Posts By Gavin Griffin

Dictionary Contents : C : Cochlea

Health and Wellness Dictionary: Definition

Dictionary Main | Search | GeoParent Main Page
Health articles | Message boards | Expert Q & A

Snail-shaped structure in the inner ear that contains the organ of hearing.the end

Want more? Click here to search the rest of the GeoParent site for information on Cochlea!

Atlanta Botanical Garden: Green Paradise in the Heart of the City

Atlanta is a beautiful, verdant city. It is also a bustling, fast-moving city, always under construction, which can make it difficult for residents and visitors to appreciate its beauty. One of the best places to make up for this flaw is the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

A healthy place to play

Located on Piedmont Avenue in Midtown Atlanta, the ABG features 15 acres of lush flora and fauna from around the world. Since 1999, families have had a special reason to visit the ABG: the fabulous two-acre Children’s Garden.
The Children’s Garden
Built in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the USA’s largest providers of pediatric health care, the Garden’s focus is on health and wellness for the mind, body and spirit. However, like most memorable educational experiences for children, it is also a lot of fun. The Garden’s theme is “Live, Learn and Laugh,” and children will most certainly do all three.

To access the Children’s Garden, you must cross the Flower Bridge, a gray stone structure lined with rows of planters, which overflow with brightly-colored flowers and multihued foliage, and topped with a great arching trellis covered in flowering vines. Waiting to greet you at bridge’s end is the Green Man, a friendly-faced stone sculpture who doubles as a fountain. Make a left at the Green Man to enter the “Laugh Garden,” and immediately you feel a bit like Alice entering Wonderland, as you find yourself standing under a giant, branching sunflower plant.

Flora, fauna and fun
The Sunflower Sprinkler, as it turns out to be, is one of young Atlanta’s favorite cooling-off spots during the long hot summers. The sprinkler operates from 9 am to 7 pm during the warm months.

Moving into the garden proper, you come face-to-face with a giant caterpillar, whose mouth forms the entrance to the Butterfly Maze. Older children can read signs throughout the maze that detail the life cycle of a butterfly, while younger children enjoy skipping along its twisting paths, through the butterfly turnstile and under the colorful spotted vinyl tunnels that comprise the caterpillar’s body. The maze ends in the Butterfly Pavilion, an airy bower of wrought iron and steel featuring huge butterflies on its gates.

Next is the “Live Garden,” accessed through a stem-shaped tunnel, where visitors find a row of oversized fiberglass flowers. Children can push their pistils to hear information on plants’ roles in providing the air we breathe, then exit the Live Garden down a leaf-shaped slide.

Perhaps unexpectedly in a space devoted to nature and the outdoors, the “Learn Garden” contains literary overtones. A whimsical copper statue of a large frog, seated on a bench reading to a baby frog perched on its knee, enlivens the pathway to Peter Rabbit’s den, a large, hollowed-out tree trunk in which little ones can stop for a rest and a reading of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale. Afterward, they can pass through a white picket fence into Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden and visit his shed for a peek at the giant watering can inside which Peter hid.

Science and nature combined
Next up is the Dinosaur Garden, where a duckbill dinosaur guards a large sandpit. Older children enjoy the challenge of sifting through the sand to find plant fossils, ancestors of the species planted in this area, while younger ones relish the opportunity to get down and dig.

A variety of classes and presentations are offered throughout the year in the nearby amphitheatre. In addition to the Young Sprouts program, for children ages three through five and their parents, the ABG offers a variety of drop-in classes and family programs throughout the year, all of which are free with Garden admission.

In the summertime, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta presents educational seminars with safety themes, teaching kids about natural hazards, like stinging insects and poisonous plants, and environmental concerns, such as smog and asthma.

The theme of living in harmony with nature and the land resounds strongly in the Indian Garden, which features a wattle and daub house, made of branches and mud, and displays Georgia plants used by native peoples for food, medicine and shelter.

