Do you Know How to Keep Your Children Safe Online?

By Jesse Weinberger

What exactly do kids DO online?
Your 9 year old daughter is “quietly playing” on the internet in her bedroom. Your 14 year-old son is talking to his virtual army platoon via his Xbox Live videogame. Your 7 year-old son is battling other villages on his IPod Touch or IPad while playing Clash of Clans or Minecraft. Your 17-year old grandson is constantly taking photos and texting (sometimes during family meals).

Other than the texting during dinner example (which is equal parts disrespectful and infuriating), these scenarios seem fairly benign. Would it surprise you to know that every of these examples are wrought with potential risks?

Internet: Gateway to the World
Having access to the Internet is a necessary part of a modern child’s life. Global accessibility is what makes the Internet so incredibly useful and powerful, but it is also the very thing that makes it so potentially dangerous to a child.

Anytime children use a device which is Internet connected (laptop, tablet, gaming console, cell phone, camera, IPod Touch, etc.), you are inviting the entire universe into your home. You might as well go to bed with all of your windows and your front door wide open.

Playing quietly in the bedroom
Children should never have computers in their bedrooms, particularly if the laptop or computer has a webcam attached. Children as old as 13 years should be using devices in a public space in the home.  Cyberbullying and sexual predation flourish in the dark. You should be able to read over your child’s shoulder without her seeing you coming. Moreover, make it clear that you have the right and the responsibility to review and overrule her behavior at any time.

Online and LIVE Gaming
Consoles like Xbox Live, which encourage playing with friends via an Internet connection, have the potential to connect strangers to your child. There have been many cases of attempted abductions after a child (thinking he is playing against another child) arranges to meet an online playmate IRL (in real life).  Sexual predators groom these children over months and months, use voice modulators to make them sound young, and get to know your child before proposing an IRL meeting.

Gaming apps and the very young
Parents often make the mistake of providing their very young children (4-10) with Wi-Fi enabled devices such as an IPad or IPod Touch. There is a game called Clash of Clans, which is currently popular among this younger set. The game itself is quite benign: you build clans and cities and stage great battles. One of the main features of the game (building a clan) is open chat with clan mates.  Young children are being asked for their address and personal information via this chatting feature. These children do not have the emotional or intellectual maturity to understand that their “clan mate” may want to do them harm.

Photos, sexting, and long-term impact
Sexting has become an enormous problem with children as young as 11 years old sending provocative and naked photos of themselves to friends. Our current generation of parents cannot relate to child pornography in any way. Just know that these children perceive these photos as “no big deal.” They do not understand that a child can be charged with creation of child pornography even when the photo is of himself. If that child sends that photo to a friend, he can be then charged with distribution of child pornography. Make no mistake, children are being charged and prosecuted as felons as a result of sexting. High school and college students have lost scholarships and college acceptances as a result.  Some of these children have even been listed on child sex predator registries.

What to do?
As a parent, your single line of defense is education. In order to monitor effectively you must become educated in the devices, apps, and risks that your child is facing on a daily basis. The web offers infinite possibilities for education, socialization, and outreach; just make sure that your child is traveling through every part of her/his world safely.

Jesse Weinberger, www.overnightgeekuniversity.com/women/

 

Counseling & Neurofeedback – Enriching Your Life Without Medication

By Thomas Collura, Ph.D., QEEG-D, BCN, NCC, LPC-CR & Christen H. Stahl, NCC, LPC-CR

Some parents don’t want to put their children on medication, but what else can they do?

At the Brain Enrichment Center, we use non-invasive interventions that teach the brain to work more efficiently without medication. Neurofeedback or brainwave training has been used by licensed clinicians for brain relaxation training for a myriad of symptoms and performance improvement for decades. Over the past 30 years, evidence based research studies have confirmed the validity and credibility of neurofeedback for mental health related conditions such as ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles like anger, behavior issues, and difficulty dealing with stress or brain injury. When brainwave activity is dysregulated, or is not within the normal ranges, various types of psychological and behavioral manifestations or inconsistent performance occur. For example, when a child has difficulty learning in school, it may not be that they don’t care enough, but that important locations within the brain are not properly communicating. Another example is the adult who worries constantly. They may have too much fast brainwave activity that doesn’t allow them to calm down. These examples involve an inflexible and inefficiently working brain. Many turn to medication, which controls how the brain operates. Neurofeedback empowers clients to control their own brain function.

The brain has the power to learn, change, and heal. Neurofeedback, education for your brain, helps you learn how to self-regulate and become flexible, allowing the brain to more efficiently use its resources. A brain with greater flexibility has the capacity to more healthily adapt to challenging life situations and improve optimal mental performance.

Many mental health problems are seen as dysregulation in EEG activity and related to chronic stress, trauma and learned responses. Neurofeedback or EEG Biofeedback teaches relaxation and self-regulation and can help you learn important new skills and/or improve the skills you already possess. Clients often report feeling clearer, more energetic, more focused, yet notice an inner calmness. Learning brain training is as easy as riding a bike.

