Family Chatter: Comedy, Siblings and Lake Houses

Get your kids talking today.

How do I get my kids to talk to me?

Listening and talking are learned behaviors. How your children will communicate with others and you is something they are learning from you.

Get your teens and tweens talking to you today!Are you talking with and listening to them every day? About things that don’t matter, not just peppering them with questions? Is your homework done? Is your room clean? Did you do what I asked you to do?

Start young and create an “atmosphere of conversation” in your home.

When they are teens it is UNBELIEVABLY important that they trust you to listen when they talk. They need to be able to come to you and talk about both the meaningless and the meaningful.

I am 18 years into parenting and my teenagers talk with me. Often and about all topics. The reason they do is because I have been talking, asking and listening to them for years. Talk with your kids, do it often, you will reap the rewards when it matters most.

It’s always a good time to talk with your tweens and teens about giving back, however there is something about the holiday season that makes it even more important. This week on Ooph you will be provided with a couple of ways to help your kids give back to others. These questions are a good way to get started. Enjoy getting to know your kids.

To get Table Talk in your mailbox every Tuesday morning sign up for the newsletter on the right! 

 Get those teens and tweens talking! Over 700 Questions to get your family talking tonight!

Over 650 additional questions to get your family chatting.

Could you feel compassion for a bully?

Could you feel compassion for a bully? And interview with Amanda Maciel author of Tease. A novel of bullying told from the bully.

Could you feel compassion for a bully? And interview with Amanda Maciel author of Tease. A novel of bullying told from the bully.

I recently read, Tease by Amanda Maciel, and it just won’t let go of me. The story is about two high school girls, Sara and her best friend, who bully a classmate, Emma, because they feel threatened by her desire to hang out with the boys, specifically their boyfriends. Emma ultimately kills herself. The book is written from Sara’s point of view. I found myself drawn to Sara and no matter how hard I wanted to despise her, I simply couldn’t.  Tease is an amazing read that takes you on a journey back to when you were a young girl in high school dealing with boys, fitting in and the emotional roller coaster that is our teen years.

Amanda Maciel is a Senior Editor at Scholastic. Tease is one of the most incredibly written books I’ve read in a long time. Amanda has an unbelievable ability to capture the voice of a teen. I am interviewing her this Thursday via Google Hangouts. Join if you can, but most importantly, read the book. Have your daughters read it. It will make for compelling conversation with your teens.

Join me for the Hangout with Amanda Maciel. Hangout with Amanda & Ooph

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Girls

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Girls

Easter Basket Filler for Teen Girls

Just because they grow up doesn’t mean the traditions of Easter go away. They just change. The basket for example. It’s no longer filled with stuffed animals and candy. Instead, I fill them with a small amount of candy and things they will love. Below are great ideas for your teenage daughter’s Easter basket. 

Summer Gear
Sunglasses
Beach towel
Bathing suit
Cover-Up
Flip flops
Beach/Pool Bag

Hobbies & Electronics
Books
Journals
Earbuds (My new faves)
Fun spring colored cell phone cover

Fashion & Glamour
Lip Gloss
Nail Polish
Clutch
Wallet
Colorful tank tops
Shorts
Jewelry (Necklace with her initial or birthday)
Jewelry box

Gift Cards
Gas
Car Wash
Mani & Pedi
Itunes
Movie theater
Favorite coffee shop
Favorite after school food stop
Blow Out Bar

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Boys

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Boys

Easter Bunny Boy

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Boys

Just because they grow up doesn’t mean the traditions of Easter go away. They just change. The basket for example. It’s no longer filled with stuffed animals and candy. Instead, I fill them with a small amount of candy and things they will love. Below are great ideas for your teenage sons Easter basket. 

Gift Cards
Car wash
Gas
Itunes
Movie theater
Favorite coffee shop
Favorite after school food stop
Sports equipment store

Fashion & Function
T-shirts
Ball caps
Watch
Wallet
Lanyard for keys

Summer Gear
Swim trunks
Flip flops
Sunglasses
Beach towel
Drawstring gift bag

Hobbies & Electronics
Books
Cell phone cover
Video game
Headphones
Sports equipment
Fishing Gear

Easter Basket Fillers for Teen Girls

6 Things I Would Tell My 20 Year Old Self

6 Things I would Tell My 20 Year Old Self.jpg

6 Things I would Tell My 20 Year Old Self.jpgGuest Post from Linda Wolff

At twenty I was like many kids at that age: A youthful mixture of  bravado and immaturity. Every thing seemed SO important. EVERY decision was larger than life. Yet honestly, I didn’t have a clue who I was. In reality, I was just a girl who would struggle with frizzy hair for almost forty years before figuring out how to tame it, amongst other things. Yeah, I was that girl.