A different journey to the past appears next, in Grandma’s Garden. Designed to reflect the 1850s, after Europeans settled in the South, Grandma’s Porch is a throwback to the old days, where you can “sit and rest a spell” on a rocker while appreciating the plants that were once used for food, medicine and decoration back in the day.

Games creatures play
Lest you fear the garden has become too serious, step through Grandma’s door into a garden of quirky painted creatures, such as a pajama-wearing cow busily brushing his teeth, and fantastic machines, like the huge spigot that emits bubbles. Kids can measure themselves against a huge mural of flowers and laugh at their reflections in a series of funhouse mirrors.

Gigantic insects dot the nearby Beehive Meadow, where bees and butterflies hover near the observation beehive (displayed during the warmer months), while a bowler-hat-wearing robin surveys the scene from a distance. Learn about pollination while navigating the stepping stones in front of the beehive, which are arranged in a bisected circle and contain instructions, such as “Buzz three times” and “Flap your wings.”

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
The hustle and bustle of the bees fall away as you walk past, or under, a waterfall en route to the Woodland Treehouse. This multilevel structure, accessed by multiple stairways and exited via a twisting slide, illustrates the life cycle of trees and the balance of nature in woodland habitats.

The rest of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is equally delightful, with winding pathways, eclectic statuary, and of course thousands of plants and trees of all shapes, sizes and colors. Visitors of all ages can appreciate its beauty and serenity, all year round.

For directions, hours, or further information, call (404) 876-5859, or visit end

Homefries & Hashbrowns Food Ideas From the Frugal Mom

With these easy recipes for homefries and hashbrowns, breakfast doesn’t have to be a stressful time of the day! By making these recipes ahead of time and baking or reheating in the microwave, you can have the comfort of homecooked food in a fraction of the time.


Raw potatoes (russets work the best)
Your favorite seasonings

Dice potatoes into cubes, shake in oil and then seasoning that you like: such as salt and pepper, seasoned salt, spicy seasonings, etc.
Bake on a cookie sheet for 400 for 30 minutes or so, checking to see if they are done, but not overdone (remember, you’ll be cooking them again when you reheat them). The closer you put these together, the longer it takes to cook them.
When cool, put the whole cookie sheet into the freezer. When frozen through, scrape them off with your spatula and dump them into ziploc baggies.
To reheat: You can reheat them in the oven at 425 for about 15-20 minutes, or reheat in the microwave (not as crispy). Homefries are a great additional filling to omelets, breakfast burritos, or as a base for those “skillet breakfasts” advertised by Denny’s (which are wonderful!) You could make a very nice skillet breakfast by topping homefries with scrambled eggs, cheese, sauteed veggies, and leftover meats- sliced grilled chicken leftover from dinner, pot roast, etc.

Hashbrowns are very easy to make ahead of time and very versatile. They can be a delicious part of a breakfast casserole as well as a side dish.

Sylvia’s Pretty Quick Potatoes (To Freeze)

3 pounds potatoes (to 5 pounds)

Cut up your potatoes for hashed browns, scald in boiling water 1 minute. When they’re cut up like this, is doesn’t take long! Then drain well, and place them on an absorbent, clean dishtowel. Gently press ALL the remaining water out of the potatoes.
2.Package, label, and freeze.
3.To serve, place the frozen hashed browns in hot grease in a large skillet; cook as usual.

Fancy Hashbrowns

20 lbs baked potatoes, grated with or without peel
5 lbs onion, chopped fine
2 lbs bell pepper, chopped fine
2 dozen eggs, boiled hard, peeled and grated
5 lbs breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled or kielbasa chopped

Mix all ingredients in a huge bowl. I normally freeze this in 5 quart ice cream buckets. Layer wax paper, 2 cups hashbrowns or whatever would make a meal, wax paper, and so forth until you are done. Takes several buckets and I’ve never really counted to see how much it makes but it’s a lot. To cook this I take the frozen hashbrown patty and place it in a nonstick skillet on low with a lid over it for about 20 minutes and then turn the heat up stir and brown. We love it and I really wish I had some made in the freezer right now.