Contact Brain Enrichment Center at 440.232.9100 or visit www.brainenrichmentcenter.com

Why Choose a Midwife?

By Susan Hudson, MSN, CNM, Owner of Wellspring

Midwifery as practiced by certifi ed nurse-midwives (CNMs®) encompasses a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence beyond menopause. These services include primary care, gynecologic and family planning services, preconception care, care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, and care of the normal newborn during the first 28 days of life. Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

CNMs are educated in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. They earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and pass a national certifi cation examination administered by the American Midwifery Certifi cation Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM.

For Pregnancy:
1. CNMs have low rates of Cesarean Sections.
2. CNMs have high rates of successful VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
3. CNMs are highly skilled in labor support and non-pharmacological comfort measures.
4. CNMs may also offer pain medication in labor, including epidurals.
5. CNMs work toward creating a safe and satisfying birth experience for women, with minimal intervention unless it is medically necessary.
6. CNMs offer holistic, family-centered care.

For Gynecologic Care:
7. CNMs can diagnose and treat many common health care problems including vaginal infections.
8. CNMs are knowledgeable about birth control methods and can help women find the best method for them.
9. CNMs focus on patient education and spend time during each visit to provide information and allow time to answer questions.
10. CNMs consider the patient as partner-in-care and provide
individualized, patient
centered care.

Why Choose Wellspring?
At WellSPRing, we believe that everyone has a right to safe, satisfying care
with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. We support each woman’s right to self-determination, to complete information, and to active participation in her health care. We believe that the normal processes of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, support and advocacy. We believe that clients are partners in their care, be it obstetrical or gynecologic.

At WellSPRing, you will learn about how to prepare for your birth, about the natural history of labor, and about the strength of the human spirit. You will be encouraged to trust your instincts and use them to enhance your care. You will be taught the value of gentle, family centered birth options.

At WellSPRing, we also provide a wide scope of services beyond prenatal care and childbirth. We offer well woman care throughout the lifespan. We can provide contraceptive counseling, annual exams and Pap smears, gynecological exams and treatment, menopause and perimenopause counseling, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment. In addition, we love to help women do whatever is possible to protect their health futures.

At WellSPRing, we often refer to other providers for care. Your condition may be enhanced by the skills of a massotherapist, a chiropractor, a medical doctor, an acupuncturist, a naturopathic doctor, a homeopathic doctor, or any of many other varieties of provider. We strive to be knowledgeable about our colleague providers so that we are better able to direct you to the one(s) that fi t your need when your need is out of our scope.

At WellSPRing, we keep on dreaming. We have, in our plans, a women’s resource center as well as a birth center. Did you know that while in 2010, 95% of midwife attended births were in a hospital setting, almost 3% were in a birth center? This is an exciting part of the future of WellSPRing; one that we are continuously driving toward. You can anticipate hearing more about these projects by the end of this year!


ANGRY or FRUSTRATED By Your Dogs Behavior?

“Vacation, winner, surprise,” these words are music to our ears. These next words, not so pleasing to the ear, “work week, flu season, housework.” What this has to do with your dog? Everything. Imagine your dog having learned to become anxious, fearful, or defiant based on hearing certain words and how they are spoken. The result can be the exact opposite of what you wanted. If this has happened to you, read on.

At Paramount Dog Training, we have provided dog behavior modification and training for 15 years. The need for our help is based solely on how owners unintentionally communicate commands inconsistently to their dogs. Also, in what we fail to do to make sure the dogs mind is calm and receptive. The result is a frustrated dog AND owner.

Research the Breed Before Bringing Home
My journey into this profession began 15 years ago with an impulse adoption of a Siberian Husky. Not understanding the needs of the breed, I made every mistake possible and paid the price. Soiled carpets, chewed wood furniture, “dog at large” fines from the dog warden. Out of shear frustration, I took the dog to a trainer to prove that I had a dog with no IQ or train-ability. Oh was I surprised. Not only did the dog demonstrate his ability to follow commands immediately, I was made to realize I failed to fulfi ll any of the needs that would make him balanced.

It went like this: Husky’s need exercise. Lack of exercise equaled pent up energy and chewed furniture. Chewed furniture made me angry. Anger caused him to soil on site when he saw me. Confining him to stop the chewing equaled more pent up energy. This of course resulted in him running away. This started the cycle all over again. I became so focused on my rebel of a dog, I never even thought it was lack of things on my part. There is help!

THE FIX OF BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS ARE SIMPLE, DAILY RITUALS.

  1. A tired mind is a calm mind. Walk, bike, or run your dog to burn the energy that interferes with focus.
  2. You lead, the dog will follow or dog leads and you will follow. Ask yourself what you do every day to show the dog that you love them? Now ask what you do every day to show that you lead them? We follow people due to their title or pay grade; dogs do not.
  3. Teach the dog what a command means; don’t assume they know it.
  4. Say the command only one time, then immediately praise them or guide them for failure. Dog’s cannot count, but every time they hear “come” and are not moving toward you, in their mind, that is what come means. Same with sit.
  5. Have a four-foot drag leash on the dog indoors. If the dog fails a command, you can physically guide them to comply.
  6. Praise the specific command, “good sit,” “good stay.” Saying “good boy” or “good Fido” is too general.
  7. Training. Simply put, unless you obedience train a dog, how do you expect them to be obedient. English is not the dog’s primary language. By controlling what is important to the dog, you control the dog. This includes food, affection, the walk.

