Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keeping kosher getting easier

…HA is not Jewish, but her family likes Hebrew National hot dogs because they taste terrific. If you are going to eat a hot dog, which some purists view as an instant death sentence nutritionally, it might as well taste good.

…Julie Wiener (coincidence) of the AP says foods prepared according to religious regulations are proliferating, giving people who keep kosher a huge choice they did not have decades ago.

…Now 102,000 items qualify as kosher. This includes Oreos to beef jerky.

…Religious regulations govern how living animals are killed and how food groups are separated during preparation.

…A lot of approved kosher prep is going on in China now.

…Most people don’t know it—but half of all packaged foods we buy are kosher.

…Kosher Dunkin’ Donuts and Subways are popping up.

…Most people don’t even know their favorite items are kosher—look for a “heksher” or small label. Kosher foods are also labeled meat, dairy, or pareve (neither meat nor dairy). This is good for veggies or people who are lactose intolerant.

…Eat, eat…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What, Lassie, what?

…HA has a fairly new dog…to her, not to the planet. A former stray. His name this time around is Jim, named after a dear friend of HA's.

…Turns out Dog Jim does not like male humans—he grabs their socks and tugs like a cartoon dog. Who knows why?

…The perfect storm will be when he does this to HA’s home owner’s insurance guy—though this has not happened.

…Nicholas Dodman, DVM, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts, was waxing on in Parade (Apr 27, 2008) about communicating with your dog, which, let’s face it, requires some dog mind reading.

…Keep commands short and simple, Dodman says. Short words, clearly enunciated consonants. No!

…Don’t repeat it. Dogs will remember the word up to two minutes. If they don’t respond, they heard, but weren’t listening. (Fine line there.)

…Dogs cannot understand complete sentences. But they do pick up on tone of voice. Darn! That rules out logic: “When you stand right where I am going,I may fall, Jim, and then who will earn the money for the kibble?”

…Point at things if you want. Most dogs will follow down your finger to see what. They even have dogs (pointers) that specialize in denoting items. HA has found these might be better a following a pointing finger than other dogs.

…Listen for different barks. Can you tell if a stranger, friend or SWAT team is at the door without looking?

…A wag is not just a wag. Usually this means happy. Accompanied by growling, maybe not. Wagging mostly to the left—could mean the mutt is fearful.

…Rapid blinking (the dog!) is a sign of nervousness or deep thought. Or maybe being nervous about being stupid—like when you ask your dog about the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

…If the dog leans on you, he is asking protection. It’s OK to let him or her do it.

…If they pee certain places, you can see where their concerns lie. Apparently, Jim loves HA’s daughter because he regularly christens her chair on the patio.

…Now HA needs to find out how to get him not to he exactly where she steps every minute of the day. His nickname is J-LO—short for Jim Look Out.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Positively medicinal

…HA’s liquor budget has been slashed to zip by this recession thing. First thing to go! And right when she needed it most.

….Julia Reed writes in Newsweek (Apr 28, 2008) of the joys of Gin & Tonic.

…Since a regrettable overindulgence in the piny one, gin, in collitch, HA has been a vodka girl, but the principle applies.

…Summer is time for light spritzy delicious libations!

…Reed points out that G&T drinkers tend to wear Guccis with no socks and thus would not be her ideal drinking companions.

…But—she adds—gin and tonic still rules. Don’t judge it by the company it keeps.

…Gin is almost a health food—juniper berries, coriander sometimes, cardamom, sometimes lemon and Seville orange rind…cheers!

…Gin really kicked off in Holland in the Wayback—it was invented by a doctor, so see…healthy.

….It derived its name, Reed says, from Essence of Genievre (juniper in Dutch).

…When it got to the colonies, even the Quakers tossed it back after funerals.

…The tonic was a way to get quinine, the only effective therapy for malaria until recent times.

…The citrus wedge? To fight scurvy, of course.

…Churchill once said, “The gin & tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

…He was a purist, though, Churchill. When FDR’s cousin served him a Tom Collins (sugar added), he spat it out. (He was quite the house guest.)

…Wonder if he ever regretted that. Probably not.

…You just have to have standards.

Friday, April 25, 2008

No, you won't have a monkey

…You know how HA feels about offbeat research (“weirdass” she calls it), but the Brits have come up with some tantalizing findings that what a woman eats prior to getting pregnant could influence the gender of the child.