Note: If potatoes start to turn color rinse the starch off. Then pat dry with paper towel and continue.the end

Spare The Rod: Spanking Hurts More than People Think

To spank or not to spank: that is the eternal parental question. Though many people have mixed feelings on the subject, data shows 70 percent of Americans spank their kids. But is it really the best discipline method? No! Michele Borba, EdD, author of No More Misbehavin’: 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them, explains.

Spanking and negative behaviors
Why not spanking, you may be wondering. It’s quick, it’s familiar (at least to parents who were themselves spanked as children) and it usually gets kids to stop the offending behavior — at least temporarily.

On June 27, 2002, The Associated Press released Columbia University’s analysis of six decades of research on corporal punishment. Results linked spanking to 10 negative behaviors including aggression, anti-social behavior and mental health problems. So although many parents are unaware of it, spanking can have long-term negative effects. Plus it doesn’t work that well.

Here are 10 reasons why parents should not spank:

1. Spanking stops misbehavior momentarily. The bad behavior usually resumes because the child doesn’t know how to act differently.

No More Misbehavin
New $12.42!
(Prices May Change)
Privacy Information
2. Spanking teaches the child not how to act right, but how not to get caught when the parent is around. He becomes a champion in manipulation.

3. The child is much more likely to remember the punishment than why he was punished. He behaves out of fear instead of because he wants to act right.

4. It teaches that hitting solves problems. Kids must learn acceptable, nonviolent alternatives to solve problems.

5. Spanking teaches children to behave through “external control” (the punishment). It does not teach kids self-control — or “internal control.”

6. Spanking sends a huge mixed message: “It’s fine for adults to hit, but not kids.”

7. Spanking squelches moral growth. It stops kids from misbehaving because they want to avoid punishment (the lowest level of moral development), not because they want to do what is right.

8. It squelches empathy. Empathy — being considerate to another’s needs and feelings — is the cornerstone of moral growth. Studies find that children’s empathy is diminished when their parents control their kids through anger.

9. Spanking exposes children to violence. Learning comes through example. Spanking is an aggressive act, showing children their parents acting in an out-of-control manner.

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
10. No new is behavior is learned from spanking. Spanking teaches not how to behave right, but how to shout, hit, manipulate, and control others through fear. It also fails to teach a critical discipline lesson: “So why should I behave?”
There are many ways to effectively discipline children without resorting to corporal punishment. Without privileges, ground them, assign extra chores or use time-out. The important thing is to set the consequence ahead of time, make it fit the crime, and then carry through with it every time your child misbehaves. The goal of all discipline is to teach your child to take responsibility for his choices — it’s part of helping him grow into a healthy, self-reliant and decent human being.the end

Foster Children’s Emotional Health

How can you influence your child’s emotional health in a positive way and minimize those emotions known to adversely affect mental and physical health? The following facts go against some of our preconceived notions of child rearing. Yet they certainly demonstrate ways in which emotions influence children.

Self-assured and interested kids
A report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs makes the point that school success is not predicted by a child’s fund of facts or a precocious ability to read so much as by emotional and social measures: being self-assured and interested. Emotion is often a more powerful determinant of behavior than the brain’s logical/rational processes. Advertising research supports this fact by estimating that 80 percent of our buying habits are governed by emotions, not logic.

Invitation to Divinity
New $1.61!
(Prices May Change)
Privacy Information
Emotional state to aim for
Positive emotional states support a relaxed and open stance to life. They help children feel confident and successful, to face life with courage and not fear. Expanded emotional states foster esteem and empowerment — two of the building blocks for fulfilling one’s life task. So although you may not be an eternal optimist, you can foster a positive attitude for yourself. Medical research correlates positivism with good health, strong immune systems, success and favorable interpersonal skills.

