Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Importance of Teaching Children About Leadership

We see the future of our nation (and the world) as being in the hands of children. The problems that will need to be solved, as well as solutions being enacted today, will be the responsibility of future generations. What's needed to implement these solutions is a healthy supply of quality leaders. The best time to begin emphasizing to children the importance of leadership is when they can grasp a basic understanding of what a leader is. We're not speaking of role models, but rather the basic qualities that define the best leaders.

In order for a child to know what leadership is, they have to see it. Most learning in life takes place through visual senses, and children need to learn leadership when they see it. In the home is the logical place for that example to be seen, and parents need to show examples of cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork in the everyday duties that go with a normal, functional family life.

In teaching them about leadership, they should be directed to look in the mirror and decide whether they have the necessary qualities to become a leader. The earlier a child realizes their personal character mirrors that of who they perceive to be a leader, the quicker they can be moved in a direction that will foster a learning environment towards leadership. This will create a foundation that can be built on for the rest of their lives.

Some prefer to follow rather than lead, and for these children the importance of recognizing the role of a leader and the responsibilities that go with it will teach them two things. The first is that a leadership role is necessary for organizations to function. The second is learning to accept rules established by the leadership to guide their lives in a positive direction.

The idea of responsibility runs though the idea of leadership, but here we are talking about personal responsibility to step up and accept the role of a leader. While some leaders can be trained, there are others who are natural born leaders. Accepting the role of a leader does not come easy to some people, but learning early about the importance of leadership will allow children to see that a leaderless society is one that does not function very well.

One of the difficulties in teaching leadership is the diminishing number of leaders that parents can point to for exemplary character. Children are subjected on a daily basis to negative comments about teachers, politicians at all levels, and their peers. In a society where the hair styles of the key leaders are emphasized more than their roles and responsibilities, many times children are left to create and define their own concept of leadership. Teaching starts in the home though, and parents need to tone down superficial criticism of leaders, and present a model their children can identify with on a daily basis.

Robert Heileman is a teacher and parent that writes all about education. His recent work is on The Top 10 Online Early Childhood Education Master’s Programs.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Spotlight: SpecialT: Nine Lives - Nine Names

The author's desire is to inspire others to appreciate how God uses animals, sometimes very wise and wonderful ones like SpecialT, to enrich our lives if we only open our hearts and minds to the lessons they can teach us, just by being themselves.

About the Book: Cats teach us some of life's most important lessons. After all, nine lives allow them time to get things right.

God, in His infinite wisdom and I imagine a chuckle or two, often uses one of His marvelous creatures get our attention. I'm convinced that SpecialT, an older, gentle, tabby cat, was divinely led to my home and into my heart because some of the principles I had previously learned about family, friendship, and God's faithfulness needed reinforcing.

All SpecialT needed to do to get his points across was to be himself. His story reveals how delightful life can end up being if we can find the path God wants for us, take it, persevere on it, and not look back. This was one of my cat's most poignant lessons. I found out after SpecialT had been with me for many years, that several of his allotted nine lives had already been spent. There is no doubt in my mind that he polished his life-lessons on his way to me.

Many cats share one or more of SpecialT's qualities, and are no doubt life-lesson teachers to some degree. Whether you read his story on a sunny beach, in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea, out loud to your children or grandchildren, or quietly to yourself, it is my hope that one of your favorite cats, past or present, will come to mind and put a smile on your face as you remember a life-lesson he or she taught to you.

Excerpt from book: from Chapter 4,    Cat Fight, Lesson Learned
The night it happened was quiet and quite dark. Here in the country we have no street lights. It was the time of a new moon, so shadows were deep and night creatures were hard to see. Cats roamed the neighborhood freely then, and there were few complaints from neighbors about their night adventures while the rest of us were sleeping.
All at once a screech of gigantic proportions woke me from a sound sleep. I sat straight up in bed, then rushed to the window to see what was happening. There in the dark shadows of the driveway I could just make out T face-to-face with Wildcat, the next door neighbor's cat who was so jealous of T that the neighbor had returned T to live with us. The howls went back and forth on different tone levels, each escalating in sound. I grabbed my robe and slippers and literally leaped down the steps to put a stop this fracas, all the while whispering a prayer.
God, please protect T and Wildcat from each other. T is so gentle, I do not think he knows how to hold his own in a fight with Wildcat.
I ran out of the house through the garage just as the physical battle took place. Legs were flying in all directions, gray and orange intertwined like a pinwheel out of control, all accompanied by howls of distress and anger. I turned on the driveway lights and grabbed an old aluminum pot and a small hand rake and began beating them together with all the force I could muster as I ran towards the fur ball action At the harsh banging sounds, the entangled cats split apart, with Wildcat running home, and T lying still on the blacktop.
Oh God, let T be okay.
I picked up T and he looked at me with his calm golden eyes, his body limp, but breathing. I could imagine him asking me, "What just happened, Mom? Wasn't that a cat, isn't he supposed to be my friend?" I searched T's body for a puncture wound, which I knew from past experience with other cats could easily become infected, but with his long hair it was difficult to see down to T's skin. The one thing I did find was a V-shaped split in one of his ears, slightly tinged with blood.
Back we went to the vet when they opened the next morning. No real damage had been done, no puncture wounds to the body, but the cartilage in the ear would never heal together, and could not be stitched together, so T would always sport a natural “V” to remind us and him of his close call with danger. We called it his "victory" notch.

