely to eat when the food is appealing to their eye. Remember, appealing to THEIR eye is the key, not your eye.


Great Kids Party Food recipes to follow!

Check back often, we’ll be updating this Kids Party Food page often!


Hotdog Worms – (Excellent to use as a kids Halloween Party Food)


Hotdog buns or hamburger buns
Condiments – Mustard, ketchup, relish



1) Cut hotdogs into thin slices and score the edges (a couple cuts per slice).

2) Boil the hotdogs. They will curl while they boil.

3) Serve the squiggly worms on buns (hamburger or hotdog buns will work) with the condiments.

If you’re throwing a Halloween party then check out these creepy, crawly, FUN Halloween Party Food Recipes!

Worm Ice Cubes (A fun and entertaining kids party food)


Gummy Worms
Icecube tray


1) Put the gummy worms in the ice cube tray and fill with water. Be sure to have the worms spilling out of the top of the water.

2) Freeze into ice cubes.

3) When serving drinks use the worm ice cubes.

Note: You can also do this with Jell-O. Follow the same directions except use Jell-O mix instead of water and set Jell-O in refrigerator instead of freezer.

Chocolate Frozen Bananas


32 oz semi sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sprinkles or Coconut, or peanuts (or topping of your choice)
Popsicle Sticks



1) Take 1 firm, ripe banana and cut 1 inch off both ends.

2) Insert the popsicle stick into the cut end, pushing the stick in halfway.

3) Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place the bananas on the sheet pan and freeze for 1 hour.

4) Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally.

5) Once the banana’s are frozen take one at a time and dip it in the chocolate to coat.

6) Then roll the banana in the sprinkles or topping of your choice.

7) Return the dipped bananas to the sheet pan and freeze.

8) Once bananas and chocolate are frozen they are ready to serve.

Birthday Party Fruit Punch


1/2 part Hawaiian Punch
1/2 part Ginger Ale or 7Up
1 quart of your favorite sherbert


1) Mix the fruit punch and soda together. Then add the sherbert.

Tropical Fruit Smoothie


1 Kiwi in chunks
1/3 cup mango in chunks
1/3 mango juice
1/3 plain yogurt
Add ice cubes (around 5)


Put all the ingredients in a blender for a couple minutes and serve.

Yummy Kids Party Food Mix


12 oz package of corn and rice cereal
5 oz toasted slivered almonds
6 oz toasted walnuts
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
M&Ms (how much you desire)


1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2) In a bowl, mix cereal, almonds and walnuts.

3) In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and mix with the dark corn syrup and light brown sugar. Pour the mixture over the cereal and nuts mixture. Stir and shake to coat.

4) Pour the coated mixture onto a baking sheet. Cook 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. 

5) Remove from oven and break apart while warm and then let cool completely. 

6) When cool add M&Ms.

Classic Rice Krispie Treats (a classic kids party food!)

Kids party Food


1/4 cup butter 
1 (10 oz., about 40) pkg. regular marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal


1) In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted. Remove from heat.

2) Stir in the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal coating them well.

3) Using a buttered spatula or wax paper, press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper. Allow to cool.

4) When cool cut into squares or rectangles.

Note: If you want to add a twist to the classic Rice Krispie Treat then drizzle with melted white or brown chocolate or frost.

Candied Fruit


16 Grapes
16 Strawberries
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Water
Any color food coloring
8 Wooden Skewers


1) Line two baking sheet pans with aluminum foil. 

2) Slide 2 grapes and 2 strawberries on a skewer, be sure to cover one end with the fruit. Repeat until you use all the fruit and skewers. 

3) Combine sugar and water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir with a wooden spoon. 

4) Bring to a boil over medium heat, stop stirring and continue boiling until a candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer then drop a small portion of the sugar mixture into a bowl of ice water and if it becomes hard the sugar mixture is done. Will take about 7 minutes. 

5) Remove from the heat and stir in a few drops of the food coloring. Carefully dip the skewered fruit into the sugar to cover completely. Transfer the dipped fruit to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sprinkles if desired and allow to cool completely before serving.

Cheese Tacos


Corn Tortillas (soft)
Cheddar, Jack or American Cheese
Mild Salsa


1) Shred or slice cheese. 

2) Soften the tortillas in the microwave in the following way: layer the tortillas on a plate with a moistened paper towel between each layer, microwave for approximately 30 seconds or until tortillas are soft. 

3) Place cheese on 1/2 of each tortilla and fold. Microwave until cheese is melted.

4) Open tortillas and add salsa.

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super rage

I’m making a right turn at the stop light. 
Suddenly there is honking and a shaking fist. 
Then a yell, “Where’d you get your driver’s 
License? A Cracker Jack’s box?” 
What did I do? I really didn’t know. 