Similarly, you can help your children adopt an affirming attitude, even while experiencing the stressful, pressuring nature of the real world. For example, things change, so how your children deal with impermanence will clue you in to their ability to persist in pursuing their goals.

Studies at the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, California, indicate that five minutes of anger biochemically stays in the muscles and organs of your body for six hours. Conversely, five minutes of laughter, humor and joy biochemically anchors in your body for six hours. Such a simple statement makes you think about how you greet your children each morning. What do you say to them? How emotionally open are they as they leave for school in the morning? Just as important, are they emotionally invested in cultivating skills to pursue their dreams?

Be in the flow
An open attitude — plus acceptance, humor, joy — are certainly what you want to help them develop. And there is an emotional state you can hold in your mind as the ideal goal for the flow of life. Just by being mindful of it, you actually enter into the flow and practice moving in and out of it. Once the mindbody system understands what flow feel like, it is easy to return to this state. Says Daniel Goleman in Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More than IQ: “Flow represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performance and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.”

Being in the flow, then, might mean you have an emotional task to focus on. This could be remembering to smile throughout your day. It could be directing your child in an activity like walking the dog, gardening or jogging that will move energy in positive ways. As well, helping your child focus on challenging homework engages flow in persistence and rising to the challenge, eventually elongating into flow states. So do other things that enable happiness: good health, positive self-esteem, and feelings of control, optimism and faith. These particular qualities also correlate with actively participating in healing disease. Why? Because they enable hope rather than beckon fear in the disease process.

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
Emotions are learned
You can choose to respond in new ways, break old reaction habits, re-educate pain and re-pattern emotions that hinder your joy, flow and creative expression. The first major step is to learn to relax. The ability to relax is the base factor to reprogramming emotions.

You can learn and maintain emotional coherence when you feel loved, cared for, and appreciated. Those feelings calm your body; your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure synchronize to the relaxed state. Feeling loved and appreciated also generates relaxation and has physical calming effects for your children as well. This means that love wins out in your home!the end

Healthy Road Trip Snacks and Meals

Taking a long car trip can wreak havoc on your diet. If you don’t plan ahead, it’s very likely you will spend a day living on fast food, candy bars, bags of chips and soda. But we have some healthy tips for your road trip!

Healthy tips
It would be very surprising if you consumed any fruits or vegetables, whole grains or lowfat dairy products. Of course, maybe for one day, this really wouldn’t be a big problem. But, if you’d like to at least try to maintain a healthy diet while you’re on the road, there are several smart choices that travel well and will keep you feeling good on your journey.

Healthy Baby Meal Planner
Used $7.95!
(Prices May Change)
Privacy Information
One thing to keep in mind is to keep yourself hydrated. Bottles of water are inexpensive and can be refilled easily when you stop for gas or rests. On the other side of the coin you’ll probably be walking a thin line between drinking enough water and the need for extra stops! Just find what works best for you.

I’ll usually pack one cooler and one bag for non-refrigerated snacks. It’s also a good idea to throw in some napkins, wet wipes, plastic utensils, and a couple empty plastic shopping bags to use for trash.

Here are my very favorite healthy road foods:
Cleaned and sliced raw vegetables; grape or cherry tomatoes
Apples, oranges, bananas, grapes
Snack size dried fruit (such as raisins)
String cheese
Yogurts in a tube
Roasted soy nuts
Baked, flavored rice or popcorn cakes
Sugar free Jell-O cups / fat-free pudding cups (with plastic spoons)
Reduced fat cookies/crackers
Fruit juice boxes; mini cans of low-sodium V8 juice
Whole wheat bagels with light cream cheese (bring a plastic knife; slice bagels before leaving)
Sandwiches made with lean luncheon meats and lowfat cheese or hummus and fresh spinach
There are so many great choices that my biggest challenge is not bringing too much food! Just keep in mind, that even if you’re driving all day, you probably only need the same number of snacks as you normally would eat, as long as you’re going to eat regular meals, too. Pack up and enjoy!the end

Dictionary Contents : C : Cognition

Health and Wellness Dictionary: Definition

Dictionary Main | Search | GeoParent Main Page
Health articles | Message boards | Expert Q & A

Thinking skills that include perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect, and imagination.the end

Want more? Click here to search the rest of the GeoParent site for information on Cognition!