…Eating breakfast, eating well, and noshing on potassium-rich foods such as bananas seem to influence the chance of a boy.

…This is not proof—just tantalizing, as HA said. Scientists have learned that embryos fertilized in a dish tend to live longer in nutrient-rich solutions.

…The research was done at the Univ of Exeter. Male embryos don’t last long in low-sugar solutions, she says. Skipping meals can mean low blood sugar and maybe sugar in the reproductive tract…so…ergo...

…The researchers looked at 700 women who didn’t know the baby’s gender and asked about their eating habits the year before conception.

…The ones who ate the most calories (within limits) had a boy 56% of the time. The lowest intake eaters had boys only 45% of the time.

…Obviously, once the egg joins the sperm, the gender is set. This eating and nutrient approach applies to making a certain atmosphere in there conducive to an X or Y sperm reaching the egg.

…Wait—didn’t the old wives (them again!) say to eat bananas if you want a boy?

…Ahead of us again! Good one, gals.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sad doctor

…David Noonan takes on the subject of physician suicide in the Apr 28th Newsweek.

…A documentary is coming up on public TV called “Struggling in Silence,” which discusses depression in doctors.

…HA’s father was a physician and self-medicated for depression, we think.

…Every year, 300-400 doctors take their own lives, did you know that? They have the highest rate of suicide of any profession.

…Undiagnosed and untreated depression is the culprit. “Physician, heal thyself.” They didn’t think that up for nothing!

…Males docs have the same rate of depression as males in the gen pop—12%. But their suicide rate is 1.4 times higher.

…Female doctors have double the rate of all females and 2.3 times the suicide rate.

…Doctors apparently don’t seek treatment. They feel, as HA’s dad did, that seeking treatment might affect their reputations and practices. Doctoring is macho, despite the women in it—they don’t want to seem to need caring for.

…Doctors also have access to more drugs for suicide attempts and thus have a better success to attempts ratio than other people.

…The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( was involved in this. Their take is that if doctors can recognize depression in themselves, they are more likely to deal with it effectively in others.

…Good point. And we already have a doctor shortage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do consumer-driven health plans save money?

…Does the term consumer-driven health plan sound like “The Patriot Act” to you? You know—named to please?

…Often (Republican) people like to say these plans, in which the insured is invited to pay a big deductible out of a tax-advantaged fund, give us more “choices.”

…Again, sounds good. But who is benefiting? Recently, Paul Fronstein and John MacDonald of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) took a look (WSJ, Apr
22, 2008).

…Problem: Sometimes this fund thing is to be fed by the insured—another thing that costs money. The employer may match or fund all, but maybe not, too.

…Finding: People are not leaping at these things.7% of consumers have opted to go this route.

…These are not helping the uninsured. They can’t get these, either, or don’t get them.

…Almost a third of people who have them are in the high income group--$100K or more.

…Participants tend to be less satisfied than people in other plans, although satisfaction is rising.

…Participants are more cost-conscious. They talk about costs to doctors. They bargain.

…People in these plans are shown to skimp on care.

…And, there has been no significant improvement in ways to find out about costs and the reputation of providers in order to tell where to put your buck.

…The bottom-line is not in yet, but employers may be saving 1.5% on these. High cost-sharing by employees mean they use the services less.

…One of HA’s favorite novelists, Jonathan Kellerman, recently had a piece in the WSJ about how he paid for an MRI out of pocket and they gave him “such a deal” ($1000 or so) when he said he was paying. He then advocated that we all just pay doctors and would be so much better off.

…Hey, we can’t even afford the partial payments, Mr Famous Guy.

…When is someone in DC going to notice that it costs a LOT to pay 20% of a hospital bill? Plus premiums. Plus funding your little medical account. We can’t all get treated at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mud, glorious goo

…HealthDay reporter Alan Mozes (Apr 6, 2008) writes about dirt.

…Dirt can kill microbes.

…Ever seen those movies about native cultures that slap on the mud—this is along those lines.

…Scientists have found exotic germ killers in mud that can kill even the dreaded methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA).

…HA remembers slapping mud on wasp and bee stings as a kid.

…An Arizona State scientist has analyzed clay and mud samples from all over the world. Three clays have been identified as therapeutic.

…MRSA, for instance, starts out on the skin—the idea is that this mud will keep it from getting in the bloodstream.

