Saturday, December 22, 2012

WAKE UP: Holidays are here, Secure your Prescriptions before Welcoming Guests

Tis the season of giving, but as you invite family and friends into your home for holiday festivities, beware – for some, it is also the season for taking. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, most teens initially get prescription pills from family and friends, including straight from home medicine cabinets.  And it’s not just teens.  

Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in the United States. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have become the second leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide, and the leading cause in as many as 15 states.

“Prescription pill abusers are no different than those that are addicted to illicit drugs like meth or heroin.  They will go to great lengths to get their fix. I can’t stress enough the importance of safeguarding your medications,” says Lora Brown, MD, a Pain Management Physician and Medical Director for WAKE UP!, a community educational campaign created to combat the increase in prescription drug abuse among teenagers.

Brown says that you should always safeguard your medicine, but it’s especially important during the holidays when friends, family, neighbors and sometimes strangers are invited into our homes.  Don’t discuss what medications you are taking with anyone but your medical or mental health team, and keep the medications in a secure place at all times. Often these medications are stolen from medicine cabinets and nightstands. Addicts have been known to break into homes where they suspect they can find meds, as well as assault someone who is in possession of the prescription medication they desire.

About WAKE UP!:

WAKE UP! is a community educational campaign established by The Pain Truth, a Florida 501(c)(3), to combat the increase in prescription drug abuse among teenagers. It is designed to use science, not scare tactics, to educate teenagers of the effects and dangers of prescription drugs. The program uses a school “takeover” approach to reach thousands of students and their families with an extended program designed to teach not preach about the dangers of abusing and misusing prescription drugs. This program is unique in many ways. One of the most important aspects is sustainability through a school-based CORE of students and educators that remain present and active long after the original campaign is complete. 

Follow them on Twitter and use hashtag #WAKEUP

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hating Homework? 10 Ways to Help Make Homework Fun

Do you have a smart child that can pass tests but is failing classes since they don't finish their homework assignments? 

This is very common.

The last thing that kids want to do when they get home from school is homework, and sometimes it can seem near impossible to get them to settle down to study when all they want to do is play and blow off steam. But what if you could make doing homework fun for your kids?

Check out these ways to make the ordeal a little less painful for you and your kids.
  1. Start a homework blog – You might as well take advantage of the power of the Internet. Tell the kids that you will record their feelings and ideas about homework on the blog after they get it done. You can decide whether you want to update the blog daily or weekly with new entries. Allow the kids to get creative about entries, but remember to follow proper Internet etiquette.
  2. Make it practical – In the early grades it’s fairly simple to make things like math pretty practical by showing the kids how the subject is used in everyday life. For many kids, just making the connection between what they are learning in school and how it applies to real life makes them more interested in their subjects.
  3. Teach your kids how to compete internally – The world is full of competition, but not everyone knows how to compete with themselves. If you can teach your child how to compete internally, always trying to do a little better than they did the last time, that self competition can cause your child to want to excel for the sake of excelling. Teaching kids to compete with themselves also helps in warding off peer pressure when they reach their teen years.
  4. Rewards – There are pros and cons about giving rewards, but the right kinds of rewards won’t necessarily cause your child to achieve for the wrong reasons. Sometimes just a hug with a few well chosen words is enough. Avoid rewarding your kids with food, especially sweets, as this will set up an unhealthy association between food and rewards for them and can lead to eating problems down the road.
  5. Use music as a way to help with learning – Some subjects can be pretty boring, but if you add a tune to some of the things they need to learn, kids will learn the material better and have fun doing it. For example, you can use the “Birthday Song” to memorize the multiplication tables.
  6. Turn homework into a game – Create a game to help with homework. Each correct problem is worth a point and the points add up to different levels. Try to get to the highest level to win a token. Tokens can be redeemed for something special. You decide what that is.
  7. Help with homework in a positive, proactive manner – Sit down with your child on occasion and help them with the harder homework. Showing your interested in their work can make it more engaging for them. You may not want to do this every time they sit down to do homework, though, because that will take away the novelty of it.
  8. Get the kids to read – Believe it or not, one way to make homework more fun is to get your kids to read. If you get them interested in reading and seeking knowledge while they’re young, it will instill in them the desire to continue to learn.
  9. Change the location – Just for fun, let the kids do homework in a different place; for example let them do homework outside, if the weather permits, or let them choose a different place to work.
  10. Let your kid be the teacher – Have your kids teach you the things they are learning. Have them show you how to solve the problems and ask them questions as if you are the student. This will help them retain the information and understand it better.
With some creativity you can find many ways to make homework fun for your kids. Taking an interest in what they are doing will help immensely. Your participation can cause your kids to be more engaged and more likely to finish their homework and projects.


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