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How to Build Communication Bridges with Your Teen

Raising a child doesn’t come with a book of instructions. If it did, the task would be much easier. Facing the teenage years with your son or daughter is not something most parents look forward to. This article will help you take the experience one day at a time and learn how to bridge the communication gap.

As your child goes from toddler to youngster to tween to teenager, something in what you say gets lost in translation. They can give you that blank stare as if the words that are coming out of your mouth sound like the unseen teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

It’s not easy to improve the communication bridges with a teen but it’s important to try to get through as these years and the choices they make now will have a vital impact on their future.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Watch your body language. How you move says a lot about you. When a person is tired, they tend to slump. When angered, your jaw muscles tighten and your eyes narrow into slits. Believe it or not, teenagers are good at interpreting body language. Yours will betray you when you are talking to them. Keep it open and honest. Avoid sitting with your arms crossed, eyes looking away from them or squirming in your seat.

2. Make eye contact. When you don’t look at the person you are talking to it says that you are either hiding something or you are not at all interested in what they have to say. Your teenager will shut down emotionally when they suspect that you are not “tuned in” to them. Sit comfortably and give your teen undivided attention with consistent eye contact. It lets them know that you care.

3. Keep your emotions in check. Remember back to when you were a teenager. Some of the things you said to your parents were aimed at freaking them out. Teenagers will push your buttons if they can. Don’t go overboard and get upset. Their target is the situations they know make you mad. Instead, take a deep breath and ignore the taunt. Do the opposite of what they expect because really, they want you to see through their ploy and find out the real problem.

4. Ask them about their day. This technique works with spouses also. Even if your teen only grunts or says the obligatory, “It was okay,” ask anyway. Your show of caring will go a long way to convince them that you are interested in the things that they do and how they feel.

5. Be honest with them. If you don’t understand the situation they are talking about then say so. Kids know when you are being insincere. Discuss the situation until you get an idea of where they are coming from. Your teen won’t mind explaining as long as they know you are listening.

6. Allow them their privacy. This one is tricky and since you know your child better than anyone else, you can draw the line. Teens value their time alone. While the policy in your home may be that there are no locks on the doors, always show respect by knocking before entering. If they don’t want to be pressed about a situation in school, wait until they are ready (if it’s not urgent) and then talk about it.

Parenting a teenager takes a tough skin, a willingness to be vulnerable and lots of love. You will make mistakes but whatever you do, don’t ever stop talking.

Easy Steps to a Clutter Free Home

When you first move into your home it seems like you have so much space. As the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat. What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated? Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and organize your home.

Home organization is a step-by-step process. It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task. If you have a family, enlist their help. They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life.

1. Start with the high traffic areas. The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house. Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places. Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

2. Use storage containers. Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional. Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your décor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.

3. Divide items into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part. Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around. If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order.

5. Make use of all of your available space. In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling. That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container. Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits. In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.

6. Label your containers. Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers. Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed. Labeling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something. You won’t have to open each container to locate them.

Organizing your entire house takes time. But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization.

What Are the Signs That I Need to Lose Weight?

Lose weight and knowing when to lose a few pounds is a problem we all face at some time.

Knowing when you need to lose weight should be obvious.

Lose Weight

Lose Weight


But sometimes our self-image is different from what we see in the mirror.

Or maybe you don’t step on the scale regularly.

And sometimes our lives are so busy.

That our exercise and healthy eating takes a backseat, letting the weight creep on.

You can take control by looking for the signs that you need to lose weight.


 1) Physical Activity Is Challenging

Do you feel tired climbing up a staircase?

Do you get winded from the tiniest bit of exercise or get out of breath just doing regular activities?

Then it’s time to start thinking about losing weight.

When you carry extra weight, that weight places excess strain on your heart, forcing it to work harder.

Physical activity demands even more oxygen, making it hard for your heart to keep up.

If you become winded easily when doing simple daily activities like walking across a parking lot.

