Book Review: Kindness Wins- Accountability Rules

kindness-wins-final-cover copyI consider myself a pretty internet-savvy adult. I use it for work and for play. I even consult others on how to use social media for business promotion. Then I read Galit Breen’s book Kindness Wins. I felt pretty smug when I picked up the book, like I was going to read some common-sense strategies that any internet-savvy person would conclude for themselves. Boy was I wrong.

I am no stranger to cruel comments. Something about the anonymity of the internet just inspires fighting. I get that. I’ve seen that. I’ve tried to keep myself in check when it comes to my own responses to that.

What I didn’t know, hit me right in the face. In Kindness Wins, Breen showed me that I didn’t know how teens were using social media. Yes, they post a ton of selfies and yes they engage with their friends. However, there’s a big part of their social interaction that is tied to belonging. Belonging is #3 on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

kindness-wins-important-conversations-to-have-with-kids-pinThe need to belong is felt most strongly at preteen through high school. In the preteen years kids start to shift from their family’s influence being the most important to the influence of their friends holding the most weight. What Breen Shows us in her book is how this feeling of belonging transfers from face-to-face interactions at school, the notorious lunch table, and social gatherings, over to social media.

I was shocked to learn about how adolescents use pictures and tagging to include or exclude people from certain friend circles. The judgement in these posts are harsh. Much harsher, I think, because over the internet children are not faced with the emotional reactions of those who are left out. Without having to contend with the real and emotional consequences kids can lose their kindness filter. This is where parents come in.

In Kindness Wins, Breen walks the reader through many scenarios with real life examples
to share with children. She also encourages the parent to self check their own behavior and to talk with their peers about internet kindness. We don’t have to be a nasty culture of anonymous bullying.  It starts with us. Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair tells us in her book The Big Disconnect that by middle school, children need to know how to use technology appropriately. And it’s up to us, as parents, to teach children that appropriateness. With Breen’s Book we can do that with purpose. Kindness Wins is not only informative, but it also acts as a hands-on workbook for parents with real tips and examples we can apply to our conversations now. Buy it HERE

Breen is right. Kindness does matter. In the end, it’s all that matters. I love that Breen helps each of us take responsibility in the parts that we play. After all, we can only control our own behavior. Let’s start today.

For More about Galit Breen you can find her on TheseLittleWaves.Com

headshot for websoteBonnie Jean Feldkamp is a Freelance Writer on Parenting Topics. Find her on Twitter @WriterBonnie on Facebook.com/WriterBonnie and on Pinterest.com/WriterBonnie

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Lullabies & Love Songs

Lullabies are love songs to our kids. We hear them in the Disney movies and on the Spotify Lullaby Playlist. We love the classics and who can resist this Alison Krauss version of Baby Mine?

But, We also love those pop songs that bend in our minds and make us think of our kids. The following songs are some of my favorite songs that make me choke up when they play on the radio and make me think of my kids.

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1. Kimya Dawson –  Loose Lips (From the Juno Sountrack)

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2. Coldplay – Fix You

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3. Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

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4. I Hope you Dance

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5. Sugarland – Little Miss

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6. Pink – Please Don’t Leave Me- this one more reminds me of a teenager rebelling and singing for her parent.

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7. The Dixie Chicks – Yes, we all know they wrote God Speed and Lullaby for their babies. But before that, on their Wide Open Spaces Album, there was this song and it’s still one of my favorites. I’ll Take Care of You

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8. Jason Mraz – Beautiful Mess

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9. Fun – Carry On

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10. KT Tunstall – Heal Over

Two Ways Evolution Screwed Humans in Childbirth

article-2299445-18EB2E07000005DC-338_306x423In some ways, humans have it better than other mammals when it comes to having babies.

We can control (most of the time) whether or not we want to become pregnant. If assistance and/or drugs are desired for labor and delivery, they are available to us.  A newborn giraffe doesn’t have the luxury of assistance. He drops six feet from mom’s womb to the ground. Ker-Plop!

Think about water mammals like dolphins and manatees. At least a human baby doesn’t have to nurse under water. In this video we see the bubbles escape from the baby’s nose as she exhales with her gulps, but she must swim to the surface to inhale her next breath. It’s really cool to watch!

In other ways, humans definitely have it worse than other mammals.

1. Morning sickness is a pregnancy symptom exclusive to humans. This is one way we’ve been screwed by evolution. Humans have a relatively dangerous diet. It seems that food aversions women experience are usually to the most risky foods in our diet. According to a Cornell University Study “nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is beneficial by expelling such foods as meat and strong-tasting vegetables that historically and still may contain harmful toxins and microorganisms.” This symptom typically happens in the first trimester when the fetus is most vulnerable. So, though unpleasant, this is the body’s way of protecting the fetus from potentially harmful food-borne bacteria, parasites, and toxins.

More details on that study here.

Woman in Labor2. Labor and delivery for a first-time human mother averages nine hours. For our closest primate relative labor takes two hours. The evolutionary cause is two-fold. First, because we walk erect, our pelvis has added responsibility. To walk erect our pelvis needs to remain somewhat narrow. However, to give birth we need wider hips. A woman’s pelvis is wider than a man’s which gives her a little sway in her gait, but it’s not as wide as it could be if humans still walked on all fours.

Secondly, our babies are born large yet physically inept. Most mammals are born at 3% the size of the mother. Humans, however, are 6% of their mother’s size at birth. This makes for an arduous labor.

Al in swingIn utero, our energy goes to brain development. Studies even show the extra cushion of fat an infant has at birth is to support the baby’s brain development. The chubby physique is to make sure the body has good fat in reserves to support further brain development after birth. Other mammals are born skinny in comparison. If humans were to have a gestation period comparable to other mammals, a woman would carry a child for 23 months in utero. Instead, a fetus is carried for as long as possible (9 months) then delivery happens just before the fetus’ head grows too large to pass through the birth canal.

Even then, 1/1000 births are delivered surgically (*via cesarean) because the baby’s head it too big. This requires our infants to depend on mom much longer that other mammals do after birth. More details found here.

*Yes, there are many other reasons a baby is delivered via cesarean but this statistic focuses on head size. 

headshot for websoteLike this Post? Follow Bonnie on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her Facebook Page at  www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie  Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two.

3-Ingredient Peach Smoothie

This is one of my favorite smoothies to make. It is great for expectant moms (Dad’s too) and is packed with Folic Acid and Vitamin C and it tastes great. If you’re in the “trying” stage of planning for baby, make sure you serve it to dad, folic acid is important for him to keep his swimmers healthy! Oh, the kids will love it too!

Peach smoothie for MomsThis recipe makes one smoothie

1. Start with the frozen peaches I use about half of a 10oz bag for making one smoothie. Toss those into the blender or food processor. Zap those first, but hold on to the machine while you press the button to start it. The machine will bounce and jump, but you need to reduce the frozen peaches down to little pellets before adding the other ingredients or else you’ll end up with chunky frozen peach soup.

peaches in precessor2. Add one little green container of Activia peach yogurt. Blend

3. Add orange juice little-by-little until you reach the desired consistency.

4. Sometimes I add a little bit of Splenda to the smoothie if I got a less-than-sweet batch or frozen peaches. Taste before you make the final zap and then serve. These are sooooo good!

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