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torithefox_late-for-art-class

I got up late for school today,
And nearly missed the bus!
I hurried down the stairs,
Wolfed my toast, and caused a fuss!

I quickly threw books in my bag,
My pens, my lunch and shorts.
Grabbed my coat from out the cupboard,
Took my bat and ball for sports.

I slid across the kitchen floor,
And hopped around the cat!
Then expertly rolled over,
Jumped back up and grabbed my hat!

I belted out of our front door,
Spun round and swung it shut.
Saw the bus was waiting for me,
I felt I had time to strut!

I climbed aboard and then froze still,
And knew that things weren’t right!
My friends fell down in fits of fun,
And pointed with delight!

My face went red, I couldn’t breathe,
For in my haste I knew!
I’d forgotten to wear trousers,
Jumper, shirt, my socks and shoes!

©2003 Gareth Lancaster

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i-taught-my-cat-to-clean-my-room

I taught my cat to clean my room,
to use a bucket, brush and broom,
to dust my clock and picture frames,
and pick up all my toys and games.

He puts my pants and shirts away,
and makes my bed, and I would say
it seems to me it’s only fair
he puts away my underwear.

In fact, I think he’s got it made.
I’m not as happy with our trade.
He may pick up my shoes and socks,
but I clean out his litterbox.

–Kenn Nesbitt

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Back-to-School-No Way

The  new school year is right around the corner.  Whether you can’t wait till your kids are back in school or dread the more regimented days ahead, there’s one thing you can count on:  Back to School is always a big transition. 

Kids who are starting school for the first time or moving to a new school have the biggest adjustment, but even moving up a grade means coping with a new teacher, more academic demands and a changing social circle.   Start preparing now to make those first weeks easier for your kids – and yourself!  Here’s how:

1. Make sure your child is familiar with the school.  If she was at the same school last year, great! You only need to talk about any differences this year.(“Now that you’re in first grade, you get to play on the big kids playground, and go eat in the lunchroom with the other kids.” “Now that you’ll be in third grade, you’ll have homework every day.” “Now that you’ll be in middle school, you’ll be walking by yourself.  We’ll need to practice crossing Main Street.” ) 

But if this is her first year at this school, then you’ll want to take some trips there.  Even if there is a formal orientation day just before school begins, start now by taking a trip to the school.  If you can get access to the playground, that’s a terrific way to help your child bond with her new school.  If not, at least admire it through the fence and get her excited about the slide or climbing structure.  

If the building is open, by all means walk in together to check it out.  If you’re allowed to poke your head in the library, peer into a classroom or two, and use the bathroom (important in making her feel more secure there) you’ve hit the jackpot.  You may not get much further than the office, where you can explain that your child will be starting school in the fall and wanted to see what the school was like, and introduce her to the front office staff.  Either way, the more your child sees of the school, the less she’ll fret with fear of the unknown, and the more comfortable she’ll feel on the first day.  

2. Take advantage of any orientation opportunities.  Many schools let new students, especially in the younger grades, come to school for an orientation session before school begins.  If the school doesn’t have such a program, ask if you and your child can come by to meet the new teacher for a few minutes a day or so before school starts.  Teachers are busy preparing their rooms and materials at that time, but any experienced teacher is happy to take a few minutes to meet a new student and make him feel comfortable, since she knows that helps her students settle into the school year. 

3. Facilitate your child’s bonding with the teacher.  All kids need to feel connected to their teacher to feel comfortable in the classroom.   Until they do, they are not ready to learn.  Experienced teachers know this, and “collect” their students emotionally at the start of the school year.  Obviously, if you can arrange for your child to meet the teacher in advance, by all means do so.  But there are lots of ways to help your child feel like he knows even a teacher he’s never met.

Once you find out your child’s classroom assignment, begin talking about the teacher in fond and familiar terms. (“When you’re in Ms. Williams class, I bet she’ll be impressed with what a great cleaner-upper you are.” “I’m pretty sure that Ms. Williams reads stories to the kids, she might read your favorite book if we bring it to school.”)  If you can find a photo of Ms. Williams, by all means put it up on your refrigerator and speak to it fondly (“Ms. Williams, you are a great kindergarten teacher and I just know you and my David are going to love each other!”)  If you know other kids who have been in Ms. Williams’ class, ask them to tell your child what their favorite thing was about her. 

Encourage your child to draw a picture to bring Ms. Williams on the first day, and to pick out a shiny red apple for her.  Note that it doesn’t really matter what kind of teacher Ms. Williams is.  Your child will feel a fondness for her to which she is likely to respond favorably.  Regardless, the feeling of familiarity will help your child bond with her.

If you notice in the first week of school that your child doesn’t seem to have connected with his teacher, don’t hesitate to immediately contact her.  Just explain that your child was excited before school started but doesn’t seem to have settled in yet.  You’re hoping that the teacher can make a special effort to reach out to him so he connects with her and feels at home.  Virtually all teachers understand this issue and will pay extra attention to your child during that first week if you make a nice request.   My own daughter cried every day at the start of fourth grade until I had a conversation with the teacher; a week later she loved him and couldn’t wait to go to school in the morning.

