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Being Thankful. Teaching Your Kids to Be Thankful

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Like any skill or habit, helping your children develop a sense of gratitude in life takes practice. The more your children develop a habit of being kind, polite and thankful,the more it’ll become ingrained into their character. Do note; helping them become aware of how blessed they are in their lives won’t come overnight. They need to see, understand, and take in everything happening around them to develop a sense of gratitudeand act accordingly.

If you are a parent who wants to raise children that are not self-centered and see things outside the box, read the following tips on teaching kids how to be thankful to get inspired:

Lead by Example

Like it or not, as parents, we’re in the spotlight 24/7 as kids look up to us, learn from us, and pick up our gestures, opinions, mannerisms, etc. We hope they won’t pick up some of the worst characteristics (all those times we yell, do bad things, curse, and whatnot.) Their learned behavior, mental and emotional development, development of their central attitudes, and core values, are our primary responsibility as parents. It is why the only thing we can do to help them grow into sensible, sensitive, kind, and aware individuals, is to lead by example.

Let your kids grow up with parents who are not only grateful for what they have but also express it frequently – not just verbally – but also in the way they live.

Exposethem to Reality

For the most part, people (not just kids) have no idea what’s happening outside the bubble the media has created for them. Individuals like these rarely ever understand and empathize with the reality of things, with people suffering, with poverty, and problems that are not their own.

To help your kids understand how things are and cultivate a healthy attitude towards things in their lives, expose them to reality. Take them to poverty-stricken areas of your city, encourage them to volunteer in shelters in your community, get them into the habit of donating their clothes to those less fortunate, etc. Educate them by both talking and reading to themand introducing them to real life.

Do Not Spoil Them

Don’t be the type of parents who feed their children’s ungrateful habit of getting everything they want. Instead, make them earn things, say “no” from time to time, teach them the value of money and material goods they have easy access to (as opposed to those who don’t.) If you think“denying” your kids things they can have is insensitive, it’s the opposite – by teaching them to earn stuff, you are encouraging the growth of grace and gratitude in them.

Teach them to Be Generous and Share

Sharing is caring as they’d say. Being generous doesn’t mean sharing (i.e., passing along) your leftovers; it’s giving on a sacrificial level. Real generosity means empathizing with other people’s situations, understanding them, and giving everything in your power to help those less fortunate. Kindness and generosity towards others is a massive step toward gratitude for everything you’ve got.

When you start teaching your children real values early on, you are giving them the opportunity to become thankful for everything in their lives sooner than they usually would. Start educating them early on, and you’ll see beautiful individuals develop right before your eyes.

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Why Do Politics Cause People to Argue and Fall out over Thanksgiving?

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The political climatehas been pretty awkward and tumultuous throughout 2017 and 2018.  Everyone’s got a comment and a strong opinion on what’s happening, followed by an urge to scream it out.

With the holidays approaching and families getting together for a hot plate and a session of yelling, you can probably expect yours too to start sharing their opinions about political tweets, partisan politics that recently been more divisive than ever, and everything else in between. But, why do politics cause people to argue and fall out?

Politics are one of those touchy-feely subjects you can never win in. You can if you are talking to like-minding people with same or similar attitudes and convictions to yours, but the moment you try to cross-reference your opinions with someone who’s had a different background, upbringing, a different social and economic situation than yours, you are bound to clash. Even so, no matter how uncomfortable and disturbing, politics are a huge part of our lives and somehow happen to be one of the favorite topics to talk about.

If you are in the mood to try and reason with your family, go for it. However, if you are one of those who’d instead do everything to avoid a holiday chat turning into a screaming match, we’re listing some super advice below to help you out:

Know What You Are Talking About

Your Thanksgiving table isn’t the place to start a political debate, but if you already are set on doing it, then make sure you’ve got the facts sorted. If you feel strongly about something that’s talked about at the table, and you disagree with what the others are saying, shut them up with facts, dates, and examples. Talking empty will only lead to collective frustration.

Be Ready to Agree to Disagree

Not everyone wants to hear your opinion nor will they agree to your points, no matter how valid. That’s okay – such dynamic is a part of every political talk. What may be the problem here is you not realizing you can’t get to some people. So, to avoid feeling frustrated and turning this dinner into a verbal beatdown, be prepared to put the convo to bed, no matter how unhappy you are with the way it turned out.