Title: SpecialT: Nine Lives - Nine Names
Author: S. Jenny Boyer
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: 978-1-61244-074-3
Genre of Book: Non-Fiction/Inspirational
Pgs: 100

Publication Date: April 2013

Places available for sale: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Halo Publishing, and Signed copies from the author.

About the Author:  Ms. Boyer is a retired nurse, an Infection Control Practitioner, whose world changed dramatically when she let the words swirling inside her escape to paper. Her story of her beloved cat, how he came to live with her later in his life and the lessons she learned from him, changed her life for the better. She lives in Frederick, Maryland with her husband Jim. She has three daughters and one step-daughter, and four grandchildren. Several of these family members are in her book. She continues to write about how other creatures impact her life, and the lives of others.

You can find out more about Jenny Boyer, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Psychosocial Aspect Of Bullying

When it comes to bullying, three main parties tend to be involved. These are the bullies, their victims, and a hybrid of the two, known as bully-victims. Bully-victims are tormentors who have been subjected to a remarkable amount of bullying themselves. Each of these three personalities play a specific role in the events that are carried out when one individual attempts to use superior influence or strength in order to intimidate or force the hand of another. Understanding these roles and their commonalities is crucial for determining why bullying happens and how to prevent it.

One of the most common characteristics among bullies, bully-victims and victims is anxiety. These individuals walk around with a near-constant sense of impending doom. For victims and bully-victims this can likely be attributed in large part to the intimidating behaviors of their tormentors. It is important to note, however, that most bullies have a clear understanding of which individuals are most likely to succumb to their threats and aggressive behaviors. Bullies rarely make a point of challenging those who they know will stand up for themselves. Thus, bullies and bully-victims are both keen, with or without their own awareness, in terms of their ability to identify feelings of low self-worth and anxiety. This could, however, be due to the fact that these are shared characteristics.

Bullies, bully-victims and victims are also likely to experience feelings of sadness and depression that far exceed what is considered to be the norm. These are emotions that may be attributed to issues at home, poor performance in school, lack of parental care and parental guidance or other family-related issues. It is even likely that sadness is associated with ongoing anxiety and the inability to handle or properly deal with unwarranted fears. Kids who constantly feel anxious and have limited understanding of how to cope with or alleviate this feeling often become depressed.

It's not surprising that bullies and bully-victims choose their targets carefully. In addition to avoiding confident children who are likely to fight back or stand up for themselves, they also tend to target people who possess the very qualities or advantages that they want. In this way, the victims that bullies and bully-victims target can be highly informative in terms of identifying the bully's underlying issues. Children with apparently stable home lives and adequate parental care are likely to be targeted by aggressive personalities who lack these things. In addition to resenting the advantages that their victims obviously enjoy, they also identify with their anxiety and recognize this as a weakness. Targeting a person with shared characteristics or flaws is usually indicative of self-hatred or self-disgust.

Breaking Free
In order to effectively address bullying in any controlled environment, leaders and administrators must recognize the patterns of bullying and show all involved parties how to break free of them. In many instances, this requires authority figures to learn more about the home lives of bullies and their victims and to assess their school performances, the disciplinary methods that have been used in the past, both at home and at school and to identify and report all evidence of abuse. By correcting the underlying factors, both bullies and bully-victims can find positive and constructive ways to vent or cope with negative emotions. Likewise, victims can address their anxiety and depression issues and learn to exhibit higher levels of self-worth and confidence.

Jessie Brocka is a teacher who about psychology, development and education. Her recent work is on The 10 Most Affordable Online Education Programs.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Hockey Angony

Hockey Agony
Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna McDine
Artist: Julie Hammond
Paperback ISBN: 9781616333607; 161633360X
eBook ISBN: 9781616333614; 1616333618
Price: $9.95 paperback / $5.00 e-book

Peer Pressure and Honesty many times go hand-in-hand.  What is Larry to do when his teammate asks him to cheat when he is given the responsibility to run the clock during the big hockey game?  Outwardly, it may seem he will follow suit, but his conscious tells him otherwise at the moment of truth.

Overall Thoughts:
We liked this fun, quick to read book about being a team player, peer pressure and honesty. Many kids today play sports or are on some type of team. We teach our kids to be a team player, but sometimes we forget to explain when not to be a team player, meaning when honesty is asked to take a backseat.

The life lessons kids will read about are not preachy and because this is a short read, makes this a perfect book for reluctant readers.

You can find out more about Donna McDine, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kids Huffing - Deaths Preventable

"Air" on the Safe Side!