4. Facilitate bonding with the other kids.
 Kids are always nervous about their new teacher, but if they know any of the other kids, they’ll feel more at ease.   If you’re new in town, make a special effort to meet other kids in the neighborhood.  Often schools are willing to introduce new families to each other, allowing kids to connect with other new students in the weeks before school starts.  Even if your child is not new to the school, find out what other kids are in her class and arrange a playdate so she’ll feel more connected if she hasn’t seen these kids all summer. If you can arrange for your son or daughter to travel to school that first morning with a child he or she knows, even if they aren’t in the same classroom, it will ease last minute jitters.


5. Practice saying goodbye. If your child is beginning school for the first time and has not had previous daycare or preschool experience, his or her biggest challenge will be saying goodbye to you.  Explain that all children go to school to learn, which is a child’s job just like parents work at jobs.  Orchestrate small separations to practice saying goodbye, and develop a parting routine, such as a hug and a saying like “I love you, you love me, have a great day and I’ll see you at 3!”

You might give your child a token to hold on to that reminds her of you, such as a cut-out heart with a love note, your scarf, or a small stone you found on the beach together, that she can keep in her pocket while you’re apart and give back upon your return.  Most kids like to have a picture of the family in their backpacks.  Be sure to use the suggestions above for helping her bond with her new teacher; she needs to transfer her attachment focus from you to the teacher if she is to successfully let you go.

6. Ask the school whether you will be able to walk your child into the classroom and hand him off to the teacher.  Find out how long you will be able to stay.  If you suspect that your child might have a hard time saying goodbye, by all means speak with the teacher now and make a plan for how to handle the first day.  Maybe every morning you will read your child one story and then take her over to the teacher when you say goodbye, so the teacher can comfort and distract her.  

Once you have a plan, begin describing to your child what will happen at school.  But don’t emphasize the goodbye, keep right on going with how fun the day will be: “Every morning you will pick a book for me to read to you.  When we finish the story, we will find Ms. Williams together.  We’ll give each other a big hug and say our special goodbye.  Then Ms. Williams will hold your hand and take you to the block corner where you and Michael can build a tall tower while I go to work.  You will have snack, and play outside, and read stories, and have lunch.  Every day when I pick you up I will be excited to hear what you built in the block corner that day.”

7. Start conversations about the next grade at school or about beginning school.  One good way to do this is to select books relating to that grade.  Your librarian can be helpful; some good choices include books by Alan & Janet Ahlberg, Stan & Jan Berenstain, Dianne Blomberg, Marc Brown, Lauren Child, Julie Danneberg, Bonnie Graves, James Howe, Beth Norling, Marisabina Russo, and Amy Schwartz.  

Get your kids excited by talking about what they can expect, including snack, playground, reading, computers, singing and art.  If you know other children who will be in his class or in the school, be sure to mention that he will see or play with them.  Share your own stories about things you loved about school. 

Encourage her questions by asking what she thinks school will be like.  Emphasize the things you think she’ll enjoy but be sure not to minimize her fears; kids can be stricken by worries that adults might find silly, like finding the bathroom at school. Normalize any fears and reassure her that she will have fun, that the school can reach you if necessary, and that your love is always with her even when you aren’t. Be sure to end every conversation with“and when school is over I will be there to pick you up and we’ll have a special snack while you tell me all about your day” so that every time your child thinks about school, she remembers this reassurance. 

8. If a younger sibling will be at home with you, be sure your child knows how boring it will be at home and how jealous you and the younger sibling are that you don’t get to go to school like a big kid.  Explain that every day after school you will have special time with your big girl to hear all about her day and have a snack together.

9. Get your kids back on an early to bed schedule well before school starts.  Most kids begin staying up late in the summer months.  But kids need 9 1/2 to 11 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age.  (Teens need a minimum of 9.5; toddlers usually do best with 11). Getting them back on schedule so they’re sound asleep by 9pm to be up at 7am for school takes a couple of weeks of gradually moving the bedtime earlier.

Imposing an early bedtime cold turkey the night before school starts results in a child who simply isn’t ready for an earlier bedtime, having slept in that morning and with the night-before-school jitters.  In that situation, you can expect everyone’s anxiety to escalate.  So keep an eye on the calendar and start moving bedtime a bit earlier every night by having kids read in bed for an hour before lights out, which is also good for their reading skills.

10. Wake up your child’s brain.  You aren’t the teacher, and you don’t need to start school before the school year starts by pulling out the flashcards or assigning math problems.  On the other hand, research shows that kids forget a lot during the summer.  If your child has been reading through the summer months, congratulations!  If not, this is the time to start.  Visit the library and let him pick some books he’ll enjoy.  Introduce the idea that for the rest of the summer everyone in the family (you can include yourself if you like, or you can read to them) will read for an hour every day. 

And if your child has assignments to complete, don’t wait for him to remember the day before school starts that he was supposed to write a book report.  Get summer work out of the way at least a week before school starts so he can relax for the rest of vacation!

11. Let your child choose his own school supplies, whether from around your house or from the store, and ready them in his backpack or bag.  