Have Other Topics Ready

Sure, they’ll try to drag you in into the political debates, but you can always shut the political drama down by coming to dinner ready with other topics to talk about. Anything that’s not as intense as talking about politics is a great way to defuse the situation. Talk about work, your next holiday, relationships, remodeling your home, other people (yes, gossip seems to be great for taking someone’s minds off of their intended topics), talk about your kids, your favorite books turned to movies, and why you loved them, etc. Anything that’s not politics or is even remotely related to politics will work. Oh, and – avoid talking about religion. That’s a topic that’s almost as equally inflammatory as politics. Sorry.

It’s an unwritten rule – you’ll be talking politics during holidays, whether you like it or not, so you better get ready for it. Check out our websitefor some exciting book topics to talk about when you get together with your family.

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Favorite Charities during the Holidays; in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

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The spirit of Thanksgiving is all about being together, showing gratitude for all the treasures in life, and helping the ones in need. It reminds us to be humble, kind, and to share happiness with those around us, not for one day, but over the whole year. Efforts we make to put a smile on somebody else’s face make us feel enthusiastic and give us the strength to continue the pursuit of our dreams. Little gestures can make a big difference. You can help in many different ways, and sometimes kind words and thoughtful actions are more than enough. Here are some of the ways you can brighten many spirits, including yours.

Join a Volunteering Program

Roasted turkey is a symbol of Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t taste as good any other day of the year. Sadly, some people are unable to purchase or prepare a Thanksgiving feast. Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that invites volunteers to help in providing food to elderly and disabled persons, and joining this action is a great way to give to the community. You can help by setting up the event, delivering meals, or cleaning up. To make it all more fun, call your friend to join you.

Donate Clothes to a Charitable Organization

While you may be convinced you’ve got “nothing to wear,” there must be a few pieces of clothing you don’t wear – no matter the reason. Instead of throwing the garments away, choose to deliver them to some of the charitable organizations in your town or leave the clothes with a homeless shelter. There is somebody out there who will be delighted with a new shirt or a sweater, so search through your drawers as soon as you get home!

Pay a Visit to a Hospital

Hospitals can be very lonely places during the holidays. While others are enjoying with their families, patients are bedridden, and a surprise visit would surely cheer them up. You can visit a children’s hospital and share gifts or candies, read to the kids (or with them), and embrace the spirit of being there for those less fortunate. It is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to have fun and to come closer while doing a good deed. You’ll feel fulfilled and proud of yourselves.

Use Technology to Spread the Spirit of Togetherness

If you are too busy with preparing for a holiday or you have guests coming by, there is always a way to make an impact from your home. After all, that’s what modern gadgets allow us; to connect with those who are far from us and, in this case, to help them. ShareTheMeal is an app that enables you to donate money for hungry children around the world. It can’t be easier. Download the app, follow the instructions and for only 50 cents, you’ll feed one hungry child for one full day.

Being kind and generous is easier than you think. It doesn’t have to demand time, money or great effort. It is only necessary to think about those who need help and to be honest in your intentions to make them feel better. Thanksgiving reminds us of these little things that mean a lot, and encourages us to share with the world because, as Charlotte Bronte would say: “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”

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How Reading Improves Seniors Quality of Life

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Although extremely advantageous, natural reading is very often a neglected activity, especially in the 21stcentury. These days, people prefer to spend free time doing pretty much anything other than reading as they already spend too much of their workday in front of a computer, reading, skimming through stuff, writing emails and whatnot. Practically, all they want to do is rest their eyes for a while, and we get that.


Unfortunately, there’s no middle in this praxis. It seems that other media has replaced our former glorious obsession with reading altogether, because it is easier to digest in the current climate of burnout, too much information, and screen blindness. But, in all truth – nothing beats reading and all the benefits that come with it, to people of all ages. Reading is not only fantastic for kidsbut the elderly as well, for the reasons we are about to list below:


The Health Benefits of Reading


Life of a senior can indeed be stressful. Health problems and family worries wear a person out. And at an advanced age, stress can be costly. To the rescue comes the book, which is a real treasure during difficult times. A good novel can take you to different places and different times and distract you from your worries. It helps you to take a deep breath and face problems calmly.


Many studies have shown a connection between reading and mental health. Reading as an everyday activity can reduce memory decline by 30%. The scientists have also discovered that brain stimulation provided by learning or solving puzzles minimizes the probability of having Alzheimer’s disease. Another excellent benefit of reading is that it improves the quality of sleep. Anxiety, pain, and side effects of medications can make falling and staying asleep very difficult. Reading before bedtime is a perfect way to help your brain slow down and tell your body that it’s time for its well-deserved rest.