Here is my best advice for twenty-year-olds. The six things I know now, but wish I would have known then.(Though, according to my mother, I wouldn’t have listened anyway.)

1. Learn to be patient, uncomfortable and alone, because, as your mom likes to say, this too shall pass. Time will heal the loss and pain of a broken heart, so don’t be in such a rush to replace a person or a boyfriend. Sometimes the uncomfortable transition period is necessary for learning and growth; and rebound relationships usually aren’t built to last, though you’ll have your fun trying this anyway. However some losses, like the death of your father when you were young, will last a lifetime. The pain diminishes, but the wound never fully heals.

2. Don’t base your self-worth on a man and don’t make men your first priority. Very hard to do when growing up to be a wife and mom are deeply ingrained in your head. Try to really know yourself before you get in a serious relationship or marriage, though the romantic in you won’t listen. Remember, if you’re not with someone who makes you feel like the most beautiful, loveable and special person in the world, walk away. (And if it makes you feel any better, just know karma’s a bitch. One of your ex’s never got married and regrets not marrying you. I heard this from a reliable source, I swear. And the other was recently indicted. You didn’t really need that headache. You’re welcome.)

3. Finish college and/or grad school before you get married and have children. After a full day with the kids, being a wife, tackling homework until the wee hours of the morning, only to do it again the next day, is exhausting and won’t do your dewy complexion any favors, either.

Click here for the final three things Linda would tell her 20 year old self. 

Carpool Goddess: Linda WolffWolff shares her adventures from carpool to empty nest on her parenting/lifestyle blog CarpoolGoddess. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop, and many more. She is co-author of Not Your Mothers Book On Being A Mom. 

Remodels: Never on schedule and you can’t fire your GC if you are married to him.

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

It’s April and we were supposed to have moved into the Holly House this past weekend. Since firing my GC means dividing up all the kids and property and trusts, I’ve decided he can stay on. For now. Crossing my fingers that we will be able to move in before I head to Atlanta for the Mom 2.0 Blogging Conference on April 30th. (Actually, I’m secretly hoping that is when we move in. Sweet revenge for the delay.)

I walked through the house this morning to see how everything is coming along. As I walked from room to room I had butterflies in my stomach for the first time instead of feeling like I had eaten a bag of nails. The smell of pee from 30 cat’s is long gone. Why, yes, my husband did convince me to buy a house that had 30 cats living in it and was still somehow infested with rats. The dark and brooding feeling of old has been replaced by bright white walls, crisp black framed windows, exposed concrete blocks, sanded wood ceilings and clean subway tiles. Exactly as I wanted. A simple, industrial and clean pallet to work with. 

This is how it’s looking. 

 The Entry in October:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

The entry today. We were able to keep those beautiful cactus. I have no idea what they are called but they make me think of Dr. Seuss.

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

 The Main Room October:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

 Main Room Now:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

 Kitchen View from the Main Room October:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

A fun little reminder of what the demo phase looked like:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

 My clean kitchen pallet now:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

Master Bathroom back in October. I have tried hard not to think about what went on in this tub…

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

And now: 

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

The boy’s bathrooms with subway tile:

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

My office. Oh how I love this industrial concrete brick. Can’t you just imagine the reclaimed wood floors in here. Can’t. WAIT.

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

On to a couple of projects. There were many things from the house we bought in October that I found and would like to salvage. Here are two of my favorites. There was a horse living on the property. Cutest darn thing. Old as the hills. This is the bin he drank from. We are now repurposing it and using it as our powder bathroom sink.

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

And this sign from back in the day. I have no idea if it was the original sign from the Holly House property or from one of the other 100 properties that the famed architect, Joseph Kowalski (who built the Holly House back in 1950s) used. Incidentally he owned the house and lived in it the rest of his life. We bought the house from his children. 

Holly House Remodel: Look at what we've done!

My treasured tree. I was so excited when our fabulous tree guy told me we could salvage this gorgeous tree. we had to take all the roots from one side and cut them back because they were popping up our concrete slab, but we saved her. Can’t you just imagine her with lights hanging from her branches? Gorgeous.