12. The day before school starts, talk about exactly what will happen the next day to give your child a comfortable mental movie:

“We’ll get up early tomorrow for your first day in Ms. Williams’ class.  We will drive there together and I will take you into her classroom and introduce you to her.  She will make sure you know all the other kids, because they will be your new friends. I will read a book to you and then we will hug and say our special goodbye.  Then Ms. Williams will take you to the block corner so you can build a tower.  Ms. Williams will show you where the bathroom is, and you can ask her anytime you need to go.  There will be games and books and blocks, and she will read to the class.  You will get to have fun on the playground with the other kids, and you will get to sit at a desk like the big kids.  And at the end of the day, Ms. Williams will bring you to me on the school steps, and I will be there to pick you up and hear all about your first day at school.”

Be alert for signs that your child is worried, and reflect that most kids are a little nervous before the first day of school, but that he will feel right at home in his new classroom soon.  

13. Get yourself to bed early the night before school so you can get up early enough to deal calmly with any last minute crises.  Be sure kids – including teens! – lay out clothes the night before, that lunches are made, and that everyone gets enough sleep and a healthy breakfast.  Plan to arrive at school early so you have time for meaningful goodbyes.  And don’t forget that “first day of school” photo before you leave home!

14. If your child gets teary when you say goodbye
, reassure her that she will be fine and that you can’t wait to see her at the end of the day.  Use the goodbye routine you’ve practiced, and then hand her off to her teacher.  Don’t leave her adrift without a new attachment person, but once you’ve put her in good hands, don’t worry.  Experienced teachers know about first day jitters and are used to bonding with their charges. Her tears won’t last long.  If your child continues to have a hard time separating, be sure to speak with the teacher.  Maybe she can give her a special job every morning, or facilitate a friendship with another child who has similar interests.


15. Make sure you’re a few minutes early to pick your child up that first week of school.  Not seeing you immediately will exacerbate any anxieties he has and may panic him altogether.  If your child cries when you pick him up, don’t worry.  You’re seeing the stress of his having to keep it together all day and be a big boy.  Your return signals that it’s safe to be his babyself again, take it as a compliment. 

This is true for kids of all ages, who may have uncharacteristic meltdowns during the first week of school, or just before school starts.  Chalk it up to stress, don’t be hard on them, and be sure you’re there to talk so they don’t have to resort to tantrums.  Before you know it everyone will be comfortable in their new routine and not even looking back as they race into school.

WHAT DO HAVE TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT

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Parents are the coolest people to hang out with. After the stress and drama of college life, it is always nice to sit down with a glass of wine and a kickass movie in your home, reminiscing about old memories as a child and just having a nice, relaxing, work and drama free conversation, with the people who raised you until today. Like, I can do anything I wanna, and my parents won’t judge me. Hellooooo old baggy t shirts and weird (culturally inherited) habits.
Friends are not ‘forever.’ Yeah, in high school, if you fell out with someone, you would/could make up with them cause you’d see them like everyday. But college? International education? You fall out with a friend, and the next time you try to reconcile they’re already married and having kids and new best friends and it’s just too late.
First dates are not so awkward anymore… Simply because I know that the pressure’s off me – if it was weird, or awkward, or just embarrassing, I can stay assured my university is big enough for me to divulge into the vast crowd, into the academic abyss, and never see him again. #damnright. #experienced
The actual desire to sit in a car again… Those long bus trips and train changes just DON’T. CUT IT!
Real food is precious. Pasta. Vegetables that are cooked to a decent standard. Home-made things. Not cafeteria sandwiches or daily Domino’s double pepperoni or Kraft Mac and Cheese (no hate though, Kraft Mac and Cheese is DELICIOUS.

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Magical: live in the moment with aconitums, asters and grasses such as calamagrostis

Magical: live in the moment with aconitums, asters and grasses such as calamagrostis 
 

A sunny autumn border makes this time of year much more enjoyable than a garden full of prematurely “tidy” brown soil. Rather than an early bedtime, think of this season as a planting opportunity to be grabbed with both hands; not only is there a rich palette of grasses and perennials to be explored, but the crystal clear light of autumn adds jewel-box sparkle to herbaceous borders. As the sun sinks lower, it slants through airy stems picking up texture, silhouette and movement in fading light. When frost arrives the seed heads sparkle and, if you’re lucky, hungry flocks of finches frisk through.

Now, of course, is the ideal time to plant, so pick a site that will be spotlit by the low sun and visit some well-planted autumn gardens for inspiration (see box). You need to plant in threes at least, and balance those dominant golden yellows with strong foxy reds, purples, pinks, mulberries and deep blues. This prevents a late-flowering scheme from taking on the bilious look of piccalilli. Autumn is also daisy time, and the aster family is invaluable. Long before flowers appear, the tiny buds, the black stems, the whorls of leaf that unfold from sheathed cigarillo-like stems hold the eye.

The daisy flowers, like spinning saucers, tend to face heavenwards as they wait for a late butterfly or two, and they need contrasting shapes to prevent monotony – vertical spikes and spires, airy wands, umbels and bobbles. A grassy backbone is an essential too, because grasses add movement and unite your planting.