I followed the irate driver for several blocks. 
Irate Driver made a left; I made a left, several blocks. 
Irate Driver made a right; I made a right, several blocks. 
Irate Driver stepped on the gas, I stayed the speed limit. 
Irate Driver made a sharp left and squealed the tires. 

I guess Irate Driver didn’t want to talk to me. 
The only reason I followed Irate Driver was to tell 
Him I was sorry and didn’t know what I had done. 
Also, I did have a valid driver’s license, not a prize 
Out of a box. I guess Irate Driver didn’t want to talk to me. 

I mentioned this at a doctor’s appointment. He said that my reaction 
To the road rage was probably not the brightest thing to do. 
In retrospect. the doctor was probably right. Is an apology a bad thing? 





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Stuck behind bumper to bumper
held fast in neutral gear
Cars like piled cans, litter and sputter
grinding Satan’s mechanical jeer

Steaming freeway is on either side-
The cost of which may be life on earth-
Stressed motorists eyes collide
in hot stares where rage is birthed

Carbon monoxide soots angelic figures
above, choking softly, they soar away.
Steering wheels are clutched like triggers
Steel cages can words we can’t say

Just to get to work, all dither and din,
Just to get to the mall, or rat duty call,
For all this road rage, what does one win?
Can, or will anyone, remember a fresh Eden?


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Driving, whether for work or leisure, can be enjoyable but at times is stressful and demanding. Drivers need to be fit, relaxed and rested for the demands of safe travel. Good driving requires a responsible attitude to other road users as well as a high level of concentration, observation and anticipation. The reality is, however, that everyone makes mistakes.

Our attitude as drivers, how we deal with our own mistakes and our reaction to those made by other people, will influence our own safety and well-being and that of other road users around us.

Aggressive, selfish or impatient attitudes influence the way we drive. This can develop into a tendency to take irresponsible risks, such as tailgating, exceeding speed limits, undertaking, or jumping red lights.

Our emotional mood also influences our behaviour; drivers commonly express how they feel in the way they drive. Traffic delays and congestion can also influence our frame of mind. Life stresses such as relationship anxieties, financial or employment problems, domestic or workplace arguments (to highlight only a few) influence our mood and can affect our attitude to driving and safety behind the wheel.

Many drivers find different ways to keep calm but here are some suggestions on dealing with, and avoiding, potential conflict, “road rage” or red mist.

Before You Set Off

  • When we are emotionally upset or psychologically caught up in something else, we are not able to give the road our full attention and so, do not drive safely. Try to ensure you are in a calm, good mood before driving.
  • Plan time into journeys in case you are delayed by traffic; this can help to alleviate the pressure you feel if you’re running late. 

During Your Journey

  • Whilst driving do not over-react to, or panic about, another driver’s error, bad driving or poor attitude. They may be unaware of their actions. Try to stay away from them and concentrate on driving well and within the law.
  • Avoid getting into conflict with another driver. There will be some bad drivers who are looking for a reaction or conflict. “Competing” with another driver could lead to the incident becoming serious. Keep your mind focused on your driving.
  • Stay calm and think logically – when confronted by an irate driver don’t engage in gestures, headlight flashing or sounding the horn as this will serve no purpose and may exacerbate the situation. It will also distract you. Concentrate on driving responsibly.
  • Refrain from eye contact with an angry or aggressive driver as this has the potential to make the situation worse.
  • If you find you are being followed by an impatient driver (tailgated) – do not allow yourself to be “pushed” along, intimidated or made to increase your speed. Without actually pulling over or stopping – find a safe opportunity to allow that driver to pass. Circumnavigating a roundabout to enable a tailgater to get past you will add little time to your journey but can make a significant difference to stress levels
  • If you find that you are being persistently followed by an aggressive driver – try to make your way to a public place, police station or busy street and if necessary call the police. Do not allow an aggressive driver to follow you home.
  • Under no circumstances should you endanger your safety or well-being by getting out of the car to deal with an angry or aggressive driver. If confronted with a road rage situation remain in the car with the windows closed and door locked. If necessary, call for help on a mobile phone (not while driving).
  • If you accidentally cause another driver to become angry – hold up your whole hand as a friendly acknowledgement of your mistake – this can diffuse the situation.
  • If your mood is affected by an incident during your journey, once you have moved away from any danger, find an opportunity to stop and take time out.
  • Focus on the present and your driving rather than the destination or purpose of the journey.

After Your Journey

  • If you are able to recognise when you’re becoming stressed, angry or impatient while driving, you will be better equipped to deal with these emotions. Try to find time occasionally to reflect on your driving and think about how mood or stress has effected your actions.

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