SciTrek: Atlanta’s Hidden Treasure

SciTrek is, quite simply, one of Atlanta’s best values for a family’s entertainment dollar. Billed as “Georgia’s Technology Adventure,” this highly interactive museum immerses children of all ages in hands-on science, math and technology through a variety of enticing exhibits.

Special fun for little ones
Kids will revel in a place where they can, as the friendly receptionist recently told a guest, “push, pull and touch everything.”

As you move through SciTrek’s brightly-colored open spaces, you will find engaging activities for every family member. Parents of little ones will want to head straight for PlaySpace, an area designed expressly for two-to-seven-year-olds, where the theme of “I Can!” resonates throughout, evidenced by bright hanging banners that delineate each area of exploration.

Kids can act out to their hearts’ content in “I Can Pretend,” which offers a wall of lockers filled with dress-up costumes, as well as a puppet stage and an anchorperson’s desk backed by a weather map. Both the stage and the news set are equipped with a closed-circuit camera and television. Budding scientists can absorb facts about motion, weight and light as they perform various simple experiments in “I Can Explore.”

Little ones are encouraged to experiment with sound in “I Can Make Music,” an enclosed room where they can play a variety of drums, xylophones, tambourines and other percussion instruments; and with water in “I Can Experience,” where they can don smocks and float boats and other aquatic toys down a series of graduated waterways complete with sluices and locks. Other areas in KidSpace include “I Can Create” and “I Can Discover Nature.”

Scientific fun for everyone
Older children will enjoy just as many opportunities to jump in and become part of scientific experiments throughout the rest of SciTrek. In the Simple Machines section, they can stand on an ultrasonic measuring device and hear a futuristic voice straight out of sci-fi state their height.

After becoming a human gyroscope, they can experience for themselves how levers and pulleys work, control the effects of momentum on a spinning machine and hold quiet conversations with friends across the room courtesy of the Whisper Dish system, a set of matching parabolas.

Children 10 and up will appreciate the tricks they experience in the Perception and Illusion area, where exhibits teach about concepts like infinity and peripheral vision, especially the Distorted Room, where they will experience the difference between what the mind sees and what really exists.

In the Color Factory, a popular stop in the section on Light, visitors can either transform their shadow into a variety of colors, or freeze it, courtesy of strobe light flashing against a wall coated with light-sensitive material.

Among various other experiments where kids can control light and electricity and learn the powers and properties of magnets, is the highlight of Electric-Magnetic Junction: the People Power Generator. Energetic participants can climb aboard a stationary bike and see how much power they can generate, as their cycling lights up various icons on a display, representing various household objects such as a hair dryer, a toaster and a television.

Time to get technical
SciTrek’s brand-new Communications Gallery boasts 12 computer stations with Internet access, as well as a set of telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs), arranged so children can experience “talking” on the phone with their eyes and keyboards, instead of with their ears and mouths. They can also see sound, courtesy of the digital and analog voice display units, which graphically depict the differences between their whispers, shouts, giggles and snorts.

A journey to the Red Planet is only a few steps away, in the RoboMars exhibit. Few older children will be able to resist the opportunity to build their own robotic creature or vehicle, then electronically manipulate it, via remote control, across a Mars-like terrain.

Slightly less hands-on but equally challenging is the train simulation software installed on four workstations around the SciTrek Express, SciTrek’s electric train exhibit. Smaller children will enjoy watching the exhibit’s two trains run through a large, greatly detailed countryside while their siblings attempt to drive virtual trains on the computers alongside.