Spikes and spires

Connect ground to sky with spikes and spires, such as those of the September-flowering, rich blue monkshood bred by Georg Arends in 1945: Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’. The spires have black-lashed flowers in delphinium-blue supported by glossy foliage. And this one is fashionably late to flower, following ‘Spätlese’, ‘Kelmscott’ and ‘Barker’s Variety’. Aconitums flower in shade, but deadhead them to prevent inferior seedlings from taking hold. Be aware they are toxic, particularly the root, as the common name, wolf’s bane, indicates.

Other spikes, such as Veronicastrum virginicum, have faded now, but the five-feet-high tapering seed heads and black stems of ‘Fascination’ look magical in low light. Waist-high verticals placed towards the front work well, too. These might include late-flowering red hot pokers, such as Kniphofia rooperi, which come through winter even in my cold garden. The warm-orange heads are well-spaced and crisp in outline.

Mopheads and bobbles

Modern planting is airy by nature, so cloudlike heads, light umbels or bobbles should be part of the mix. In fertile ground the damson-red Eupatorium ‘Riesenschirm’ will reach six feet, and its dark stems and whorled foliage are a bonus earlier in the year. Vernonia fasciculata, an aster relative known as smooth ironweed, provides an irregular puff of violet, and both set off Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.

Puffs of paler smoke emerge from Selinum wallichianum, and its bright green lacy leaves and purple sheathing are prominent for months. I am also fond of Thalictrum lucidum for its lime-yellow down which contrasts with the high-gloss, lance-shaped herringbone of leaves. Add a late sanguisorba, ideally ‘Cangshan Cranberry’, with maroon bobbles that darken into winter.

The shorter Verbena hastata f. rosea lasts well into autumn, with spires of tiny violet-purple flowers that branch into a candelabra arrangement. But the airiest of all is the tall Althaea cannabina, a wiry mallow with small raspberry-eyed pink saucers threaded along the stems intermittently.

Dazzling daisies

Every gardener should grow the three-feet-high bushy aster ‘Little Carlow’, with lavender-blue flowers that appear from red buds like a gas torch. Aster laevis ‘Calliope’ has paler, slightly ragged daisies, but it’s really grown for its substantial black presence. The floppier ‘Vasterival’ tends toward pink but the sooty foliage and buds flatter the confetti-coloured flowers.

Use yellow as your spinning thread but do opt for tight clump-formers such as the green-coned Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’ and the lemon-yellow sunflower Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, rather than the rabid spreaders. Like all sunflowers, the latter will chase the sun, so place it carefully and find dusky partners for both. I also like the cool-lemon daisy Ratibida pinnata which droops its petals in a swoon. Commonly known as the yellow cone flower, this can flower in July following an early spring, but normally it comes later. Finally, find room for a brown and yellow front-of-the-border daisy (such as Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ or Rudbeckia tricolor) and some echinaceas. ‘Fatal Attraction’, a black-stemmed Day-Glo pink, is the flashiest.

Transparent grasses

The following grasses are well-behaved and don’t run, or self-seed to nuisance levels in Britain.

Stipa gigantea, a tall golden oat grass, is early season but keeps a skeletal presence as it forms its Roman fountain of golden sparks. A tendency to untidiness can be fixed by removing ungainly stems.

If you’ve room enough, the July-flowering toetoe grass from New Zealand, Cortaderia richardii, will produce one-sided feathery awns in shades of natural wool, above grey-green, sword-sharp foliage. Both shine in low light.

Cast an airy veil with Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’, which provides a mist of darkish beads. Tall molinias always have subsp. arundinacae in their title, but they vary greatly in form and are often wrongly named. Use a specialist nursery (see box). If you can’t find ‘Transparent’, grow Molinia ‘Karl Foerster’ instead. Also make use of the upright Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, its stems rise like a rocket heading to Mars.

Miscanthus sinensis is the most essential of all grasses, although some varieties are grown for foliage, not their plumed flower. The fine-tined, variegated green and cream ‘Morning Light’, for instance, and the thicker leaved brash white and green ‘Cosmopolitan’ are for foliage. My favourite, with light green leaves subtly banded in gold, is ‘Pünktchen’, but even in good summers the flower heads are hardly noticeable here. ‘Ferner Osten’ does produce lots of wine-red plums, although these will turn mink-brown within three to four weeks, whatever the weather.

If you’ve never grown a miscanthus, the most reliably floriferous is ‘Silberfeder’, which performs in cool and more northerly gardens. Add a pennisetum to curtsy at the front of the border; the pale brown caterpillars of ‘Hameln’ survive bad winters in my cold garden. Finally, add the silky feathers of Stipa brachytricha, again at the front, as their mauve heads pick up the colour of almost every aster.

By threading grasses through your late-season borders you’ll find that the dying of the light has never looked more beautiful.

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                                                             Definition of dream (n)

 

                                                                                                                                 dream
                                                                                                                               [ dreem ]
  1. sequence of mental images during sleep: a sequence of images that appear involuntarily to the mind of somebody who is sleeping, often a mixture of real and imaginary characters, places, and events
  2. daydream: a series of images, usually pleasant ones, that pass through the mind of somebody who is awake
  3. something hoped for: something that somebody hopes, longs, or is ambitious for, usually something difficult to attain or far removed from present circumstances

Top 10 Common Dreams And Their Meanings


Everyone dreams (even if we don’t always remember them after the fact) and researchers have found that the majority of us have dreams with similar themes. For years people have tried to uncover the meaning of dreams—the fleeting images that we see when we go to sleep. Some interpretations are outright bizarre, while others are pretty understandable. This is a list of the interpretations that the Association for the Study of Dreams has given to the most recurring and common types of dream. Be sure to tell us whether you think it is accurate from your own experiences.