Holly House Remodel: Look what we've done so far!

This week the walls are being painted. We are using our favorite brand of paint, Behr. We were planning on using it anyway, but they reached out to us about a month ago and wanted to work with us. We, of course, agreed and they sent us some of their beautiful new line of Marquee paints. No primer needed and only one coat! Look for photos coming soon!

Holly House Remodel. Look what we've done so far!

 And to the man I can’t fire because he makes it all happen (and tool belts are smokin’ hot on him), my GC. 

Holly House Remodel. Look what we've done so far!

Things are happening fast. Check back next week for painted walls and maybe, just maybe some of that gorgeous reclaimed flooring from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber  will make it’s debut. 

Our last two remodels. 

Check out my Holly House Pinterest boards to see our vision. Kitchen and Doors & Windows

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Corn Flakes & Honey

Honey Corn Flakes Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey & Corn Flakes.jpg

These delicious and easy to make chicken nuggets are a BIG TIME crowd pleaser in our house. With only five ingredients, they can be in the oven within 15 minutes of opening the cabinet doors. They cook 20 minutes total. Serve with some brown rice and veggies or fruit. 

And as an added bonus…this is a GREAT recipe to teach your teens to make for themselves!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Corn Flakes & Honey
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  2. 1/2 cup parmesan
  3. 1 cup crushed corn flakes
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  5. 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Spray a cookie sheet with oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Put honey and chicken pieces in a bowl.
  4. Stir until pieces are well coated.
  5. Combine salt, corn flakes and parmesan in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the chicken honey mixture to bowl and stir until all chicken pieces are well coated.
  7. Place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
ooph.com http://www.ooph.com/
Spray a cookie sheet with oil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put honey and chicken pieces in a bowl. Stir until pieces are well coated.
Combine salt, corn flakes and parmesan in a separate bowl.

Chicken Nuggets Coated with Corn Flakes & Honey Corn Flake Mix

Add the chicken honey mixture to bowl and stir until all chicken pieces are well coated.

Chicken Nuggets Coated with Honey and corn flakes
Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

9 Ways You Know You Are A Woman Over 40

9 ways you know you are a woman over 40.jpg

9 ways you know you are a woman over 40.jpg

This one is for all of my friends in their 40s. I caution all of you 30 somethings to stop reading now. You probably shouldn’t know what is coming your way. You know…ignorance is bliss and all. 

1. Gray hair. Not just for your head.

2. Your boobs. They need a good shaving.

3. Botox. It doesn’t work on your neck.

4. Someone gave my ovaries jackhammers.

5. Three months of working out is erased by one week of not.

6. My eyes. They’re broken.

7. Wait, what was I talking about?

8. Please. Don’t call me ma’am.

9. Conversations with my girlfriends? 1-8.

But? It’s not all bad. Tune in next week when I tell you what kicks ass about being in your 40s.

Other Ooph Lists

Parenting Teens? 10 Haikus That Will Make You Laugh

Parenting Teens? 10 Haikus That Will Make You Laugh

Parenting Teens? 10 Haikus That Will Make You Laugh

If you’ve got teens you will be able to relate to these humorous haikus from Peyton Price. 

1. Portrait of my son:
A full grown man’s voice shouting
“THAT WAS MY COOKIE!”

2. Snuggling on the couch
my eyes filling up with tears
because he smells. Bad.

3. Teen girls mob a car.
They’re squealing! What’s happening?
Nothing. Their friend’s here.

4. PSA for teens:
If it’s sold with underthings
wear it under things.

5. “I’m done studying.
There’s just nothing left to do.
I know everything.”

6. Awww, my son’s so sweet.
He’s poring over albums
of girls on facebook.

7. Look up “crestfallen.”
There‘s my teen getting the news
Dad can chaperone.

8. Five girls and five boys.
So is one of them his date?
Which one, do you think?

9. Into the teen’s room
with trash bag and rubber gloves.
Please. Nothing crunchy.

10. He’s in big trouble.
I‘m taking him out to lunch.
In public. With me.

Want more? You can buy Peyton’s Book!

Suburban Haiku - A must buy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peyton Price is a teen mom (but not a Teen Mom) and the author of Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches from Behind the Picket Fence. You can commiserate with her at suburbanhaiku.com.

