Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day: History and Meaning

Well, it's that time again. Many Americans view Memorial Day as not much more than the start of the summer season. Most of us will be barbecuing, gathering with family and friends, maybe even doing some shopping. While enjoying the long weekend we hope you'll take a moment to remember the meaning of Memorial Day and perhaps even pass it on to someone. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Waterloo, N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. Memorial Day is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps." We hope you'll have a wonderful, long weekend with family and friends and we also hope that while you're doing that you'll remember and appreciate those who have fallen for our country this Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Children's Anger - Helping Your Child Deal With Tough Emotions

Author: Laura Ramirez Dealing with children's anger is one of the challenges that parents face as their kids grow up. Some parents are lucky enough to have children with positive dispositions but there will always be a time when even well-behaved kids turn defiant, especially when they are at a stage when they are seeking their independence. But for those with children anger issues, it is highly important that these challenges are properly addressed through specific strategies because otherwise, these kids grow up unable to process and deal with negative emotions in an appropriate manner. Children, Anger & Parent's Patience If you're dealing with children's anger in a toddler or a preschool-age kid, understand that at his age, he has yet to learn how to control his temper. You are going to need all the patience that you can muster to teach your child how to behave properly and keep his anger at bay. For starters, you want to learn how to appear calm when you're faced with outbursts or tantrums. The more distressed you look, the more your child's behavior is reinforced. When you're relaxed, your child will feel that he has a safe place to express his feelings. For some kids (although certainly not all) timeouts are effective because the child learns to reflect on his behavior. A healthy response to children's anger is to be a role model Children tend to mirror the adults around them. A good tip in managing children's anger is managing your own negative feelings in a variety of situations. You want to show your child that it's perfectly fine to acknowledge that he's angry, but it's not okay to use it to act in an aggressive way toward others. Children Anger Management - Get to the Core Issue You would never be angry without a reason and neither would a child. Get to the reason the child is upset and you'll be able to help your child get past his feelings. Emotional awareness is a big part of children anger management. Encourage the expression of difficult feelings. Kids who learn how to express their feelings in productive ways, don't go into rages. Teach your child it's okay to have strong emotions. Talk about these feelings to help your child improve his emotional literacy. Children, Anger & Parent Attentiveness It's important to be attentive to your child's feelings. When you sense your child's anger is building, teach him how to acknowledge and deal with it. Then teach him to direct negative feelings to a proper outlet for expression. When a child is upset, he needs someone to understand where he's coming from. When you learn to identify why your child is angry, you get to bridge that gap and prevent the build-up of hostility. For parents who have difficulty managing their own emotions or those whose kids are chronically oppositional, disrespectful and defiant, try an at-home children anger course that will teach you how to help your child learn how to manage difficult emotions and control himself when things get tough. By doing so, your child will enjoy better emotional literacy and a deepening respect for you. About the author: Laura Ramirez offers articles and reviews of tools and resources for parents on her web site, including Total Transformation review, which is a unique at-home behavioral modification program. Ms. Ramirez is the author of the award-winning parenting book, "Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting." She is a parenting educator and keynote speaker.
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