Zoom into everyday learning
The ZoomZone is another recent addition to the SciTrek permanent collection. Sponsored in part by Atlanta’s public broadcasting stations, and in the spirit of the popular PBS kids’ show, the ZoomZone highlights experiments created by kids, for kids. In addition to tackling brainteasers and other puzzles, five-to-eleven-year-olds will see how math and science really are useful in everyday life.

They can weigh their backpacks; learn fractions through Burger Math; or tempt the laws of physics and engineering by building a cup tower. To complete the interactive experience, you can use a special computer kiosk to send feedback, or general thoughts and opinions to the “Zoom” crew directly.

SciTrekkers of all ages, including older children and adults, can explore “BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head” part of the Smithsonian exhibit’s national tour. The functions, malfunctions and mysteries of the brain will be manifested through a mixture of virtual reality, video games, optical illusions and interactive displays.

Areas to explore will include “Back and Forth,” a specially designed platform that displays your body’s attempts to balance and its reflexes and autonomic functions; and Synapse Pop, where you can manipulate representations of synapses, neurons and axons to recreate the brain’s electrical relay system.

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
The beauty of SciTrek is that most kids will only know that they’re having fun, while in actuality they are absorbing important scientific and mathematical concepts. A perfect mixture of education and fun, SciTrek is a full-course science and math curriculum disguised as the ultimate playroom.
SciTrek is located at 395 Piedmont Avenue, next to the Civic Center in Downtown Atlanta. For directions, hours, or further information, call (404) 552-5500, or visit end

Raise Respectful Boys, Not Macho Men

The first question you probably asked yourself when you found out that you were going to be a parent was, “Will it be a boy or a girl?” This emotional and innocent question is loaded with many different ideas about what is expected of raising a son or daughter. That’s why we aren’t surprised when someone tells us that boys and girls were brought up very differently in his or her family.

Not-so-modern society
Today, brothers and sisters sometimes live under the same roof but in separate worlds, one for men and the other for women. Even in the 21st century, we may raise our sons and daughters differently, based on what was considered feminine and masculine years ago. This kind of upbringing has been harmful to both men and women. The sad part is that we pass on such incorrect messages as:

Raising a Son
Used $0.80!
(Prices May Change)
Privacy Information
Women are passive and timid.
Men are rude and unable to cry.
Men don’t dare express their feelings except to act aggressively.
Men are more powerful than women and that women should serve them.
Unfortunately, those messages are still being taught. Unless we change the way we raise our children, they may very well pass these same messages on to their children. But we have the opportunity to stop this pattern and raise healthier, happier sons and daughters. It’s never too late in life to change our attitudes and our way of thinking. Then, we need to change our conversation. It may not be easy, but as mothers, fathers, and teachers, we need to raise our children to respect themselves and others.

Where to begin?
As parents we can do many things to ensure that boys feel comfortable with their gender. Teach them not to live their lives in conflict with the opposite sex. Promote equality by encouraging boys to express their emotions — to let us know when they are feeling affectionate, angry, sad or happy. Teach them to be patient, sensitive and respectful. Our goal is to help them become husbands and fathers who respect their sons and daughters, their wives, those around them, and their community. To reach this goal, we must begin by understanding that men and women are essentially the same. Both need to give and receive emotional, as well as physical, affection.

Here are some suggestions to begin this wonderful process.

Evaluate yourself
You can start by asking yourself some questions:

Exactly what does it mean for me to be a mother or father?
Am I raising my son differently from my daughter?
Am I being more lenient or stricter with him?
Remember, it’s never too late to make changes.

Keep an open mind and examine your actions
Being a parent is a constant challenge which requires daily thinking and learning. It also involves building a fair relationship with your children, depending on their ages and needs. Remember that today’s ideas about raising children may not be the same ones that your parents used in raising you.

Set a good example
One of our basic purposes as parents is to teach children how to get along with others, both within and outside of the family. If children see their parents setting a good example at home, they will be more likely to grow into respectful adults. Emphasize a positive attitude, respect for others, principles of responsibility and love of learning.