Our Homebuying Moment: Not a Shared Dream

We bought a house that had 30 cats living in it. I kid you not.
I am blogging on behalf of Trulia, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Trulia’s. To learn more, visit: http://on.trulia.com/1glQksz

I am telling my story on behalf of Trulia. Click the photo to learn more about using Trulia for your next homebuying experience!

Each time my husband and I began our home buying journey we have VERY differing visions of what our dream house looks like. My dream home has a beautiful yard, a hot tub, pool or both. There is a beautiful outdoor kitchen (complete with a vine wrapped trellis in full bloom year round) where our friends will all come and sip on pretty drinks and enjoy the feast I’ve worked on for hours while the kids play perfectly in the yard. The inside of the home is bursting at the studs with light and airy colors that will make you happy even on your darkest days.

Most importantly? There is NOTHING that needs to be done to the house except clean it.

My husband’s dream house must be begging to be demoed. It must be old. And decrepit. It must have an odor so horrible it makes your eyes water. It must be so awful that everyone who enters it, other than my husband, thinks it is surely a tear-down and is cursing their real estate agent, as they gag their way quickly back out the front door, for wasting their time.

And so when I got the call from him saying he had found the perfect home for us to buy, I could literally feel the droplets of my dream house bubble splatter my face.

“Oh,” I said scanning the room for my bottle opener, “Let me guess, it was built in the 70s.”

There was a long pause, long enough for me to think maybe, just maybe, he was about to surprise me with my airy colors and hot tub.

“Actually, the 50s,” he said.

1950s

Something that sounded like a wounded animal escaped my throat.

The next day we left the kids at home and headed over to check out his 1950s dream house. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. I spent the entire drive saying the same prayer over and over in my head, “Please don’t make it as bad as I think it is going to be.”

“Just wait until you see it,” he said. “You will see the vision, just like last time. Remember how you thought I was crazy? But look how beautiful that house turned out to be. And we made good money when we sold it. Right?”

Plateada Remodel Before and After

He looked so sweet in his excitement and he WAS right. Though washing baby bottles in a bathtub on my hands and knees and cooking dinner on an electric stove from 1978 in our garage (the kitage as we affectionately called it) had sucked, our last remodel turned out stunning and we HAD made money. I started to reach over and affectionately take his hand when this came out of his mouth.

“You should prepare yourself for the smell. It’s terrible.”

Turns out 30 cats lived in the house. Along with termites. Both in-the-wood and subterranean types (didn’t even know those existed). There were also three dogs and a horse. Oh, and we didn’t know it at the time, but there were over 20 rats’ nests scattered in the rafters. Nothing had been upgraded since it was built in the 50s. And nothing, I repeat NOTHING, could have prepared me for the smell. The real estate agent opened the door for us and said she would wait outside while we looked around. I ran, gagging, my face shoved into my sleeve though the front door. My husband followed and began to gleefully tell me his vision. He wasn’t even done with the entry way before I was back outside gasping for fresh air.

Watch the Holly House transform!

And somehow…we now own that house.

It took my husband about a month of convincing, and by convincing I mean talking nonstop about the house until I was so beaten down I couldn’t take another second of his begging and visions, and I finally acquiesced on the House of Smell Horrors. There might have been a really nice pair of shoes thrown in and a girl’s trip…or two…negotiated. Oh, and this time, I put my foot down and we got a rental instead of living through the remodel with the scorned rats.

I’m glad I gave in. The Holly House is now in the drywall phase. The smell is long gone. Three glass garage doors have been ordered for our main room and open to the stunning canyon views. All new appliances have been ordered, including the Viking oven I have always wanted, and will arrive in a couple of weeks. So will my beautiful claw foot tub. The anxiety attacks of the demo phase being about three times what we expected have faded to a distant memory. The house is soon going to be amazing. We both ultimately got what we wanted. We bought his dream house and he is making it into mine.

30 Cats Used To Live Here

Thanks to Trulia for making it easy to find a home, a neighborhood and a real estate agent. The home-buying process is an emotional roller coaster, a gauntlet of unknowns. What can I afford? Is it the right house? Is it a good neighborhood? What’s the best kind of mortgage? Trulia provides home buyers with information – on neighborhoods, schools, crime, local amenities, agents, and financing – so that they can answer those questions with confidence.

Go check out all of the hilarious and relatable homebuying postcards from Trulia. Which one most relates to your experiences?