Reading as a Sparkle That Boosts Your Spirit


Besides influencing your health positively, reading can enrich your life. It’s a great way to spend free time. It’s a perfect pastime for retired people, making their day more exciting and amusing. A person is never too old to learn new things, and there’s no better way to do it than scrutinizing scientific breakthroughs, art catalogs, or encyclopedias. Additionally, books improve a person’s vocabulary which, then, increases self-esteem.


When it comes to choosing your literature, reading anything is better than reading nothing, but we recommend classics. Everybody loves a good story, and the world’s most celebrated novels are the best stories ever told. They will stir up your imagination, help you develop empathy, and broaden your perspective on life.




Modern Tools That Enhance the Reading Experience


Reading can be a challenge for senior citizens who have vision issues or find it hard to stay in a sitting position continuously. Luckily, audiobooks have come to the rescue. A lot of them can download from the internet but also found on YouTube. Podcasts are another great way to entertain your brain and give it something to do. E-books are useful as well because the size of letters and the screen brightness can be adjusted.


No Matter What, Reading Should Be a Habit


Reading is a high activity that helps usfeel better physically, but also mentally. A good book is especially beneficial for senior citizens because it entertains the brain and helps it work properly. At the same time, reading makes life more cheerful and opens new horizons. So, please do yourself a favor and grab that book right away!


Check out Progressive Risingfor more information on the best books, the importance of reading, and everything else in between.

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How Is Secretive Social Media Helping Teenagers Keep It Real?

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Being constantly exposed to social media can be very stressful and exhausting. It applies to teenagers in particular, since social media is a huge part of their lives, ever since they can remember. Exchanging photos, chatting with friends, posting different stuff sure is fun, but can become difficult to handle. Why? The answer is easy: people judge you based on your online activities. Therefore, you have to put a lot of effort to maintain that image of yourself, the one you want everybody to see. That, unfortunately, means a lot of faking. Saying what you don’t mean, following people you don’t care about, taking hundreds of selfies before finally choosing that one which deserves to be uploaded (i.e., is likely to have most likes,) forming an opinion of yourself based on how others view you on social media. While, the most parents dream of encouraging their children to read booksinstead of social media comments, the reality is different.


Teenagers Are Getting Tired of the Expectations


Today’s kids feel pressured by social networks. Since they can’t quit and delete their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps (because to them that would equal being dead), they have found new ways to express how they feel. Hint: no, it’s not therapy, and no – it’s not quitting social media altogether. It’s the opposite: installing more apps and more social networks but those that “allow” them to be themselves. Anonymous platformshave become increasingly popular, giving people, mostly teenagers, the opportunity to say what they mean and share their feelings without being exposed. Other ways of keeping secrets safe have also appeared. Kids have found ways to secretly interact amongst themselves online, without the involvement of parents, teachers, bullies, or snitches.


Using Fake Tools to Be More Real


One handy app that helps teenagers hide pictures, videos and other files from people who like to look through their phones is Calculator%. At first glance, it seems like a regular calculator app. Its primary use is to password-protect files. To unlock secret folders that exist nowhere else on the phone, you have to type a code. The app is available on both app store and play store and has recently raised some adult’s eyebrows. It also has been removed from someapp stores.


Another way of sharing files with only chosen people is fake Instagram profiles, a so-called Finstagram, or Finsta. Mostly, girls are those who have these profiles created, and they use them for sharing ugly selfies, private jokes, pictures of outfits they are not feeling so confident about, and similar stuff. The Finsta owner alerts those who she wishes to share her secrets with by following them from a Finsta account and then accepting them when they follow back.


A bunch of anonymous chat apps is becoming popular among young adults as well, one of the best known so far being Yik Yak. Based on your location, the app shows you short status posts from more recent to oldest. You can post, downvote or upvote existing anonymous posts, or read comments and comment yourself, anonymously. The trouble had started when posts about bomb threats led to canceling classes in schools or putting entire buildings under lockdown. As a result, some campuses have entirely banned Yik Yak.


All in All, Online Presence Seems Inevitable


In the end, your online presence will cost you. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable since they care about other people’s opinions more than the grownups do – hence, a more anonymous approach to expressing themselves on social media. While quitting social networks might be the best solution, it seems that hidden networks will have to do instead. If you are looking to bring a set of healthier solutions to your family every day, try Progressive Rising Phoenix– we’ve got some great ideas!

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