Avoid arguments in front of your children
Aggressive words and actions signal a lack of love or respect. From the time they are babies, children are very receptive. They react in a certain way when their parents set a positive or negative example. Children are not born violent; they learn through imitation. If shouting, hitting or other violence occurs in your home, don’t be surprised if your son acts the same way with his sisters or female classmates. In order to create a peaceful environment, parents need to learn how to disagree with each other respectfully and avoid aggressive actions.

Express your love for your children freely
Remember that you, Mom and Dad, are the first ones to model affection for your children. A child who grows up surrounded by his parents’ love will have strong self-esteem and will show affection. Teach boys that men can also be tender and loving. Frequently tell them how much you love them. When Dad gives his sons a hug, a kiss, or caress, they learn that a father who kisses his son is not less of a man.

Help him to express his feelings
Boys must learn from their parents that feelings are neither “feminine” nor “masculine.” Fear, sadness, and anger are human emotions and it’s healthy to express what you feel, no matter how old you are, or whether you’re a man or a woman.

Keep repeating to your children that crying is not just for girls — as our grandparents taught us — and that being a man doesn’t mean being rude or aggressive. Let your son talk about his fears without labeling him “weakling” or “sissy.” Doing this can help him become a healthy man who will respect the feelings of both men and women.

Teach him to get along well with others
Pay attention to the way your son treats others. Besides saying “don’t make fun of your sister” or “don’t hit her,” help him think about how his sister feels when she is teased or hit. Never use words like “you act like a girl” or “your sister is better than you.” That will only make your son more aggressive and competitive towards the opposite sex. Be sure to support his good behavior when you see it.

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
And finally, remember that your goal is to raise a respectful man, and not a macho man. A man can express his feelings appropriately. He can show tenderness, warmth, weakness and strength. He is sure of himself at times, but may even be afraid in some situations. He can enjoy cooking for his family as much as he enjoys a soccer match. A man who is respectful of others and sure of himself doesn’t have to be afraid of an intelligent woman.

Instead he knows that smart women can be part of his support system. Above all, he can become a man who learns that treating others lovingly and respectfully is the best path to follow as he grows and explores life.the end

What’s So Good About Good?

How good is really good? Do you overuse the term? Chick Moorman offers some advice about our choice and use of words.

What do you really mean?
“Good job”
“Bill does good work in science.”
“She’s making a good effort.”
“Good way to do that!”
“It sure was good!”
“Good Boy!”
“How are you?” “Good”

Did you ever get good and sick of “good?” I did. As a classroom teacher, I got tired of hearing myself say it and watching myself write it. So naturally it was with a good deal of enthusiasm and good luck that I found a paper entitled “100 Ways to Say Good.”
“This is really good,” I thought to myself as I looked over the list of synonyms prepared by a text book company consultant. “Great, Fantastic, Terrific, Marvelous, Splendid, Dynamic, Magnificent, Nifty, Supreme, First Rate, Sterling, Wonderful, Superb, Stupendous,” and even “Foxy” filled the paper. It was clearly a good list.

I used the list to communicate to students how I evaluated their efforts. I had a good time writing “Meritorious” and “Deluxe” on their papers. I figured it was good practice as they looked up each new word in the dictionary. I used the words on report forms that went home to parents. I added them to my verbal vocabulary and used them with friends and relatives.

I felt pretty good about my alternatives to “good” for a couple of years. So it took a good while for the questioning to set in, but slowly, over a period of time, I began to suspect that perhaps all was not good with “good” or its synonyms.

I first began to question the good in “good” when I saw it on my own daughter’s report card. “Marti is doing good work in spelling. She has a good attitude. She is doing a good job in social studies. As I read the report card, I quickly realized it didn’t help me learn much about my daughter or her work in school. Good in spelling? What does that mean? I had no idea of her accomplishments or her problems. I didn’t know if she learned anything or if she was good to start with. All I knew is that one person evaluated her as “Good.” Compared to what, I wondered? Or whom? What does “good” mean? I just didn’t know.