I am blogging on behalf of Trulia, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Trulia’s. To learn more, visithttp://on.trulia.com/1glQksz

 

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Family Chatter: Flying Cars, Alarm Voices and Bacon

Get your kids talking today.

How do I get my kids to talk to me?

Listening and talking are learned behaviors. How your children will communicate with others and you is something they are learning from you.

Get your teens and tweens talking to you today!Are you talking with and listening to them every day? About things that don’t matter, not just peppering them with questions? Is your homework done? Is your room clean? Did you do what I asked you to do?

Start young and create an “atmosphere of conversation” in your home.

When they are teens it is UNBELIEVABLY important that they trust you to listen when they talk. They need to be able to come to you and talk about both the meaningless and the meaningful.

I am 18 years into parenting and my teenagers talk with me. Often and about all topics. The reason they do is because I have been talking, asking and listening to them for years. Talk with your kids, do it often, you will reap the rewards when it matters most.

It’s always a good time to talk with your tweens and teens about giving back, however there is something about the holiday season that makes it even more important. This week on Ooph you will be provided with a couple of ways to help your kids give back to others. These questions are a good way to get started. Enjoy getting to know your kids.

To get Table Talk in your mailbox every Tuesday morning sign up for the newsletter on the right! 

 Get those teens and tweens talking! Over 700 Questions to get your family talking tonight!

Over 650 additional questions to get your family chatting.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe

It took me many attempts to get this soup to perfection. The kids said the first round was more of a sauce than a soup. And? I agreed with them. Perhaps I’ll work the first recipe into a delicious tomato sauce.

“Make it more like canned soup,” they said. 

So my mission was to make it taste more like it’s bad for you while trying to maintain some healthy qualities. I finally got the thumbs up from the family and now I am sharing it with you. 

I hope you enjoy is as much as we do. Indulge with a good old fashioned grilled cheese or keep it healthier with a side salad. Freeze the leftovers in individual portions for a great afternoon snack or for dinner when you don’t feel like making it from scratch.

Hearty Crock Pot Tomato Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 carrots
  2. 2 celery stalks
  3. 1 onion
  4. 4 cloves garlic
  5. 2 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  7. 5 bay leaves
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  10. 1 teaspoon sugar
  11. 3 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  12. 2 14.5 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  13. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  14. 4 cups chicken broth
  15. 1 cup grated parmesan
  16. 1/2 cup grated asiago
  17. ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Puree tomatoes in food processor, then pour into Crock Pot.
  2. Saute veggies until soft. About 15 minutes.
  3. Add garlic at end for one minute.
  4. Remove from heat and puree in food processor.
  5. Add vegetable puree, tomato paste, broth, sugar and spices to tomato puree in Crock Pot.
  6. Set Crock Pot to cook on low for 8 hours.
  7. One hour before you are ready to serve, add cheeses and cream.
Notes
  1. Indulge with a good old fashioned grilled cheese or keep it healthier with a salad. Freeze the leftovers in individual portions for a great afternoon snack or dinner when you don't feel like making it from scratch.
ooph.com http://www.ooph.com/
Puree tomatoes in food processor then pour into Crock Pot.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe

Saute veggies until soft. About 15 minutes. Add garlic at end for one minute.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe
Remove from heat and puree in food processor.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe
Add vegetable puree, tomato paste, broth, sugar and spices to tomato puree in Crock Pot.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup Recipe
Set Crock Pot to cook on low for 8 hours. One hour before you are ready to serve, add cheeses and cream.

Do You Diagnose Your Medical Concerns Online?

How Often Do You Look Up Medical Symptoms Online?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Aetna Foundation.

I do this thing where I self diagnose myself, my kids, my husband and even strangers. If you are reading this I am probably diagnosing you right this very second. I am a medical panicker. A bruise surely means leukemia. Lower back pain is a damaged internal organ. A headache is surely brain cancer. I am 43 years into this process and let me just tell you, having technology at my disposal has been a sanity saver.

Turns out your eight year old son’s bruises actually just mean you have an active little boy. Your teen son’s low back pain means he was showing off in front of friends in the weight room and strained a muscle. Your own headaches mean you were blessed with three boys who spend a heck of a lot of time triggering your medical panic button.

Being able to find information on the web about your health is invaluable. Whether it is to ease your mind, tell you your symptoms should not be ignored, help you with weight loss and fitness, it is something everyone should have access to.