10 

Car Troubles

Car Flying Off Cliff

In these types of dreams you are usually in or near a car or some other type of vehicle which is out of control or has other problems that seem insurmountable. For example, the brakes may have failed, you may have lost control of the steering, or be heading over a cliff or crashing. You can either be the driver or the passenger. This is a very common type of nightmare and it occurs in all people – not just those who can drive. This dream usually means that you are feeling powerless over something in your life – or that you are heading for a crash (metaphorically speaking).

Faulty Machinery

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In the faulty machinery dream you are trying to operate mechanical equipment which either fails to work, or fails to work in the way that you expect it to. The vast majority of these dreams involve a telephone – either trouble dialing, losing a connection, or dialing a wrong number. It can involve a lost Internet connection, or something manual like a jammed or broken machine. This dream often means that you feel you are losing touch with reality, or that a part of your body or mind is not functioning as it should. It can also occur when you are feeling anxious about making a connection with another person in real life.

Lost or Trapped

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Dreaming about being lost is very common and will usually occur when you are having conflict in deciding how to react in a situation in real life. In the dream you are trying to find your way out of an area – such as a forest, city streets, a large building, or other maze-like structure. Another way this dream plays out involves you being trapped, buried alive, caught in a web, or unable to move for some other reason. This is often accompanied by a feeling of terror. This dream usually means that you are trapped in real life – unable to make the right choice.

Missed a Boat or Plane

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In this type of dream you are rushing to catch a bus, train, plane, or other type of public transport – but you miss it – usually by a fraction of a second. Rather than feeling fear in this dream, you usually feel frustration. This dream can also occur in a different form, in which you arrive late for an important performance or sporting event that you are supposed to participate in, only to find that the event has already begun. This dream usually means that you feel that you have missed out on an important opportunity in your real life. It will often occur when you are struggling over an important decision.

Failing a Test

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This dream usually manifests itself in people who have been out of school for a long time. In the dream you are prevented from passing a test in a variety of different possible scenarios. In one scenario you find that you are unable to make it to the test on time, often through being unable to find the test room. In other versions you are unprepared (either through lack of study) or you are missing equipment. This dream usually means that you are feeling tested in some way in your real life. You may feel that you are unprepared for something or playing the wrong part in life.

Ill or Dying

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In this dream, you (or a loved one) are ill, injured, or dying. It is a moderately common dream and, not surprisingly, occurs often at the onset of an illness. Aside from becoming ill, this dream can mean that you are emotionally hurt or are afraid of becoming hurt. The dream may also be warning you of an upcoming physical risk to yourself or a loved one. When it is someone else in the dream that dies, it can mean that you feel that part of yourself (that you see represented by that person) is dead. It may also mean that you wish the person would go away, or that you fear losing them.

Being Chased

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Dreaming of being chased can be a truly horrifying experience. Most often the chaser is a monster or some person that is frightening, and occasionally it may be an animal. You may be surprised to know that this is the most commonly experienced nightmare theme. The meaning of these dreams is that someone, something (possibly something as obscure as an emotion) is making you feel threatened. One way to determine the root of the threat is to ask yourself who or what in your real life most closely resembles the “creature” or circumstance in your dream. It is also worth noting that sometimes this dream is a replay of an actual event in your life.

Bad or Missing Teeth

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Teeth dreams are fairly common and they usually involve the discovery of extremely decayed or missing teeth in your own mouth. Sometimes you will dream that you open your mouth and your teeth begin to fall out. The fact that the majority of people today have reasonable teeth (perhaps with the exception of the British), it is not surprising that we feel so emotionally disturbed by these dreams. So, what does it mean when we dream about missing teeth? At the most basic level it means that we are afraid of being found unattractive. At a deeper level, it can signify a fear of embarrassment or a loss of power in real life. Oh – I was just kidding about the “British” thing!

Dream Nudity

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In this type of dream you are in a state of undress, partial undress, or inappropriate dress (for example wearing pajamas to work). Occasionally you are the witness of another person who is naked while you are clothed. This is often accompanied by feelings of embarrassment and shame, but occasionally with the feeling of pride or freedom. The meaning of this dream is that you are feeling exposed, awkward, or vulnerable, or you are afraid that you have revealed too much of yourself (such as a secret or a very personal feeling) in a real life situation. An interesting fact about this type of dream is that it occurs much more frequently in people who are involved in a wedding ceremony in their real life.

Falling or Sinking

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We have all had falling dreams – it is such a common dream, in fact, that myths have arisen over them; the most common myth is, of course, that you will die if you hit the ground in the dream. I can assure you, having hit the ground in more than one falling dream, that this is not true at all. In the falling dream we are usually falling through the air and frightened. Occasionally we may be sinking in water (and in danger of drowning). Typically a person having this dream is feeling insecure or lacking in support in their waking life. These dreams often occur when you are overwhelmed in life and feel ready to give up. If you have this dream you should evaluate your current situation and try to locate the problem that is overwhelming you. Deal with it and this dream should go away.