A comprehensive, evaluation of your dog will tell us exactly what we need to bring calm balance to your home. The approach to training will be based on trainability, temperament, and issues of the dog.

Paramount Dog Training has been serving since 1999, with four certified trainers to help bring calmness to your home. We will train any age, breed or behavior problem. We have private, group and puppy classes. Once you have an obedient dog, you will never go back! Serving Cuyahoga, Medina and surrounding counties.

 

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution a Success

At the onset of each new calendar year, adults across the globe make resolutions for the year ahead. These resolutions are made to ensure the next 12 months are healthy and happy ones.

But as well-intentioned as New Year’s resolutions can be, they’re often less than successful and might even prove counter productive to those who don’t fulfill their resolutions. According to a recent British study conducted by researchers at of questions about their New Year’s resolutions, 78% failed to fulfill their resolutions. Failing to achieve a resolution can be dispiriting, and such a failure can make men and women feel worse about themselves than they did prior to making the resolution.

What is a person to do to make a resolution a success? Though there are no guarantees when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there are steps men and women can take to increase the likelihood that their resolutions will prove successful.

• Be certain about your motives. The motives behind a resolution should be strong and unquestionable. If the motive is weak, the chances of failure increase. Before making a resolution, examine your motives. Gain an understanding of why it is important to you to make this change and if you think you can commit to the change for the next 12 months
and the years ahead. If you don’t fully understand why you’re doing something, you’re less likely to keep doing it.

• Only make one resolution. Change is never easy, especially when it comes to our habits. Making several resolutions makes it harder to achieve any of them, as it will require making several changes all at once. Instead, make just one resolution and then devote your full focus to making it a success.

• Be specific when setting goals. Perhaps the most popular resolution is to lose weight. But one of the reasons many people are unsuccessful when they resolve to lose weight is they aren’t specifi c enough. For example, losing one pound can be considered weight loss, but men and women who want to lose weight as their New Year’s resolution almost certainly want to lose more than a single pound. When making a resolution, be very specific (i.e., lose 20 lbs.) and set periodic goals (5 lbs. by the end of the first month) to give you something smaller to push for as you pursue the bigger goal.

• Report to a spouse or significant other. Another reason many resolutions fail is because there’s no watchdog to monitor progress or regression. When making a resolution, enlist the help of your spouse or significant other to hold you accountable. If you are single, make this person someone you won’t want to disappoint, such as a sibling, so you’re more motivated along the way.

• Make it a daily project. A New Year’s resolution should provide daily opportunities to make progress. There should be things you can do every day to make your resolution a success. A popular New Year’s resolution is to save money. This should be easy to pull off,
as men and women have opportunities each and every day to save money, including bringing their lunch to work instead of going out for lunch. If there’s something you can do every day to make the resolution a success, it’s more likely to quickly become part of your
routine, making it easier to achieve as a result.

Parenting Tips!

As you watch your children grow up, you can’t help but be proud of the independent young people they are becoming; as they start middle school or high school. But you may still worry or wonder if they are handling major changes in their lives in a healthy way.

Your child or teen is going through many changes right now BUT be aware of the warning signs that could indicate a serious issue.

SIGNS: Extreme weight gain/loss, Falling grades, Signs of drug/alcohol use, Refusal to attend school, Drastic changes in personality, Talk or jokes about suicide.

BULLYING: The issue of bullying in school is much more complex now than in the past.
While scuffles on the playground still exist, bullying today is much harder to detect and can be even more damaging. Behavior like: gossiping/cattiness, the “mean girls” trend, constant harassment via phone or internet (cyber-bullying).

BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS: You as a parent had primary control over whom your child associated with when they were young. Now the responsibility of building independent friendships lies solely on your teen. Do they have the skill to recognize a healthy versus unhealthy friendship? Do they know when it is time to end friendships that aren’t working anymore?

ACADEMIC STRUGGLES: Do you hear your child or teen say “I’m bored in class” or “I just don’t understand this subject”? Get your child or teen on the right track this new school year. Academic testing can help parents and students shed light on a wide range of potential learning or developmental issues. • Dyslexia • Giftedness • ADD/ADHD

MANAGING TRANSITIONS: Teens experience various challenges as they are transitioning to middle school, high school or college; dealing with intimidation from older students, fitting in or being perceived as “cool,” taking on more responsibilities. Help your teen learn healthy ways to deal with these types of stressors and what you can do as a parent to ease this transition.

Being a young adult is harder than ever today and so many parents feel helpless or at a loss as to how to help their child or teen succeed. Avenues of Counseling and Mediation, LLC can give you guidance as a parent and help your child or teen learn how to gain a sense of self and make good decisions.