I recalled the report forms I had sent home to parents as a fifth and sixth-grade teacher. I remembered the “goods” and “excellents” I wrote during those years. I wondered if those parents were as confused about their children’s progress as I was about my own child.

I recalled the synonyms I used. The “greats,” the “fantastics,” etc., and I began to sense that as symbols with which to communicate, they didn’t do any more good than “good.” They gave no data. They simply labeled.

I hear “good” a lot these days. At the dinner table, “This food is good.” And I wonder, “Is it the taste, or the temperature, or the texture, or the amount, or what?” So I ask:

“What’s good about it?”
“I don’t know, it’s just good.”
“What do you mean by good?”
“Oh, Dad. You know, good.”

I turn on the TV and listen to the weather person. She says there will be good weather for the next few days. The sun will be out and the snow will melt. But I want to go cross-country skiing. That doesn’t sound like good weather to me. Seems to me the weather just is. It only becomes good or bad depending on how we view what is.

I’m beginning to think perhaps “good” isn’t good enough any more. Maybe its good days are over. Perhaps it would be a good idea to find a good replacement for “good.” It took me awhile to figure it out, but I finally got in touch with my objection to “good.” I don’t enjoy it because it’s an evaluative word that’s used in situations where I want and prefer a description or expression of appreciation.

I don’t enjoy hearing the weather person evaluation the weather. “It’ll be a good day tomorrow.” Good for whom? For everyone who is listening? I doubt it! I enjoy the weather person who describes the weather without evaluating it.

“There is an 85 percent chance of sun tomorrow, with few clouds throughout the day.” Now that’s descriptive. Descriptive language enables me to place my own evaluation on it. I get to decide if I think it’s good or not.

When I write a book, give a talk or develop a photograph, I much prefer appreciative and descriptive comments to evaluations:

“Excellent speech.”
“That’s a good book.”
“Beautiful job!”

These are all evaluations of me and my efforts. I don’t value them as much as I do appreciative and descriptive remarks. I already know if the photo was good or the writing excellent. What I do enjoy, however, is for people to share what they appreciate about what I’ve done or to describe the parts they enjoy.

“I appreciate the time you spent on that.”
“That photo really caught my interest.”
“Your book has helped me see that in a new way.”

I find it useful to hear where people find meaning in my work, what they enjoy and appreciate, and what specifically interests them. The feedback is much more valuable to me than evaluations. It is feedback I can use.

I have been trying recently to eliminate the “goods” from my own language, to express myself in more descriptive/appreciative terms. I have found it difficult. I have been amazed at how often and how quickly I say “Good.” It has become a habit, an easy way to comment that requires little thinking or effort on my part.

I hear myself say, “Good for you” to Matt when he’s helped with dinner. The evaluation is easy. It requires much more time on my part to think through what I feel is good and share that information. I could say, “When you help, I get done faster and then I can do some more of the things we enjoy after dinner. I appreciate your help,” or “I really enjoy it when you volunteer to help.” That type of comment gives him real information or process. He now knows that I liked and why. In addition, he can now say to himself, “I’ve done a good job” or “I’m a pretty good helper.” I like the evaluation coming from him rather that from me.

Tell someone about this article – just click below to share this page with a friend!
Good is too easy
It’s easy for me to say, “Good job” to Jenny after she’s picked up the living room. It’s far more difficult to take the time to describe her accomplishments. For instance, I could say, “An hour ago I looked in here and there was stuff scattered all over. Now, every single thing is in place. I enjoy seeing the living room this way.” Again, my descriptive/appreciation comments leave the evaluation to her.

I’m finding value in gradually replacing the “goods” in my own language. And I’m learning that speaking with descriptive/appreciative words is a skill. I haven’t eliminated all the “goods” yet, and perhaps I never will. But I’m getting better at it. In fact, I’m getting pretty good!the end