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Ten Worst Foods

1. Artery Crust

Judging by the label, Stouffer’s Satisfying Servings (16 oz) White Meat Chicken Pot Pie has “only” 590 calories, 13 grams of saturated fat, and 930 mg of sodium. But those numbers are for only half a pie. Eat the entire pie, as many people do, and you’re talking 1,180 calories, 26 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,860 mg of sodium (over a day’s worth).

2. Triple Bypass

Can’t decide what to pick from a restaurant menu? No worries. Now you can order not just one entrée, but two… or three… all at once.Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy – Homemade Lasagna, Lightly Breaded Chicken Parmigiana, and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo – comes with 1,450 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat, and 3,830 milligrams of sodium. Add a breadstick (150 calories and 400 mg of sodium) and a plate of Garden-Fresh Salad with dressing (350 calories and 1,930 mg of sodium) and you’ll consume almost 2,000 calories (an entire day’s worth) and 6,160 mg

3. Salt’s On!

On average, a cup ofCampbell’s Condensed soup has 760 mg of sodium. That’s half a day’s worth … assuming you eat only one of the 2½ servings that the label says the can makes. Campbell’s Healthy Request and Select Harvest, Progresso Reduced Sodium, and Healthy Choice slash the sodium to the 400s. Look for lower sodium lines in the 100s to 300s by Amy’s, Imagine Foods, Pacific Natural Foods, and Tabatchnick.

4. Tortilla Terror

Interested in a Chipotle Chicken Burrito (tortilla, rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa)? Think of its 970 calories, and 18 grams of saturated fat as three 6-inch Subway BLT Classic Subs! Skipping the cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 6 grams, but you still end up with 750 calories and more than a day’s worth of sodium. Yikes!

5. Factory Reject

People don’t expect light desserts at The Cheesecake Factory. But the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake kicks things up a notch. If it weren’t served on its side, this one would stand over six inches tall. And upright or not, the slab of cake still weighs in at three-quarters of a pound. What do you get for all that heft? Just 1,760 calories and 2½ days’ worth of saturated fat (50 grams), mostly from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.

6. Burial Grands

No one thinks of cinnamon rolls as health food. But each Pillsbury Grands! Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll with Icing has 310 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat plus 2½ grams of trans fat (more than a day’s worth) and 5 teaspoons of sugar. Companies are dumping their partially hydrogenated oils left and right, yet Pillsbury still makes most of its rolls and biscuits with the stuff.

7. Transgression

“Excellent source of ALA Omega 3,” declares the Land O’Lakes Margarine box. Who knew that Land O’Lakes stick margarine was so heart healthy? It isn’t. Each tablespoon of the spread has 2½ grams of trans fat (more than an entire day’s limit) and 2 grams of saturated fat. And beware of other trans-filled sticks by Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Country Crock, and Fleischmann’s. At least those brands don’t imply that a bit of ALA outweighs the harm caused by the margarine’s trans and saturated fat. Shopping tip: Look for tub margarines – most have little or no trans fat.

8. Starbucks on Steroids

The Starbucks Venti (20 oz) White Chocolate Mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. It’s worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Few people have room in their diets for the 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat that this hefty beverage supplies. But you can lose 130 calories and almost two-thirds of the bad fat if you order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

9. Extreme Ice Cream

An average halfcup serving ofHäagen-Dazs ice creamsqueezes half-a-day’s saturated fat and a third-of-a-day’s cholesterol into your artery walls and makes a nearly 300-calorie down-payment on your next set of fat cells – if you can stop at a petite half-cup!

10. Stone Cold

Cold Stone Creamery’s Oh Fudge! shake(chocolate ice cream, milk, and fudge syrup) starts at 1,250 calories for the “Like It” (16 oz) size. That’s more than a large (32 oz) McDonald’s McCafe Chocolate Triple Thick Shake. The “Love It” (20 oz) has 1,660 calories and the “Gotta Have It” (24 oz) reaches 1,920 calories (just about an entire day’s worth) and 69 grams of saturated fat (3½ days’ worth). That’s the saturated fat content of two 16 oz T-bone steaks plus a buttered baked potato, all blended into a handy 24 oz cup.

 

Ten Best Foods

1. Sweet Potatoes

A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

2. Mangoes

Just one cup of mango supplies 100% of a day’s vitamin C, one-third of a day’s vitamin A, a decent dose of blood-pressure-lowering potassium, and 3 grams of fiber. Bonus: mango is one of the fruits least likely to have pesticide residues.

3. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt has a pleasant tartness that’s a perfect foil for the natural sweetness of berries, bananas, or your favorite breakfast cereal. It’s strained, so even the fat-free versions are thick and creamy. And the lost liquid means that the yogurt that’s left has twice the protein of ordinary yogurt – about 17 grams in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt.

4. Broccoli

It has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K and folic acid. Steam it just enough so that it’s still firm and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a spritz of lemon juice.

