In Preventing Child Abduction, I discuss the importance and challenge of having conversations with your children about safety.
In How to be Satisfied with Less, I offer tips to help you consider the significance and place of material things in your life.
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Preventing Child Abduction
Child abduction is rare, but it does happen. According to the FBI National Crime Information Center, every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted. Fortunately, the majority of missing persons cases are resolved within hours, but many are not.
One of the challenges of being a parent is teaching our children to be alert and cautious as a way of being safe in all aspects of their lives, WITHOUT filling them with fear or anxiety. Just as we talk about water, fire, traffic, vehicle, and physical safety, we need to talk about neighborhood safety.
Although there are always dangers that exist, we lessen the chances that our children will be abducted if we have ONGOING discussions and offer opportunities to practice reinforcing specific guidelines in the context of their overall safety and well being. In doing so, we can teach our children how to be safe in general, and how to help safeguard themselves against abduction.
Sometimes a news report, a story, a TV show, or a neighborhood event will be the catalyst for beginning the conversation, calmly, yet seriously. Or, we may just feel it is the appropriate time.
We can begin the discussion with basic reminder points such as: NEVER:
-- approach a car they don't know;
-- accept candy or gifts from people they don't know;
-- go with a person who asks for the child's help to find a lost dog or another child;
-- go with a person they don't know EVEN if the person calls them by name or indicates they know the child's address;
-- go with a person who says that the child's parent is ill and asked this person to bring the child to them;
Additionally, we can teach children to inform their parents or caregivers where they are going, where they are, and whom they are with; as well as emphasizing the importance of being with a "buddy" when they are in public and to avoid telling strangers their name, address, or personal information.
Some less obvious discussion points have to do with suggestions for what to do if a child is lost. Ask for your child's input and validate his or her ideas whenever possible. Emphasize that if they get lost in a public place, e.g., a store or a mall, they should stay where they are and ask someone who works there to help find their parents. Additionally, we need to tell our children to avoid telling strangers their name or where they live.
In the event that someone makes them feel uncomfortable, teach them to tell an adult they trust, whether a parent, teacher or neighbor. If the situation escalates to where they feel they are being followed, teach them to think about getting away as quickly as possible. Suggest they find places where they know an adult or where there are a lot of people.
If they are being followed by a car, suggest they turn to to run in the opposite direction the car is traveling. If someone tries to lead them away, tell them, to scream "Help!", "I don't know you!", or "Stranger!" You can practice role playing with your children. Suggest that the child do anything to get away. That includes biting, kicking, or punching.
As parents, we must do our best to keep lines of communication open with our children. Regularly, without panic, talk with children about issues related to safety precautions they need to be aware of while at home and in public.
Children are at highest risk of abduction before and after school, which are usually the times when they have least adult supervision. It is important to listen to what our children have to say, because they might not always know how to communicate to us about when they have felt in danger. Finally, If a child does report any suspicious behavior, alert your neighbors and your local authorities immediately.
A Good Daily Habit
If You Cannot Breathe There, You Should Not Be There
In a recent yoga class, while holding a posture, the yoga instructor said, "If you cannot breathe there, you shouldn't be there."
This simple truth applies to so much in life. It can be generalized to our relationships with family and friends, work, and the activities in which we participate. We can remind ourselves to be mindful of our physical responses to situations, paying attention to our breath, and using it as a guide to rearranging, reorienting, rethinking, where we are...metaphorically, physically, and spiritually.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Tips for How to be Satisfied with Less
Many of us accumulate objects over our lifetime, often stuffing them into closets, shelves, attics or basements. We have so much stuff that we don't even remember what we have and if we do remember, and go hunting for a missing item, we can't find it. Ask yourself, Am I holding onto too many possessions?
How much is enough? We will each answer this according to our own background, habits, values, and life. At different points of our lives we will likely respond differently. There are times in our lives when material possessions may be more important than other times. There will be times when we want to free ourselves of some of our "stuff." Worrying or thinking about material things is no longer appealing. There is significant psychological and sociological research in support of the idea that what contributes to sustained happiness is NOT investing in "stuff" but investing in experiences. We can consciously devote focused time, energy, and resources to having experiences that carry significance when we engage as well as after we engage. Our remembering the experience, talking about it, sharing it with others, can have a significantly positive effect on our mood, contributing to a rise in positive feeling. Interestingly,
people thrive when they have a network of close, nurturing relationships, meaningful work and take part in enjoyable and or challenging experiences. Often these experiences reinforce a person's sense of their purpose. Possessions just don't do that.