With the EPA sounding the alarm on environmental concerns related to compressed air dusters, commonly used to clean electronics among hundreds of other uses at work and home, and with children as young as 8 using canned air to experience a quick high (but with horrific health risks and even death), the time is now to remedy these highly solvable problems.  This is imperative since one single can of canned air has 3,000 times the effect on the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and the equivalent of driving a vehicle 100 miles. Far worse, the inhalation of canned air can cause many negative health effects, such as brain damage, seizures, permanent impairment of vital organs, hearing loss and mortality.

The simple, singular solution is the O2 Hurricane--an innovative canless air device that's an Earth-friendly, safe, and affordable alternative to traditional canned air dusters that present an array of problems for the environment, public safety, and other concerns (as listed below). The O2 Hurricane is a green, harmless, reusable, portable, inexpensive and non-toxic solution that also boasts more continuous power (a full 15 minutes of nonstop 200+ mph thrust) using just the air we all breathe without freezing--and therefore usefulness--than its chemical-laden canned counterparts.  Far beyond dusting electronics and IT components easily and more effectively, the O2 Hurricane can handle a myriad of other surprising and practical air-friendly functions, including dusting indoor/outdoor furniture, fans, light fixtures, plants and air vents; filling up an air mattress, toys, and pool floats; easing landscape maintenance; ridding pets of loose hair; and quick drying of hobby/DIY materials and even finger nail polish! View a video detailing the countless uses for the Canless Air O2 Hurricane in business and at home here:

Why Must We Crush the Can?
In the United States, most canned air uses chemicals known as hydroflourocarbons, which are known to be GHGs (greenhouse gases).  Apart from injury by intentional misuse or accidental exposure, these chemicals pose a large threat to the environment. GHG chemicals emit harmful gases into the atmosphere while the one-time-use containers end up in landfills. Canless Air, like that provided with the O2 Hurricane, is the superior choice over canned air because it is free from environmentally damaging chemicals. The O2 Hurricane also utilizes power-saving technology (Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries), eliminating wasteful electricity drain. And, with the O2 Hurricane, cans do not end up in the landfill. Estimated cans of canned air disposed of in landfills annually are the equivalent of tens of thousands of vehicles!

Not only are there dangers for people who intentionally abuse it, but there are also hidden dangers for people using canned air in regular situations. Canned air is not really air; it's a mix of various gases. If canned air is used in a poorly ventilated area, there is a possible danger of oxygen deficiency and even asphyxiation for anyone in the room. When canned air is held at an angle, the liquefied gas can be released onto surfaces or into the air, creating a highly flammable environment in which open flames and any kind of spark, including electrical switches, can cause a flash fire. The liquid propellant in canned air is known to cause frostbite when skin is exposed for a long period of time, causing serious physical injuries. By contrast, the Canless Air System O2 is simply air, toxin free, safe and a fraction of the price.

--View video about EPA Warnings about Canned Air here:

--View video about how the O2 Hurricane aims to end huffing here:

--View the EPA's published environmental concerns about Compressed Air Dusters here:
O2 Hurricane (Canless Air)
Canned Air

Difluoroethane, trifluoroethane&tetrafluoroethane.
No greenhouse gasses!

Emits greenhouse gasses.
If inhaled, you would only be inhaling the same air you breathe.

Inhaling may cause severe illness or even death.
No fear of inhalant abuse.

Inhalant abuse by some for a chemical 'high.’
No proof of age needed to purchase.

Must be 18 years or older to purchase.
No secured inventory issues for retailers.

Sometimes retailers must have secured inventory.
Can be used continually for over 18 minutes and will never freeze-up or cause frostbite.

May freeze-up, become inoperable, or even cause frostbite.
Can be used at any angle.

Must be used in an upright position.
No flash fires resulting in severe burns caused from chemicals - CHEMICAL FREE!

May cause flash fires resulting in severe burns.
Will not explode in any temperature.

May explode at 120 degrees.
The O2 Hurricane does not produce any pollution.

Use of one canister is equal to burning 100 gallons of gasoline.
No chemical residue danger to sensitive electronics.

Chemical residue is dangerous to sensitive electronics
Uses are limited only by your imagination.

Limited uses due to chemicals.

Unmatched PerformanceWhen it comes to pure cleaning power, canned air dusters are simply no match for the O2 Hurricane Canless Air system. To use canned air, you must only shoot short bursts of air and the can must be kept upright for it to work. Turn canned air or computer dusters at an angle and you end up with ice and the device stops functioning. You can even suffer frostbite when using traditional air in a can. If you cannot turn the can sideways or upside down, how can you clean those hard to reach areas? In contrast, the Canless Air 02 Hurricane can be turned sideways, upside down, or any angle that is needed to power clean hard to reach crevices. Plus, you can use the Canless system in a sustained manner for deep cleaning, and since no chemicals are used, there is no chance of frostbite. The Canless Air compressed air duster is more powerful and better able to reach hard-to-clean to areas than traditional air dusters, computer cleaners, and can air solutions.

$79.95 160+ MPH
$109.95 200+ MPH

Learn more online at:

Submitted by Stephanie Fisher


*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.