…No, you can’t drag in some mud from the backyard. This is science! Just any old mud can be full or arsenic or mercury.

…Those mud facial packs? Anything?


Friday, April 18, 2008

Kids eat the darnedest trinkets

…HA read today that ER docs now push a penny down a kid’s throat instead of some heroic effort to pluck it out.

…Yes, to kids, the mouth is just another way to “check something out.” Looking at it is not enough—does it fit in the mouth…hmmm…check…

...But sometimes, that’s “choke” not check.

…Writing about this in the AZ Republic (Apr 1, 2008), Connie Midey says sometimes an “ear” check is also needed…Does it fit…Wahhhhh.

…The key to preventing a tragedy instead of an expensive, tedious, scary ER run is for parents to notice. But kids have sharp eyes and will notice you putting down a thumbtack and because they practice by picking up individual Cheerios (baby soul food), they can grab a small object in a hot second.

…One kid chewed a ballpoint and the metal clip wedged behind a tooth—a dentist was called in.

…One doc took a picture of a coin inside a kid for the family album. HA will never be a scrapbooker!

…If the item is smooth and under two inches it can work through the kid in the normal way.

…Batteries, however, must be removed. And magnets, if there is more than one—they may find each other and create an obstruction.

..Nuts in the lungs, beans up the nose—can cause infections.

…One doctor wrote: "Please teach your child not to stick things in his nose.”

…Thanks, doc, would not have thought of that.

…Learn the Heimlich maneuver if you want to do something useful. And don’t buy toys with tons of tiny parts. An older child may love them, but the little ones are eyeing them every second.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Bucking" the recession

…Joe Stumpe of the McClatchy papers says don’t overlook the Dollar Store when grocery shopping.

…Don’t know about you, but since January HA’s $50 has bought $35 worth of grub at the Multi-Dollar Store.

…The Dollar Store is not all weird Chinese chocolate and half-opened boxes of tea you never heard of.

…Some people think Dollar Stores are only for staples, Stumpe writes. But he found sun-dried tomatoes and other gourmet-type items.

…Dollar Stores are also seen as the last refuge of expired products. He checked. Nope. Still OK.

…Are they selling only off brands? Some are regional brands, some from other countries. He tried some, though, not bad.

…The foreign brands probably also come from mainline supermarkets. Like Barilla—from another country, but you have heard of it.

…The problem with dollar stores is that a lot costs more than a dollar or even at a dollar, is not a good deal.

…HA’s problem with Dollar Stores, actually, is that you feel free to buy a ton of random stuff and it can run up a big tab.

….But what do ya think? Worth a gander?

…They sell goose?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is human nature based on avoiding germs?

…Sharon Begley (Newsweek, Apr 14, 2008) wrote about Richard Nisbett’s book, The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently.

…To immediately oversimply, he says Westerners see classifications, Asians see relationships.

…The Western cultures are individualistic, do your own thing. East Asian societies exalt conformity—for the good of the whole.

…How far each group goes to one side or the other, though, may be based on…germs. Societies where there are a lot of microbes tend to be collectivist. Those with fewer germs can tolerate more individualistic behaviors.

…Not wanting to hang around strangers can make you less likely to get a disease. But--respect for rules of hygiene and sanitary food prep (or using pepper, which kills microbes) offers protection against disease.

…Tropical areas are germy and tend to be collectivist.

…The most individualistic societies tend to be colder, in the north.

…Is this genetic? Sometimes when people from a collectivist mindset come to the opposite, they change, so maybe not.

…What do you think? Hooey or hurray?

…Are more tropical societies denser in population? Are their rules protecting them from passing on germs working so well the population is not controlled? And how about sex in all that heat? Someone is having it, germs be damned.

...Er, darned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Well-rounded? Combo plate

…Don Henninger, publisher of the Phoenix version of the Business Journal (Apr 11, 2008), says the Qdoba Mexican Grill here asked the Smell and Taste Treatment Center and Research Foundation in Chicago to see if certain Mexican delights synched with personality traits.

…The Foundation asked 2,500 people from age 21-70 in 11 cities, and here is what’s what.

…People who eat tacos are conscientious and ideal workers, meaning directable. They will even sacrifice time with family and friends for work.

…Quesadillas. These people are dependable, more loyal followers than leaders.

