If You Seek Amy

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Well, Britney Spears is back. Her beats are talent, no doubt there. I guess I was just hoping she had some better messages for our girls. Why does she need to let us know that “all the boy s and girls are begging to if you seek Amy?” ( Say it fast a few times if you don’t get it…..)

Ok, we all got the message that being “hot” is, well, the hottest thing going at the moment. I guess Brit needs to let all the little girls who adore her know that being F-able is what they need to strive for. So, yeah, I’m  happy Brit seem s to be back on top of her game, sad to hear she’s feeling she has to sling more of the you-gotta-be- hot-or-get-laid-to-be-loved stuff around.

I’m not saying you should censor your daughters music. Don’t get me wrong. But I hope that you do talk to her about the messages she is bombarded with on a daily message. It’s important that you stay on top of what’s going on out in the world that will affect your daughters view of herself and the world around her. A good way to start the conversation is to get curious and ask her questions. No judging, nagging, or unasked for advice giving allowed. Just listen! And learn. And love her. That will do more than you know for her. As for Brit? Well, I hope one day she gets the message that her value is far more than her sexuality. I hope eventually, all of our daughters get the message.

Wet VS Dry Houses

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There is a huge debate about whether it is best to be a wet or dry house: that is, are you a parent who is willing to serve alcohol under supervision to teens (wet)  or not (dry)?

Parents who believe wet houses are the answer to teens drinking feel that they at least are in control in that they take teens keys away and no on is allowed to leave the house until everyone is sober or they limit the booze so no one gets intoxicated. Parents who don’t supply alcohol feel wet houses are a huge problem. Who is right and who is wrong? It isn’t a simple answer. I’m opening the floor to debate. Here are some thoughts:

We teach our kids how to drive. We teach our kids about sex. We teach them about many things, but the law says we can’t serve them alcohol until they are 21. How can we teach them anything about the effects of alcohol or responsible drinking when they can’t drink until they are off to college and away from home? (yet most of our kids have been drinking long before turning 21?)  The idea of allowing alcohol in limited amounts to kids before they turn 21 in a safe environment makes some sense. Better than them being out at a wild party and trying to find their way home drunk. I know some parents don’t  believe the argument that “all teens will drink.” Yet, I have HAVE NOT worked with a teen who does not drink or is planning to wait until they turn 21 to drink.  The vast majority of teens are going to try alcohol before they are 21l.  So, what are you going to do to help them stay safe? Is a wet house a good plan to help kids stay safe? I’ve heard from teens who said that they didnt  try alcohol outside of the home since their parents allowed them small amounts. There is some evidence that a wet house isn’t a total wrong idea.

On the other hand, the teen brain isn’t geared for alcohol use, especially the way teens use it. A lot of teens binge drink. It fries their brains. It can take weeks for the brain to recover and start working at pre-binge cognitive states. This indicates it’s important for parents to help their teen not to drink. But, whatever parents are doing now isn’t curtailing alcohol use among teens.

There are no easy answers here. Raising teens has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Some things we parents hold dear are going to have to change to accommodate the new world we live in.

I believe both sides of the wet vs dry houses have merit. I also think that both sides need to put down their “holier than thou” attitude and hear the other side out. 

If your daughter is hanging out at a wet house and you don’t want her to drink, let her and THE PARENT of the wet house know that. It is up to parents to begin to communicate with other parents on these tough topics. Don’t rely on your teen. Pick up the phone and talk to other parents! If you are a wet house, you owe the parents of the teens who come to your house a phone call so they know you maybe serving alcohol. You also are then VERY responsible for the teens in your house. And, you are breaking a law.

I have just scratched the surface with this blog. More to come.  We need a discussion on the topic. We have too many teens off drinking and driving and engaging in risky behaviors fueled by booze.  What will it take to keep our kids safe? Trying to stop them from drinking is about as effective as trying to stop them having sex. We need to look at the topic in a new light, with a fresh perspective.

Curfew

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Most parents worry about what time their daughters should come home at night. They focus on the time, making IT the focus, as well as the bone of contention they gnaw on with their daughters.  The time is really the last thing a parent should look at when making a curfew. Here’s why. The mom’s I coach tell me that they are worried about what their daughter’s are doing at night.

When I ask mom’s what would make them feel safer, answers fall into similar categories:

  1. I want to know my daughter knows her limits with alcohol if she chooses to drink
  2. I need to know she isn’t going to get intoxicated and be assaulted/raped*
  3. I want to know my daughter to have a plan to get safely home
  4. I need to know her friends will “have her back” if she gets into a bad situation
  5. I want to know she isn’t taking drugs that can hurt her
  6. I need to know she isn’t going to steal a car, or joyride with friends

Of course there are more issues on the table, but most are about safety. Mom’s don’t always feel comfortable talking to their daughters about these topics, so they set and early curfew and hope that their daughter “won’t find the time” to explore them. Daughter’s revolt, mom’s defend the time limit, saying they are keeping their daughter “safe.” However, the sense of safety is an illusion unless moms roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of exploring their fears about what goes on in their daughter’s life at night. Moms need to talk to their daughters about these issues. One way to get the conversation going is to ask Strategic Questions. As part of good listening skills, Strategic Questions can help your daughter find her own truth about delicate topics and help you create a richer, more intimate relationship with your daughter.

