Tag: kids health

The Five Best Gifts to Give Your Family

The Five Best Gifts to Give Your Family

When we think of giving gifts, we usually think of things to buy for people. Yet if you think back on gifts you’ve been given, it might not be the material gifts you received that are foremost in your mind. It might be the kind of gifts that deeply touched your heart and soul. It might be various ways, other than material things, that people expressed their love in the family and to you. There are five gifts of love that we can give to our families that can make a huge difference in their lives.

The Gift of Caring and Compassion

When we have the courage to face conflict and tell the truth, we not only provide our family with a role model for courage, but we provide opportunities for our loved ones to step up to the plate in the face of our truth and learn to be courageous too. We all yearn to feel cared for, yet many of us withhold caring and compassion for others. A profound gift we can give to our loved ones is to listen with our heart, to understand and accept rather than to judge, and to stay open to learning rather than to protect against being hurt. Think about the last time someone actually listened to you and gave you understanding and acceptance. The feeling of being understood and accepted with caring and compassion is one of the best feelings in the world. Instead of focusing on getting this from others, why not focus on giving it to others? You might be surprised at how wonderful you feel in giving this gift to your family.

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The Gift of Courage

One of the best gifts we can give our loved ones is our own courage. This means having the courage to stand in our truth, to be honest about what we want and don’t want, what we will do and won’t do, what is and what is not acceptable to us. It means having the courage to take good care of ourselves, even if others don’t like it. It means not succumbing to our controlling behaviors that come from fear, anger, withdrawal, compliance, resistance; but instead being honest and above-board about ourselves. It means being willing to face conflict rather than give ourselves up to avoid it.

The Gift of Service

We are on this planet to learn to love ourselves and each other and to help each other. One of the best gifts we can give our family is to role model this by doing service. Helping others fills the heart and soul in ways that nothing else can. If children do not see their parents doing service and helping others, they may never learn the great joy and fulfillment that comes from giving. One of the best gifts we can give to our family is to provide ways of doing service.

The Gift of Creativity

All of us are born with various ways of expressing our creativity. Expressing creativity is a profound way of connecting with Spirit, since expressed creativity is a direct expression of Spirit. Providing your family with many ways of expressing their creativity is a great gift. Creativity can be expressed in so many ways – cooking, crafts, building things, music, art, movement, telling stories, writing, humor, photography, and video – the possibilities are endless! Creative family projects are especially wonderful in creating family closeness.

The Gift of Levity

A lightness of being – fun, joy, laughter, playfulness – is a great gift to give to others. Lightness of being is infectious – our laughter and playfulness can help others take life less seriously and “lighten up.” Lightness of being is one the results of all the other gifts – of caring, courage, service and creativity. When we give these gifts, we feel a wonderful lightness within, the lightness that is the result of fully giving from the heart. Our own lightness of being can bring lightness into our whole family. Children love it when their parents are playful, fun loving and joyful. Laughing together as a family is one of the most precious experiences in life.

We need to focus on giving these gifts each day, not just during a holiday season or special occasions. These gifts are far more important than any material thing we can buy for someone. In fact, we might not be so focused on material gifts if we frequently give the gift of love – of caring, compassion, courage, service, creativity, and lightness of being.

Help your kids exercise their mind and learn schoolwork

Help your kids exercise their mind and learn schoolwork

Herbs are not the only tools we have to strengthen the mind and body. Here are some strategies to help strengthen the minds of your children. These strategies are offered to help students develop a more efficient and effective memory. This listing is by no means exhaustive but rather is meant as a place to begin to help kids learn schoolwork.

1. Take the mystery away.

The first and perhaps most important strategy is to see that all students understand how memory works, and also know their particular profiles of memory strengths and challenges. Then, students should be taught memory management strategies.

2. Give directions in multiple formats.

Give students directions in both visual, verbal and tactile formats. Try using all the senses for the most immersive learning. In addition, their understanding and memorizing of instructions could be enhanced by encouraging them to repeat the directions given, and explain the meaning of these directions. Give examples of what needs to be done as this helps kids remember directions.

3. Teach students to over-learn material.

Teach kids to “over-learn” new information. Often they practice only until they are able to perform one error-free repetition of the material. But, several error-free repetitions are better to solidify the information.

4. Teach students to use visual images and other memory strategies.

Another memory strategy that makes use of a cue is called word substitution. The substitute word system can be used to remember information that is hard to visualize. For example, for the word occipital. These words can be converted into similar words that sound familiar and that can be visualized. The word “occipital” can be converted to “exhibit hall” (because it sounds like exhibit hall). The student can then make a visual image of walking into an art museum exhibit hall and seeing a big painting of a brain with big bulging eyes (occipital is the region of the brain that controls vision). With this visualizing system, the vocabulary word the student is trying to remember actually becomes the cue for the visual image that then cues the definition of the word.

5. Give teacher-prepared handouts prior to class lectures.

Class lectures and series of verbal directions should be reinforced by teacher-prepared handouts. The handouts for class lectures could consist of a brief outline or a partially completed graphic organizer that the student would complete during the lecture. Having this information enables students to identify the salient information that is given during the lectures, and prompts them to correctly organize the information in their notes. Both of these activities enhance the memory of the information as well. The use of Post-Its to jot information down is helpful for remembering instructions.