It’s time to consult a weight loss doctor.


2) You Are Constantly Hungry

When you are overweight or obese.

You tend to be hungrier than those who are at a normal range.

The more you weigh, the more calories you need in order to maintain that weight.

Often overweight individuals crave empty calories from sweets or processed foods.

Which in turn leads to more cravings.

Constant hunger is also a sign of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

Lose Weight

Lose Weight


3) Your Doctor Or Your Numbers Tell You

If you’ve recently had a visit to your doctor.

They may tell you straight out that you need to lose weight.

And if they don’t, your numbers will tell you.

Your BMI is the first indicator.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being borderline diabetic.

Are all signs you need to start paying attention to your weight.

Weight loss can change these numbers back to a normal range.


4) You Are Told You Snore

Loud snoring with gasping sounds is a symptom of sleep apnea.

This is a condition where you stop breathing.

Repeated for 10 seconds or more while you sleep.

It is a result of decreased oxygen in the blood.

It can cause you to wake many times during the night.

Making you tired the next day.

The most common cause is excess weight and obesity.


5) Your Joints Ache Or Hurt

Your knees, hips and back ache all the time.

Excess weight puts pressure on your joints.

It grinds down tissue, causing osteoarthritis to set in.

This can make movement uncomfortable and difficult.

Lose Weight

Lose Weight


6) You Don’t Feel Good

If you feel fatigued a lot of the time.

Have very little energy and you are tender to the touch.

It can be from inflammation caused by being overweight.

Feeling achy can be the result of excess fat.

And constant fatigue can be a result of internal inflammation.


7) Your Clothes Don’t Fit

You live in comfy sweats because you favorite jeans no fit.

This is likely a sign you’ve started putting on extra weight.

It’s probably time to start getting healthy before your weight gets worse.

Did any of these signs and symptoms hit too close to home?

If so, give yourself credit for recognizing it’s time for change.


Typical Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Almost everyone has heard of PMS, premenstrual syndrome.

But not everyone knows what the typical symptoms are.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome


This means they may not get the treatment they need in order to live their best life.

The symptoms can manifest physically, emotionally and mentally.

They can last from 7 to 14 days prior to the onset of a woman’s period.

The symptoms can vary from month to month.

And can improve or worsen depending on various lifestyle issues.

Such as lack of sleep, poor diet, and too much stress.


Physical Symptoms

Common physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to look out for include:

  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness even after resting
  • Listlessness
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Lower back pain
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • An uncomfortable feeling of fullness
  • Food cravings, especially for sweet or salty foods
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Decreased sex drive


Emotional And Mental Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) manifests in relation to mood and behavior in a number of ways, including:

  • Feeling sad
  • Depression, that is, feeling down and losing interest in things one normally enjoys
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased awareness of what is going on around them
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Poor body image, feeling unattractive


The poor body image issue can be caused by bouts of acne.

Which can often occur around the time of a woman’s period.

Bloating and weight gain can also make a woman feel less than desirable.

Especially if she can’t fit into her favorite clothes.

This can in turn lead to a decrease in libido, and therefore in intimacy.

Which can result in driving one’s partner away.

This “rejection” can also seem to occur if the woman acts moody or angry.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome


Worsening Of Existing Conditions

PMS has been shown to worsen some pre-existing conditions.

And those with them therefore need to be extremely vigilant.

The conditions most commonly affected include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Epilepsy and seizure-related disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraines


It can also affect pre-existing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

In addition, it can affect eating disorders.

Such as emotional eating and binge eating.



If you feel out of control of your own body from the middle of your cycle onward.

It could be a sign that you have premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

If you suspect you might have it, your first step is to grab a notebook.

Or set up a word processing document to start tracking your symptoms.

A PMS diary and menstruation diary can help track your patterns.

And aid the doctor in determining what will be the most effective treatments for you.


Suspected Cause Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

The suspected cause of PMS is hormonal activity.

