Teens

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Halloween can be a fun night and the kids and parents reap big rewards, but it is important to stay safe. Here is a video reminder from the Colorado Springs Police Department on how to stay safe while trick or treating.

Going trick-or-treating? Check out these safety tips from the CDC.

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Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

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Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

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Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

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Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

 

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Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.

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Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

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Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

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Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

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Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

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Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

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Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

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Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

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Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

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Everything is bad for us and we should all be panicking.  It doesn’t matter what we eat, it is going to give us cancer, make us fat, and ultimately kill us. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news this week you’ve probably seen some scary warnings about bacon, red meat, and fingernail polish.

 

 

 

 

 

The bottles we drink out of have chemicals we can’t pronounce and will result in our unborn children being born with three legs.  We can’t paint our nails because the polish has a chemical in it that makes us fat and can cause hormone problems.

The World Health Organization just released findings that bacon, ham, processed meats are all off the plate because they cause colon cancer. For good measure, they threw in that red meat probably causes cancer, so you shouldn’t eat that either. You can’t eat hot dogs because they have human DNA in them.

Of course we’ve always known that vegetables are sprayed with insecticides and that can lead to all kinds of problems. They don’t mention that you can rinse well and enjoy your apples and lettuce.

Escalators injure over 4,500 people every year, so just take the stairs. Don’t drive anywhere because all those people who text and drive are killing about 6,000 people a year. Is there no safe place?

You probably thought of your bedroom, right? WRONG! People falling out of beds account for about 1.8 million ER visits every year.

Maybe you can just head to the nearest park and enjoy some play time with your kid. Nope, playground-related injuries for children 14 and younger send more than 200,000 kids to the ER every year.

Honestly, pretty much anything can kill you, injure you, or cause some kind of disease. The very act of doing nothing (sedentary lifestyle) can lead to illness and death.  Just use your best judgement, remember “everything in moderation,” and wear a helmet. You’re pretty smart and you’ve made it this far in life, don’t stress about all the potential dangers in life, that causes cancer.

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The phrase “Parent-Teacher Conferences” can make even the best parent shiver in fear. Don’t worry, it isn’t usually that bad. This is an opportunity for the teacher to let you know what is going on with your child and for you to ask the teacher questions.  By the first parent-teacher conference you should have some idea what your child has been learning, how well they are doing, and your child’s opinions on the teacher.

 

 

 

This is your opportunity to create a partnership with your child’s teacher. Teachers only have a limited amount of time, so preparing questions before time will help you keep your thoughts organized.  Keep in mind that this is your chance to support your child’s teacher and make a plan to help your child succeed.  Here is an overview list of questions to ask. You may need to be more specific for your child’s situation.

  1. Is my child finishing their assignments? Are the assignments accurate?
  2. What are my child’s strengths? Concerns?
  3. How much time should my child be spending on homework?
  4. Does my child have special learning needs? Are there special classes my child should be in?
  5. What are your class rules and expectations? How does my child do with these?
  6. Does my child have close friends? How well does my child get along with other students?
  7. What can we do at home to support classroom learning?
  8. What is the best way to keep in touch with you?

Additional questions for middle and high school students:

  1. How can I help my child to work independently and make the best use of time?
  2. How can I help my child prepare for high school?
  3. What courses should my child take to satisfy graduation requirements?

 

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Take off the tu-tus, the boys are taking over dance class.  Dance is extremely physical and requires strength, poise, and skill. This is the perfect sport for boys, so why don’t we have more boys in dance classes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few years ago my boys decided they wanted to take break dancing classes.  They had been learning on their own via YouTube and friends, but they were ready to get serious.  We looked around for a dance school that offered the classes and found that there were only three studios that offered classes.  Thankfully, we found an amazing school with an amazing teacher.

The class had about 10 kids, mostly boys. They loved learning the moves and the basics of break dancing.  It helped them grow stronger and it was definitely a workout.  They practiced at home and were destined to be the winners of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Well, that’s what I thought anyway.  Then we moved and couldn’t find a class nearby, so they decided on another sport.

However, when I told a family member that my sons were taking dance classes, I caught a sideways look. “Dance classes?” I explained their love of breakdancing, but you know what guys who take dance classes are awesome. There is no need for the snide comments about a boy dancing.  Public perception is changing regarding dancing and it starts with us, moms and dads.

Look at the guys on “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” They are extremely fit, strong, and wow, those legs.  Ballroom dancing takes two and that mens they need men who can dance.  The big questions is, why don’t we encourage them to take classes earlier? What is stopping them from learning ballet or modern dance?

More dance schools are realizing that boys will come if they are welcomed.  Dance studios that offer classes like: Hip-hop, tumbling, capoeira, rhythm tap, movement for actors/stage combat, all-male ballet, etc. are a great way to get boys interested in dance.  It also makes a big difference when there are male teachers and males in the classes.

Dance classes in and of themselves are awesome and can lead kids to great things. However, dance classes can also be an addition to other activities like football and basketball.  Quite a few football players have taken dance classes to help with their focus, skill, balance, and much more. Professional fighters have found that dance classes benefit them in their sport.  You can use these tidbits to win over the haters.  If they still smirk after that, so be it. Dance is not just for girls and boys need to be encouraged and excited about this sport.

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When your second grader comes home with her new friend’s phone number and a request for a playdate of course you want to say yes.  However, you may not really know the parents and that could be a problem.  Letting your child spend a couple of hours at a stranger’s home isn’t easy, but it only takes a few questions to help put your mind at ease.