It is unrealistic to expect that we will stop wanting things. But, it may be worthwhile to consider how our lives would be different (better) if we did not acquiring so much stuff. We may very well find that we get more pleasure from doing than having and in the process, we feel lighter; less encumbered; freer. Often, when people reflect on the past, they are happier when they recall experiences rather than things.
Here are some tips to consider:
Organize Your Space. - "Organize from the inside out" so you can rid yourself of the "emotional and physical weight" of possessions. You may want to read Julie Morgenstern's wonderful book, Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life.
Give People the Gift of Time. - Share time engaged in something special with someone you care about.
Purchasing: Need vs Want. - Think seriously about what you purchase and what your expectations are if and when you "have" this thing.
Photograph Your Experiences. - When you review them you may be able to recreate the positive feeling you had when you were involved originally.
Learn Something New. - Delve into a process of discovering something about which you know little or nothing. Get lost in the knowledge and allow yourself to become intrigued.
TODAY Show (NBC).
Dr. Atkins is a frequent contributor.
Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.
Dr. Atkins comments on breaking news for CNN's HLN. Please check HLNtv.com for updates.
Jumpstart's Scribbles to Novels New York City.
April 17th: 6:30PM. Featured Speakers: The Honorable Cory A. Booker and Tina Fey.
Cipriani Wall Street, New York, NY.
Please click on link for more information and to purchase tickets: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/scribblesnewyork
Driven to Care Conference, April 29th - May 1st.
April 30th: 9-11:30AM and 1-3:30PM, Speaker: Cultivating Happiness.
Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale, AZ
TC Today Magazine
Dr. Atkins is the focus of Work - Life Balance, written by James Reisler. Access PDF of the article at www.drdaleatkins.com.
Topics by Dr. Dale Atkins:
Tips for Getting Along with In-Laws: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Getting-Along-With-In-Laws.htm;
Warning Signs of a Troubled Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-a-Troubled-Marriage.htm;
Issues to Deal with before Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Types-of-Issues-to-Deal-With-Before-Getting-Married.htm;
Warning Signs of Cheating Spouse: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-Cheating-Spouses.htm;
Tips for Maintaining Interfaith Marriages: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Maintaining-Interfaith-Marriages.htm;
Tips for Growing Old Together:
and, Most Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married: http://video.about.com/marriage/Most-Important-Questions-to-Ask-Before-Getting-Married.htm.
Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins
Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Therapeutic
Issues with Recipients of Cochlear Implants,"
in the new text, Psychotherapy With Deaf
Clients From Diverse Groups, Second Edition.
Edited by Irene Leigh, and published by
Gallaudet University Press.
Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Family
Involvement and Counseling in Serving
Children Who Possess Impaired Hearing,"
in the new text, Introduction
to Aural Rehabilitation.
Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by
I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.
My sincere thanks to website developer, Barry Brothers, who, along with Carina Ramirez Cahan, brought vision and positive, creative energy to the site. Do take a look at Barry's work here: http://www.thelimulusgroup.com/bb and consider him for your business, development, design and communication needs.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is filled
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
Once again thank you for continuing to read
and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for
Women to Live a Balanced Life.
WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY
CRISIS IN THIS
COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods in year-long mentoring relationships. Jumpstart's proven curriculum helps children develop the language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.
Please help to spread the word about the mission of Jumpstart and the remarkable strides being made in low income neighborhoods every day. If you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate
www.jstart.org/donate. There is something that every single one of us can do to help those less fortunate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world. Let us eliminate the 2-year achievement gap that exists between children from low income and those from middle income neighborhoods when they begin kindergarten!
to learn more about Jumpstart
initiatives - such as Scribbles to
Novels, April 17th in NYC; We Give Books; and Read for the Record.
"It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer."
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works