…Chips and salsa. Aggressive, natural leaders.

…Burritos. Drama queens. Love being the center of attention.

…Taco salad. Well-adjusted, make ideal friends.

…Nachos. Quiet and shy. Self-sufficient.

..Henninger says we would all do well to test this out—eat Mexican with friends a lot!

…Pretty smart guy.

…HA orders in. People who do that are lazy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Eating red sticks

…Russ Parsons (La Times, Apr 9, 2008) writes about this weird veggie, rhubarb. HA remembers these strange red stems and big curly jungly leaves in her grandmother’s garden in Milwaukee.

…Parsons points out that some people hate the rhubarb as much as others loathe the bamboo. There's a rhubarb over it!

…Only the bland is universally popular, murmurs Parsons.

…Rhubarb defines the not bland. It’s tart, chew on it without sugar at your own peril.

…Even rhubarb lovers don’t usually snack on it in the wild.

…It needs cooking—and pies seem to be the preferred method of applying heat and stem softening. (The stems are probably full of lignin--some really hard stuff HA once edited a book about.)

…Then the strawberries leap into the act—we want in!

…The acid in the rhubarb stabilizes the red in the berries—ah, heaven.

…You can make rhubarb into a sorbet, too, or a crumble, Cherries get along with the Stemmed One. Orange is compatible.

…How about a rhubarb compote to go with duck? Or with pork?

…Rhubarb can be found in the stores, but is sort of a boutique item. Strange for a veg/fru so strong and robust.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Airport Rx

…Roger Yu, USA Today, writes about an interesting new lashup—pharmacies and even clinics at airports.

…Why not? Pick pills you forgot to pack—and make that waiting a two-fer.

…One guy said, “Good idea, people travel sick all the time.”

…HA doesn’t know what to make of that comment. Probably: ICK!

…Apparently foreign airports have health amenities more than we do here.

…You can find walk-in clinics are JFK and Hartsfield Jackson-Atlanta. Orlando is coming.

…This comes at a good time for airports, too—they are looking for non-aviation revenue.

…1.2 billion people wander through airports each year—that is a customer base for almost everything.

…Walk-in clinics take insurance and Medicare but also offer an a la carte menu—see a nurse practitioner and get a prescription for $59. Strep test or EKG? $109. Stitches or x-rays, $169.

…Airsickness medicine? But of course.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sheriously, ossifer

…Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic, Apr 9, 2008, writes about our new drunk driving law—it’s tough.

….First-time offenders have a breath machine installed in their car for a year. You have to breathe alcohol-free to start the car.

…One of the first six people to get nailed, a woman who had had 1.5 beers, had to pay $75 a month to lease the machine. Even if she blows alcohol-free, the machine requires a retest while she is driving. She tries to pull off the road so people won’t see.

…This has caused her to stop drinking. She says she had never drunk that much to begin with. She blew a 0.08, the limit in AZ. She plead guilty to being under the influence “to the slightest degree,” apparently a legal term.

…She has to leave music off to hear the thing beep asking for a periodic test.

…The legislators say people are mad at them for passing the law, that they were just trying to make people think.

…Restaurant owers say they are getting hurt, though. People order a glass of wine instead of a bottle. Really double-dog responsible people stay home.

…Real estate agents say if someone in their family had to have this it would hurt them when prospects get in the car.

…Is this all a good thing or a mixed bag? Guess it would depend on whether you drink or whether you have had someone hurt or killed by a drunk driver.

…Also on that retesting thing while on the road—isn’t that like using a cellpphone—potentially a fatal distraction?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Finally--you know beans

…According to an AP story HA saw, Ken Albala, author of Beans: A History, has the key to our recession dining.

…Beans are, technically, legumes—and peanuts despite the word “nut” in there, are legumes, or a bean, not a nut. How about a bean butter and J?

…Licorice, tamarind, fenugreek, jicama, and carob—also in the bean family.

…When the Romans shipped a fragile obelisk across the Med, they packed it in lentils. Yes, now we use packing peanuts…weird, huh, because as we know, peanuts are not nuts. They must have been out of Styrofoam lentils.

…Zolfino beans from Tuscany cost $20 a lb, which explains why HA has never seen or heard of one.

…Coffee beans? Got ya! Not beans! On the bush, in fact, they are called cherries.