Do you self diagnose medical issues online? Thanks to a new initiative by the Aetna Foundation that reality is happening for the most vulnerable and poverty stricken Americans. On February 5, the Aetna Foundation announced more than $1.2 million in grants to support this kind of digital technology. These grants are part of an even bigger $4 million, three-year digital health commitment from the Aetna Foundation with the purpose of evaluating technology innovations that will help address public health concerns.

As we all know, mobile phones have become invaluable tools in our lives. As you can see by the infographic below, 25% of low income American’s have a smartphone. Providing them access to Health Information Technology allows them to find medical information, doctors and healthy living options for themselves and their families.

And? If they are medical panickers like I am, it might just give them one less thing to worry about everyday. 

Medical Technology: Providing peace of mind for everyone.

How often do you go online to look up a symptom either you or your kids have? Three times a day? That’s normal right? 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Aetna Foundation.

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Family Chatter: Animals, Adults & Family

Get your kids talking today.

How do I get my kids to talk to me?

Listening and talking are learned behaviors. How your children will communicate with others and you is something they are learning from you.

Get your teens and tweens talking to you today!Are you talking with and listening to them every day? About things that don’t matter, not just peppering them with questions? Is your homework done? Is your room clean? Did you do what I asked you to do?

Start young and create an “atmosphere of conversation” in your home.

When they are teens it is UNBELIEVABLY important that they trust you to listen when they talk. They need to be able to come to you and talk about both the meaningless and the meaningful.

I am 18 years into parenting and my teenagers talk with me. Often and about all topics. The reason they do is because I have been talking, asking and listening to them for years. Talk with your kids, do it often, you will reap the rewards when it matters most.

It’s always a good time to talk with your tweens and teens about giving back, however there is something about the holiday season that makes it even more important. This week on Ooph you will be provided with a couple of ways to help your kids give back to others. These questions are a good way to get started. Enjoy getting to know your kids.

To get Table Talk in your mailbox every Tuesday morning sign up for the newsletter on the right! 

 How do I get my kids to talk to me? With Family Chatter. Fun & thought provoking questions that will get the conversations started.

Over 650 additional questions to get your family chatting.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying

10 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has become an epidemic. It leads to isolation, depression and suicide. Below are ten ways Detective Sgt. Tom Rich you can help your teen prevent cyberbullying. 

1.  Educate yourself: To prevent cyberbullying from occurring you must understand exactly what it is.  Research what constitutes cyberbullying, how and where it occurs, and talk with your friends about what they are seeing and experiencing.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying2.  Protect your password: Safeguard your password and all private information from inquisitive peers.  You don’t want to give bullies the opportunity to post false/private/embarrassing information or pictures on your social media pages or send them to the whole school through email. 

3.  Keep photos PG:  Before sending a racy photo of yourself to a peer or posting it online, consider if this is something you would want others to see, especially your family. Bullies can use this picture as ammunition to make your life miserable.

4.  Pause before you post: Don’t post anything that can compromise your reputation.  People will judge you based on how you appear to them online, and like point #3, bullies can use it as fuel.

5.  Raise awareness: Bring awareness to cyberbullying whether it be through a movement, a club an event or campaign.  Knowledge is power.

6.   Setup privacy controls: Restrict who can see your online profiles to only trusted friends. 

7.  “Google” yourself: Every once in a while search our name on all major search engines and see if any personal information or photos come up.  If you find something that can be used by cyberbullies to target you, take action and have it removed. 

8.  Never open messages from people you don’t know: Delete all messages without reading them from people you don’t know, as they could contain viruses and infect your computer.  The same goes for messages from known bullies.  It is best to not engage and ignore them.

9.  Don’t be a cyberbully: remember the phrase your parents instilled in you as a kid “treat other as you want to be treated”.  If you are mean to others online, it reinforces the idea that that kind of behavior is acceptable. 

10.  Log out of your accounts on public computers: Similar to not sharing your passwords, don’t give anyone the slightest chance to pose as you or to share false information.  Also, by staying logged in, you run the risk of the bully changing your password and locking you out for a period of time.

10 Ways to Prevent CyberbullyingDetective Sgt. Thomas Rich, is currently a certified police officer in the State of New Jersey and has been a DARE instructor for the past 10 years.  His most recent endeavor includes being a part of the development team for the new app STOPit. STOPit was built for both consumers and school districts and allows students to report cyberbullying anonymously to school officials and local authorities.