5. Wild Salmon

The omega-3 fats in fatty fish like salmon can help reduce the risk of sudden-death heart attacks. And wild-caught salmon has less PCB contaminants than farmed salmon.

6. Crispbreads

Whole-grain rye crackers, like Wasa, Kavli, and Ryvita — usually called crispbreads — are loaded with fiber and often fat-free. Drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.

7. Garbanzo Beans

All beans are good beans. They’re rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. But garbanzos stand out because they’re so versatile. Just drain, rinse, and toss a handful on your green salad; throw them into vegetable stews, curries, and soups; mix them with brown rice, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, or other whole grains.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is a heavyweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of lycopene for only 80 fat-free, salt-free calories. And when they’re in season, watermelons are often locally grown, which means they may have a smaller carbon footprint than some other fruits.

9. Butternut Squash

Steam a sliced squash or buy peeled, diced butternut squash at the supermarket that’s ready to go into the oven, a stir-fry, or a soup. It’s an easy way to get lots of vitamins A and C and fiber.

10. Leafy Greens

Don’t miss out on powerhouse greens like kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. These stand-out leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lutein, and fiber. Serve with a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

 

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cross roadI am amazed at how many educational websites will give parents and teachers ideas about teaching preschool children to safely cross the road by themselves!!!! Most children are simply not mature enough to cross the road by themselves before the age of 10, I would say 8 at the very youngest.

I believe that the most important traffic safety we can teach our young children is to hold their parent’s or caregivers hands while crossing the street. I have a two year old who often refuses to hold my hand while crossing the street so I know this can be a hard concept to teach! Children at this age crave independence and often act on impulse. And they simply do not understand the consequence of being hit by a car.

One activity that is likely to be helpful in teaching your child this concept is to gather up toys such as cars, little people and traffic lights and signs. If you do not have these types of toys draw or print off clip arts of these objects.

Choose a time when your child is relaxed and playful and set up your traffic scene together. Talk about the cars driving on the road, the cars stopping at a stop sign or light and then have your ‘people’ walk across the ‘street’ holding hands. Be sure to emphasize that you and your child walk across the street it is important that he holds your hand.

Play this game often to help your children remember to hold a grownups hand while crossing the street.

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forms_of_bullying_mind_map

8 Kidpower Skills We Can Use Right Away

Written by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director


 

Most harm caused by bullying is preventable! This article is from Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe, our bullying solutions book used by many families, schools, and youth organizations to protect and empower their kids.

Unfortunately, bullying is a major problem in many schools and communities. Bullying prevention skills can protect kids from most bullying, increase their confidence, and help them to develop positive peer relationships. Here are some practices you can work on with the young people in your life now.

1. Walking with Awareness, Calm, Respect, and Confidence

People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.

Show your child the difference between being passive, aggressive, and assertive in body language, tone of voice and choice of words. Have your child walk across the floor, coaching her or him to be successful, by saying for example; “That’s great!” “Now take bigger steps”, “Look around you” “Straighten your back.” etc.

2. Leaving in a Powerful, Positive Way

The best self-defense tactic is called “target denial,” which means “don’t be there.” Act out a scenario where maybe your child is walking in the school corridor (or any other place where he or she might bullied). You can pretend to be a bully standing by the wall saying mean things. Ask your child what these mean things might be because what is considered insulting or upsetting is different for different people, times, and places.

Coach your child to veer around the bully in order to move out of reach. Remind your child to leave with awareness, calm and confidence, glancing back to see where the bully is. Let your child practicing saying something neutral in a normal tone of voice like “See you later!” or “Have a nice day!” while calmly and confidently moving away. Point out that stepping out of line or changing seats is often the safest choice.

3. Setting a Boundary

If a bully is following or threatening your child in a situation where she or he cannot just leave, your child needs to be able to set a clear boundary.

Pretend to poke your child in the back (do this very gently; the idea is not to be hurtful). Coach your child to turn, stand up tall, put his or her hands up in front of the body like a fence, palms out and open, and say “Stop!”.

Coach your child to have a calm but clear voice and polite firm words- not whiney and not aggressive. Show how to do it and praise your child for trying -even though she or he does not get it right to begin with. Realize that this might be very hard and triggering for your child (and maybe for you too).

Children need support to learn these skills. The idea is that your child takes charge of his or her space by moving away and, if need be, setting boundaries as soon as a problem is about to start – so that your child doesn’t wait until the bullying is already happening.

4. Using Your Voice

If your child does get into a situation where somebody is trying to push or hit or knuckle her or his head, you could practice by holding your child gently and acting as if you are going to do the action gently. Coach your child to pull away and yell NO! really loudly. Coach him or her to say “STOP! I don’t like that!” Coach your child to look the bully in the eyes and speak in a firm voice with both hands up and in front like a fence. Teach your child to leave and go to an adult for help.

5. Protecting Your Feelings From Name-Calling

Schools, youth groups, and families should create harassment-free zones just as workplaces should. However, you can teach children how to protect themselves from insults. Tell your child that saying something mean back makes the problem bigger, not better.

One way to take the power out of hurting words by is saying them out loud and imagining throwing them away. Doing this physically and out loud at home will help a child to do this in his or her imagination at school.