6. Teach students to be active readers.

Students should underline, highlight, or jot keywords down in the margin when reading chapters to enhance short-term memory registration and/or working memory when reading. Then they can go back and read what is underlined, highlighted, or written in the margins. To consolidate this information in long-term memory, they can make outlines or use graphic organizers. Research has shown that the use of graphic organizers increases academic achievement for all students.

7. Write down steps in math problems.

Students who have a weakness in working memory should not rely on mental computations when solving math problems. For example, if they are performing long division problems, they should write down every step including carrying numbers. When solving word problems, they should always have a scratch piece of paper handy and write down the steps in their calculations. This will help prevent them from losing their place and forgetting what they are doing.

8. Provide retrieval practice for students.

Research has shown that long-term memory is enhanced when students engage in memory retrieval practice. Taking a test is a memory retrieval practice, i.e., the act of recalling information that has been studied retrieved from long-term memory. So, it can be very helpful for students to take practice tests. When teachers are reviewing the information before tests and exams, they could ask the students questions or have the students make up questions for everyone to answer rather than just retelling students the “to-be-learned” information. Also, if students are required or encouraged to make up their own tests and take them, it will give their parents and/or teachers information about whether they know the most important information, or if they are instead focused on details that are less important.

9. Help students develop cues when storing information.

According to memory research, information is easier retrieved when it is stored using a cue, and that cue should be present at the time the information is being retrieved. For example, the acronym HOMES can be used to represent the names of the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. The acronym is a cue that is used when the information is being learned, and recalling the cue when taking a test will help the student recall the information.

10. Prime the memory prior to teaching and learning activities.

Cues are helpful that prepare students for the task to be presented. This is often referred to as priming the memory. For instance, when a reading comprehension task is given, students will get an idea of what is expected by discussing the vocabulary and the overall topic beforehand. This will allow them to focus on the important information and allow more effective depth of processing. Advance organizers also serve this purpose. For older students, CliffNotes or other similar study guides for pieces of literature are often helpful aids for priming the memory.

11. Use Post-Its.

The use of Post-Its for jotting down information can be helpful for students who have short-term memory or working memory challenges.

12. Activate prior knowledge.

You can enhance the likelihood that students will build on and retain new incoming information, by activating the student’s prior knowledge. This will make the new information more meaningful to them as it fits in with their foundational knowledge already accepted by their brains. An easy way of accomplishing this task is to ask, “What do you know”, “What do you want to know”.

13. Give extended time.

If students have difficulty with the speed of retrieving information from memory, they should be given extended time for taking tests so that a true picture of what they know may be gained.

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14. Use multi-sensory methods.

When learners, both young and old, experience something through multiple senses, they are much more likely to remember it. Use a Multisensory approach by engaging as many of the senses as possible when teaching (seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting).

15. Review material before going to sleep.

It should be helpful for students to review material right before going to sleep at night. Research has shown that information studied this way is better remembered. Any other task that is performed after reviewing and prior to sleeping (such as getting a snack, brushing teeth, listening to music) interferes with the consolidation of information in memory.

Toothache Tips with Natural Herbs and Remedies

Toothache Tips with Natural Herbs and Remedies

See the dentist as soon as you can and in the meantime you can try the following remedies to help with the aching tooth.


Cloves can be found in the spice rack and are often used in apple dishes, but they are also one of the best-known home remedies for a toothache.

  • To relieve the pain of a mild toothache, chew two cloves on the affected tooth.
  • If chewing is too painful, you can use oil of cloves.
  • Mix 3 drops oil of cloves with a quarter teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Soak a cotton ball or gauze pad in this mixture and rub it over the painful tooth and gum.
  • Then keep it against the affected tooth by biting down on it.

 You should feel better within 10 minutes or less.

Health Related


Salt can be a very effective remedy for a toothache as well as any gum infection or sore in the mouth, especially where bacteria are at the root of the problem.

  • Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a small glass of lukewarm (body temperature) water.
  • Take a sip and swirl it around the mouth, working it through the gaps between the teeth where possible.
  • Do not swallow.
  • Just spit it out and then take another sip and repeat.
  • By the time you finish the glass your pain should be much less.
  • If it comes back later, just repeat.
  • Even if you stay pain-free, it is a good idea to do this after every meal for a few days.
  • It will help clear any bacteria that might be forming around food particles in the mouth and prevent the problem from recurring.

If you have salt crystals, then alternatively you can take one or two and press them against the painful place with your tongue until they dissolve.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that can be used to relieve the agony of a toothache in much the same way as oil of cloves. Alternatively, add a few drops to a small glass of water and swirl around the mouth before spitting out.


Ice can numb the pain and reduce swelling in the mouth as well as on joint sprains and strains. Either hold an ice cube against the painful tooth in the mouth or make an ice pack from ice wrapped in a cloth or a pack of frozen food and hold it against your cheek where you have pain.

If you use frozen food as an ice pack, you should throw it away when you are done. It will have partially thawed and it is not safe to refreeze and eat.

Lower The Head

Increase blood flow to the head by putting your head between your knees, as if you were feeling faint. Combined with other methods this will strengthen the body’s ability to fight the infection. See your dentist or doctor if home remedies for a toothache do not resolve your problem.

Just a suggestion

Swishing with hydrogen peroxide every day after you clean your teeth has been known to whiten teeth over time and keep the smile whiter, and at the same time works as a natural antiseptic and micro bug killer in your mouth. Do not swallow the hydrogen peroxide as most over the counter hydrogen peroxide is not food grade. So spit it out after.