…The name for winged beans, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, means four-sided noisy fruit…

…No, not the musical fruit thing (as much charm as that still retains)…these beans make a POP when they open.

…Now, isn’t that an entertaining entrĂ©e? One question, though—are chick peas peas?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pills fight with each other

…See, here is the deal. If you think a medication or supplement is going to help you, you must think it’s altering your chemistry somehow. So if different drugs alter your chemistry different ways and to different effects, they might mix and create a third result.

…Ooops, you’re dead. Or ooops, you have a rash. Or ooops, you are bleeding out.

…Older people have the worst problem because they have older livers and can’t process these complex chemicals as thoroughly or well.

…175,000 older Americans end up in the ER each year—and half of these visits come from 10 powerful heart disease or diabetes drugs.

…The Harvard Heart Letter offers some tips:

…If you take a blood thinner, Coumadin or warfarin, get your clotting test every month or however often they tell you to. If you take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, watch out. And watch those leafy greens, especially spinach—keep your intake steady don’t just thrown down a big salad once in awhile.

…Insulin. Check your sugar several times a day. Keep an insulin supply with you.

…Digoxin. Check your pulse when calm. If it’s slower than it should be, call the doctor. Don’t start using an over-the-counter drug like antacids, cold or sinus medicine or laxatives without asking the doc. If you feel confused or dizzy, call the doc.

…Aspirin or clopidogrel. Be sure you are taking the right dose and when they tell you to. Don’t combine with warfarin. If you prune the roses and start leaking blood or anything else that makes you think you’re bleedy, call the doctor.

…Again, as HA has said so many times, if you feel crappy, call the doctor. He or she isn’t in your body—you are. Insist on answers.

…Just don’t hold your breath while waiting for that callback. Not breathing is bad for you.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Let's shoot all the fat people

…Grrr, HA is on the warpath. Tara Parker-Pope, on her fun blog at the NYT, has had a week-long thread, which I hope stays up, about whether women face worse discrimination for weight than men do.

…The url is:

…More than 200 people (ahem, several way more than once) commented. Some of the comments were hateful, almost panicked, at the idea that The Fat should be allowed to walk the earth, much less ever sit on a plane near their exalted selves or shop in a grocery store.

….The picture used was one of those unflattering faceless shots of a woman of size (loading groceries into her car, no less), and this also elicited some comments on how the issue was being pitched.

…Everyone thinks they have figured out the formula—eat less, exercise more—why the heck doesn’t everyone do it!? Easy-peasy.

…Someone had a trim girlfriend—all women should be like that, he noted. Another, a medical doctor, said, “Sex sells.” This was supposed to explain why supposedly unsexy people should be shunned.

…Someone else said discrimination was a social good—it would make people lose weight.

…Well, catch up, the “normal” is now changing, for a number of reasons. Of course, this is called an epidemic—like a hideous disease.

..Maybe it is—the theory about a adenovirus is still being researched by scientists with real advanced degrees.

….Anyhow, HA was pretty disturbed to see the reservoir of hatred and meanness out there. It’s not justified by anything, much less science and research.

…Someone wrote: Eat two salads a day, end of problem. Someone should write a book.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Now don't hear this

…What? Come again? Everyone is getting a little deaf around here. Actually, HA has been since teenage years—especially on one side.

…According to Jim Miller (, a third of those over 60 and half of those over 85 have some hearing loss.

…So, now, it’s the dreaded hearing aids. Did you ever have a conversation with your parents with these things screeching into the phone?

…The first step is the doctor, which means a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist). He or she will check your ears for damage or maybe (happily) waxy yellow buildup, which can be removed without getting a second mortgage.

…Then you will get a hearing test. The audiologist will help you decide which hearing aid is best.

…Behind-the-ear models are those big honkers you see on people. These help with all types of hearing loss.

…In-the ear types fill most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear ad work well with mild to severe loss. They are easy to adjust, but pick up wind noise (and look funky).

…In-the-canal models are smaller and are OK for mild to severe. But their small size, while making them unobtrusive, make them hard to clean and the batteries hard to replace.

…Completely-in-the-canal are for people with mild to moderate impairment. Tiny batteries with a short life—but they are pretty invisible.

…Open fit models are for people with high-frequency loss (kids’ voices, etc), the most common kind as we age. They go behind the ear, but are very subtle.