 

 

 

We’ve compiled a list of questions for you to ask before letting your child participate in a playdate. Don’t worry about what someone will think of you, you’re just trying to keep your child safe. Even if you are going to be staying at the home, you may want to ask these questions because your kids may be in rooms you’ll never see.

Check out our questions below and let us know what questions you would ask. Are there any deal breakers for playdates?

  1. Do you have guns in your home? Are they locked away?
  2. Do you have pets?
  3. Do you monitor the video games and movies the kids are watching or playing? What ratings are allowed in your home?
  4. Do adults smoke or drink alcohol in the home? Will you be drinking alcohol while other children are in the home?
  5. Will tweens or teens be in the home? Will they be helping watch the kids?

**This isn’t a question, but if your child has an allergy you should definitely tell the host mother and father. If it is severe make sure they know how to use an EpiPen and get ahold of you.

 

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Magic Town Photo from Sculpture by Michael Garman

Have you heard of Magic Town? If not, you are missing out on a local treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Town is Michael Garman’s 3,000 square-foot sculptural theater.  This miniature city is handmade and has many different city scenes.  They are based on Garman’s travels around the world.  Magic Town also includes holograms, mirrored illusions, and much more. Magic Town is located in Old Colorado City and includes free popcorn and a scavenger hunt. Michael Garman has created sculptures that honor extraordinary American Heroes at affordable American prices. Cowboys, firefighters, soldiers, linemen, aviators and more.

According to Garman’s website, “Magic Town is a place where stories come alive!  So each autumn, we invite students to tell us their stories.  The Magic Town Literary Contest provides an opportunity to discover what happens at night when all the sculptures come alive.”

3rd Annual Magic Town Literary Contest

The Michael Garman Museum & Gallery
2418 W. Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, 80904
Literary Contest is open to kids ages 4-18:
* Monsters in Magic Town – Short Story up to 500 words open to kids ages 4-10.
* Night in Magic Town – Short Story up to 1,000 words. Two categories – ages 6-10 and ages 9-13.
* Night in Magic Town – Short Story up to 2,000 words. Kids ages 13-17.

Discounted admission of just $1.00 for participants in this contest. Submissions accepted through 11/2/15. First place winners in each category will receive a custom autographed sculpture, 1-year pass to Magic Town, and publication on our website.

Mary Koehler, 719-963-6900, customerservice@michaelgarman.com

Photo from Sculpture by Michael Garman Website

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Divorce is tough, even when both people agree to the terms and it is completed in a civilized way.  Kids are always impacted and even if they seem to be handling it well, they can have confused feelings.  This is an eyeopening video that shows how grown adults deal with divorce that happened in their childhood and adulthood.

 

 

“It wasn’t just about them getting divorced, it was about the family being broken up.”

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We all know that brushing our teeth is the best way to get rid of bad breath.  However, we don’t always have quick access to our toothbrush.  The obvious answer is gum or mouth wash, but just in case you don’t have those handy here are five tips you might be able to use next time halitosis gets the best of you.

 

  1. Carrots, Celery, and Apples – Use nature’s toothbrush! These veggies and fruit are crisp and fibrous enough to “brush” your teeth.  They also increase saliva production which helps get rid of stinky breath.DSCN0123
  2. Black Coffee – That’s right, black coffee, with no sweeteners or milk, can actually stop bad breath at the source. Researchers found that something in coffee stops the bacteria that causes bad breath.IMGP2366
  3. Green or Black Tea – Tea is a go-to for killing bad breath for reasons almost the same as coffee.  Scientists found that chemical compounds in black and green tea can prevent the growth of the bacteria that causes bad breath. tea_glass
  4. Cucumbers – Rub a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth and tongue for about 30 seconds.  This will kill the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath.  file0001512015307
  5. Drink Water – Dehydration is one of the top reasons we get bad breath.  Drinking water throughout the day keeps you hydrated and helps prevent bad breath.  It also has plenty of other benefits to your health as well.file3481310661998

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Students are increasingly feeling unsafe at school.  High schools are constantly being threatened via messages in the bathroom or social media posts.  Students are humiliated on social media and in the lunch room. It seems like high school is a tough place to be for kids.  As parents, we want to do our best for them and one mom is doing much more than talking to the principal.

 

 

 

 

A South Georgia mom has applied for an arrest warrant after her son was photographed using the bathroom. According to the police report, the student victim, Chance Roberts “looked up and saw a white phone recording him while he was on the toilet.” and “when he exited the stall, he noticed a group of students looking at the white phone and laughing.”

His mother, Misty Adkins, says, “He feels violated. He feels like he doesn’t know who he can trust…It frustrates me because he doesn’t feel safe at school.” The video was sent to other students via Snapchat. The school has worked to change Roberts’ schedule so he is not in the classroom with the student who took the video.  There is a court date set for October.

This is a difficult position for students and parents.  Unfortunately, if the mother hadn’t applied for the arrest warrant and spoken with the school, the perpetrator’s parents would never have known about the incident.  In cases like this it is necessary for both sets of parents to be involved.  I realize that by high school parents have less control over their children.  However, they do have influence and many are paying for their children’s lifestyles.

These parents need to step up and teach their son that acting like this is not acceptable.  Recording someone on the toilet is never a good idea.  Just because there are some sick people who actually think it is funny does not make it right.  This type of bathroom humor should be flushed down the drain.