Strategic Questions have a number of elements that set them apart from the run-of-the-mill, everyday questions. Developed by San Francisco-based activist Fran Peavey, Strategic Questions are asked with the intention to open up fresh options for exploration.

Strategic Questions can be tough to ask and hear the answers to, because they break through the facade of false confidence and reveal the profound uncertainty that underlies all reality. Nevertheless, Strategic Questions empower people to create strategies for change in their lives.

There are eight key features that distinguish a Strategic Question. First, a Strategic Question is a helpful, dynamic challenge that encourages movement and change. Instead of “Where do you want to go to college?” a Strategic Question might ask, “What do you want to study and experience in college?”

A Strategic Question encourages options. Instead of “What time do you want your curfew to be?” a parent could ask, “What three topics could we talk about that would help us decide your curfew?”

A third feature of Strategic Questions is that they are empowering. They ask people to find solutions for themselves. The simple question, “What would it take …?” allows people to explore their own truth. For example, “What would it take to make you feel you had more autonomy in your life?”

Two more features of Strategic Questions are that they don’t ask “Why?” and they cannot be answered “Yes” or “No.” Questions that ask “Why?” close down creative options and often generate guilt and defensiveness. Questions that can be answered “Yes” or “No” often only skim the surface or and shut down  the opportunity for your teen to dig deeper into their true sense of self.

Next, Strategic Questions address “taboo” topics. An example would be “What was itthat kept us from talking about…? Fill in any topic that has been hard for you and your daughter to face together.

A seventh aspect of Strategic Questions is that they tend to be simply structured, focusing on one thing at a time. “What one thing can you do to be safe at night?”

Finally, Strategic Questions are deeply respectful of people and their capacity to change and grow in healthy ways. Teens may not have the brain development or maturity to always answer Strategic Questions fully. However, learning to ask them and giving your teen the opportunity to think through answers, will help you and them grow. Be patient if they don’t always have an answer right away. Give your teen the time to think.

Once you begin the process of asking questions and listening to the answers without anger, distress, making your daughter wrong, or any other reaction that negates her reality or stops her from being able to tell you who she really is, the “right” time for setting a curfew and how you want to handle infractions will become more clear. Take your eye off the clock. Put your eye on what’s really important.

*Parent’s worry that their daughter will become intoxicated and get taken advantage of. Parents rarely consider that their daughter may be using intoxicants so she feels she can have sex without guilt or shame. You’ll never know unless you ask!

What Water Softeners Do

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Water Softener – How it Works

Is a water softener’s performance not known to you? The mineral waters go in and pure, clean water with no bad taste comes out. In addition to increasing the cleaning power of water, water softeners help fight spots on appliances and dishes, water heater blockages, and pipe scale. This is why the interest in how a water softner unit works is now so high. These systems make high water consumption manageable.

Many water softeners make use of a process known as ion exchange in order to eliminate minerals absorbed in hard water, generating cleaner water with no aftertaste. Calcium, magnesium, iron and sulfur are just a few of the mineral deposits which cause problems. The contents of your water softener will either be plastic spheres or maybe a matt of zeolite, both types have been coated with sodium ions. Once the water moves through the zeolite or beads, the undesirable minerals change places in the sodium and this will leave more sodium in water, yet eliminates additional mineral deposits. The zeolite or beads ultimately are completely depleted of sodium ions and must be regenerated.

One of the most critical steps of water softening and purification is the regeneration process. This will involve immersing the zeolite or beads in a sodium ion solution. A common solution utilized is regular household salt, making a strong brine to replenish the softener. Once the beads or zeolite have been regenerated, the brine and mineral residue that is leftover is completely flushed out. Just one water softener unit is able to generate lots of brine whenever it needs recharging.

However, this process means that water softeners will put additional salt in the water that is produced. This could cause an issue, for individuals on lower sodium diet programs. To avoid these kinds of problems from happening one can use alternative salts, such as potassium chloride, but only at times. Water softeners will ancrease your intake of potassium and sodium, if this is a problem for you, seek medical advice. Several water softener units utilize no salts whatsoever, but rather function by utilizing charcoal filters or another solution to eliminate the unwanted mineral deposits from hard water. Generally, these are more expensive when compared to the traditional softeners.

If you have a water softener that is regenerated, it is able to start working once again. Many systems are set to automatically regenerate; you need only refill them periodically with additional salt. Unless they are replenished, portable water softeners perform until the softener in them lasts. No matter what kind of water softener you have, it’s crucial to keep it in good repair so that it will serve you for a long time.