…These babies are spendy—ask for a two-week trial. Lots of insurance companies won’t cover them and you can expect to pay thousands.

…You might qualify for a boost from Audient, though, a nonprofit service for lower income people. or dial (877) 283-4368. If you make less than $24,500 for an individual you may qualify.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Shoulder shudders

…HA once pulled or crunched or did something most unfortunate to her shoulder—and it was nine months of waking up every time she turned over in bed and of having to revisualize how to fasten her bra (settle down) in front and pull it to the back. That last is not easy for a person with a compromised spatial sense (klutz to you).

…Leading sports orthopedist Kevin Plancher, MD, explains that the shoulder actually has three major joints and rotates in a circle, making it inherently unstable. This makes shoulder injuries the most common injury among professional and weekend athletes.

…Some tips for avoiding some big ow-ee? First, Plancher advises, act your age. Maybe certain motions didn’t hurt when you were a kid, but you’re not anymore. High reps, low weight.

…Concentrate on muscle groups, not individual muscles. Trying to get huge lats or biceps…bad idea. Do chest press or back row.

…Hire a pro if you (like HA) don’t know what those are. Get regimes from your doctor and then work them out with the trainer. Never lock out or lock in but rather work in mid-range (ask the trainer).

…Warm up and build up. Don’t use weights that are too heavy even if you are in good shape. If you are new to weight training, use a weight you can lift 8-12 times, then increase by 2% (and no more than 10%).

…Keep your hands where you can see them. Skip behind-the-head moves (oh, this rings a bell—this may be how HA got creamed). When doing bench presses or flys (trainer!), don’t let your hands drop beneath your shoulders. With a cardio machine like a stairstepper or elliptical, keep your hands lightly on the rails. If your elbows are locked, those shoulders will be screaming really soon.

…Even if you don’t wear a bra, you will be hatin’ life.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Quiet part-electric cars danger to the blind

…HA has not seen one yet, to her knowledge, but apparently these hybrid cars purr along softly.

…Writing in the LA Times (Mar 29, 2008), Martin Zimmerman points out that blind people instinctively rely on sound to locate danger and cars such as the Prius are too darn quiet.

…With her impaired vision, HA also listens more, so she can relate. And now she worries that her first experience with a hybrid may be with one on top of her.

…At low speed, in electric mode, these things are quiet as a golf cart.

…Of course, this also affects, kids, joggers, pets, and people who may use their ears more than they know (that would be you).

…The National Federation for the Blind may push for legislation requiring a noise emitting device on these vehicles.

…Of course, hybrid owners don’t like that one. One woman has noticed vehicles “creeping up on her,” then she got a Prius and realized the enemy was her!

…It’s when the cars are in electric mode that it’s dangerous. But now all-electric cars are coming.

…The problem is that a buzz or chirp that might be added will not be identified as a vehicle. Engineers are trying to isolate what people do identify with a car—engine revving, tire noise, fan belt, what?

…In the meantime, even if you can see—be careful out there. It’s great to be green, but a red splotch, not so much.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You're a parent forever

…Ever heard the expression: “Insanity is contagious—you get it from your kids.”

…HA’s kid is well beyond her majority, but most parents know this job does not end in 18 years.

…Chuck Moorman and Thomas Haller wrote Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children: Practical Strategies for Parents and Teacher to Help Children Manifest a Better World. HA could help them manifest a shorter title, but there are some worthwhile tidbits in this.

…They talk about (cute) uncluttering your parenting.

…Realize the old tools—yelling, shaming, scolding, inducing guilt, and bribing--aren’t working. You still read this, didn’t you? They aren’t working.

…Using power invites a power struggle.

…Eliminate judgment, it only keeps you from seeing your children clearly. If you see your kid as uncaring, you won’t see the caring moments.

…Be out of your mind. Don’t overanalyze. Clear your mind of incessant chatter. Forget, “My parents did this to me and I turned out all right.” Instead, follow your intuition.

…Appreciate the moment. When you and your kids are together, throw out thoughts of the future and past.

…Reawaken your curiosity. Forget your same old expectations—try to see why the kid is doing something.

…Cut down on talking. Cut the moralizing. Hear rather than tell.

…Apologize and begin again.

….There is more than one truth. Allow your children to find theirs.

…Try to see every parenting situation differently than you currently do.

…This could work with bosses and friends, too. The old tools aren’t working…repeat after HA.