The trouble is that the hormones all interact in a complicated way with one another.

So it can be difficult to find just the right treatment to reduce the symptoms of PMS.


Relieving The Symptoms

There are three main options for symptom relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS):

  1. Over-the-counter remedies
  2. Natural remedies
  3. Prescription medicines


These can be used singly or in combination to help relieve your symptoms

And get you back in control of your life.

There are many treatment options available.

Now that you know the main symptoms of PMS.

Keep a journal about your experiences.

And discover which options are best for you.


Child Illness And The Common Symptoms

Child illness can occur at anytime.

For children it can be a difficult time, for both parent and child.

Child Illness

Child Illness


As it is very early in there development, they must be monitored closely.

Whenever they take ill to prevent additional complications.

It’s only natural for parents to worry if their child is not feeling well.

But we don’t want to “hover” either.

Therefore, it is important to know the typical signs that your child is not feeling well.


Know Your Child

You know your child best, including their moods and preferences.

If they are not acting like their usual self, it could be a problem at school.

Like stress or bullying, or it could be a sign of sickness.

If you suspect sickness, search for other signs.


Typical Signs Of Sickness

There are a number of typical signs of sickness in relation to respiratory illness and gastrointestinal illness.

Your child might complain about certain symptoms as well.

Though younger children will have to be observed carefully.

Because they lack the vocabulary sometimes to say what’s wrong.

Respiratory Signs

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches and pains
  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Chills
  • Sometimes nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

Gastrointestinal Signs

  • Loss of appetite
  • Complaining food tastes funny
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration

In most cases, respiratory symptoms will be a sign of a cold or the flu.

However, if their symptoms do not improve after rest and medication.

It could be a sign of something more serious.

There are more than 700 illnesses that start out looking like a cold.

But could turn out to be something more.

For example, meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes of the central nervous system).

Can rapidly progress to extreme illness and even death.

Typical additional symptoms to watch out for include.

Severe headache and the inability or unwillingness to turn their head at the neck.

Child Illness

Child Illness


Warning Signs Of Potentially Severe Illness

There are several warning signs of potentially severe illness that should be investigated.

These include:

  • High fever
  • Looking flushed
  • Sweating profusely
  • Breathing issues: fast, troubled, shortness or stoppage of breath
  • Bluish, purplish, or gray skin color, especially around the lips
  • Not drinking enough fluids, or refusing to drink
  • Not urinating, decreased number of wet diapers, or no tears when crying
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not alert, listless, such as being overly quiet, not interested in their favorite toys, and so on
  • Can’t tolerate being touched or held
  • Very cranky and irritable
  • Unusual aggression
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or stomach
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Symptoms that don’t improve even with medicine
  • Symptoms that suddenly worsen
  • Loss of consciousness


How To Treat Your Child At Home

If you think your child is ill, have them rest at least 24 hours.

Check with your doctor or go to the ER if you notice any sudden or severe illness.

Most of the time it will be a cold or flu.

For a cold, they should drink plenty of fluids.

And eat things with vitamin C, such as oranges and kiwi fruits.

For the flu, you could take them to the doctor for a dose of antiviral medication.

It won’t cure it but it will shorten the amount of time they are ill.

And also make the symptoms less severe.

Avoid giving aspirin, as it can trigger a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome.

This can occur after a recent viral illness.

And results in confusion, listlessness and/or sudden aggression.

Also in rare cases may lead to organ failure and death.

Child Illness

Child Illness


Make sure they rest.

Ensure they drink plenty of fluids, such as water, broth and 100% fruit juice.

If they have been vomiting, use Pedialyte to rehydrate them and replace electrolytes.

Contact your health care provider immediately.

If a child younger than five years of age is suddenly unwell.

Encourage your child to wash their hands often.

Especially after using the toilet, vomiting, or sneezing and blowing their nose.

Most of the time, your child will experience the regular illnesses of childhood.

But keep an eye on them just to make sure that it’s nothing serious.