Help your child practice throwing the mean things that other people are saying into a trash can. Have your child then say something positive out loud to himself or herself to take in. For example, if someone says, “I don’t like you, ” you can throw those words away and say, “I like myself.” If someone says, “You are stupid” you can throw those words away and say, “I’m smart.” If someone says, “I don’t want to play with you” then you can throw those words away and say, “I will find another friend.”

6. Speaking Up for Inclusion

Being left out is a major form of bullying. Exclusion should be clearly against the rules at school. A child can practice persisting in asking to join a game.

Pretend to be a bully who wants to exclude.

Have your child walk up and say, “I want to play.” Coach your child to sound and look positive and friendly, not whiny or aggressive.

Ask your child the reasons that kids give for excluding him or her. Use those reasons so your child can practice persisting. For example, if the reason is, “You’re not good enough,” your child can practice saying “I’ll get better if I practice!” If the reason is, “There are too many already,” your child might practice saying, “There’s always room for one more.” If the reason is, “You cheated last time,” your child might practice saying, “I did not understand the rules. Let’s make sure we agree on the rules this time.”

7. Being Persistent in Getting Help

Children who are being bullied need to be able to tell teachers, parents, and other adults in charge what is happening in the moment clearly and calmly and persistently even if these adults are very distracted or rude – and even if asking for help has not worked before. Learning how to have polite firm words, body language and tone of voice even under pressure and to not give up when asking for help is a life-long skill.

We have found that practice is helpful for both children and adults in learning how to persist and get help when you need it. Here is one you can do with your child.

Pretend to be a teacher or someone else who your child might expect help and support from. Tell your child who you are pretending to be and where you might be at school. Have your child start saying in a clear calm voice, “Excuse me I have a safety problem.”

You pretend to be busy and just ignore your child! Coach him or her to keep going and say: “Excuse me, I really need your help.”

Act irritated and impatient and say, “Yes. what is it now?” and keep being busy.

Coach your child to say something specific like, “The girls over there are calling me names and not letting me play with them. I have told them I don’t like being called names and that I want to play but they won’t listen. ” or “Those boys keep coming up and pushing me. I have tried to stay away from them but they keep coming up to me and won’t leave me alone.” At school, teachers want children to try to solve their problems first. However, adult intervention is needed if this does not work.

You say: “That’s nice!” as if you heard but did not actually listen. This is very common for busy adults.

Coach your child to touch your arm and keep going “Please, to listen to me this is important”. Now you get irritated and say “Can’t you see I’m busy!?”

Tell your child that sometimes adults get angry and don’t understand but not to give up in asking for help and to say the specific problem again: “I do not feel safe here because (state specific problem again) ______________.”

You minimize and say: “What’s the big deal? Just stay away from them.”

Coach your child to persistent and say again, “Having this happen is making me feel bad about going to school. Please, I really need you to listen.”

Now change your demeanor so that your child can see you are listening and understanding and say “Oh! I am sorry I yelled at you and I am glad you are telling me. Tell me more and we will figure out what to do.”

Remind your child that, if the adult still does not listen, it is not his or her fault, but to keep asking until someone does something to fix the problem. Tell your child to please always tell you whenever she or he has a problem with anyone anywhere anytime. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of adults to create safe environments for the children in their lives and to be good role-models for our children by acting as their advocates in powerful respectful ways.

8. Using Physical Self-Defense as a Last Resort

Children need to know when they have the right to hurt someone to stop that person from hurting them. At Kidpower, we teach that fighting is a last resort – when you are about to be harmed and you cannot leave or get help.

However, bullying problems are often not as clear-cut as other personal safety issues. Families have different rules about where they draw the line. Schools will often punish a child who fights back unless parents warn the school in writing ahead of time that, since the school has not protected their children, they will back their children up if they have to fight.

Learning physical self defense helps most children become more confident, even if they never have to use these skills in a real-life situation. Just being more confident helps children to avoid being chosen as a victim most of the time. There are different self defense techniques for bullying than for more dangerous situations — let your child practice a self defense move like kicking someone in the shins, pinching someone’s leg or upper arm, or hitting someone in the chest. You can practice in the air or by holding a sofa cushion. Consider sending your child to a class like Kidpower.

– About the Author

Kidpower Founder Irene van der Zande has been featured as a child safety expert by USA Today, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young PeopleBullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safeand the Kidpower Safety Comics series. Kidpower is a non-profit organization established in 1989 that has protected over two million people of all ages and abilities from bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence locally and around the world. Services include in-person workshops in California and other locations, an extensive free on-line Library, affordable publications, and consulting. Please contact safety@kidpower.org for more information.

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“Cyber bullying” is defined as a young person tormenting, threatening, harassing, or embarrassing another young person using the Internet or other technologies, like cell phones.

The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyber bullying are similar to those of real-life bullying. The difference is, real-life bullying often ends when school ends. For cyber bullying, there is no escape. And, it’s getting worse. Read on to get the facts.

  1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
  2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online.
  3. Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.
  4. 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.
  5. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
  6. 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop.
  7. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
  8. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
  9. About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once.
  10. About 75% have visited a website bashing another student.
  11. Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.

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