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Oct 3, 2003 Issue

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                                      ~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

                           "Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid" 

        Volume #1 Issue #24   ISSN: 0219-7642   Oct 3, 2003

                   Andrew Loh, Publisher, andrew@brainy-child.com

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By subscription only! You are receiving this newsletter
because you requested a subscription. 

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T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S : 
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(1) ~ EDITORIAL ~ 
(2) ~ ARTICLES -  Give Your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem 
                            Top Ten Tips For Disciplining Your Toddler ~         
(3) ~ BRAINY PRODUCT ~
(4) ~ LATEST BRAINY NEWS ~
(5) ~ WHAT'S IN THE NEXT ISSUE ~
(6) ~ CONTACT US - Contact and Subscriber Information ~

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E D I T O R I A L - W e l c o m e !
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Hi Everyone,

I'd like to share with you about an unforgettable event occurred to me last week and the lesson I learnt from it.

Last Monday morning, I drove my wife to the subway to work. After dropping her, I was heading home taking the usual route. When I was about 50 meter from reaching a traffic junction. 'Bang', a loud noise and an unbelievable scene happened right in front of my eyes. A motorcycle collided with an incoming car and the motorcyclist literally 'flew' in the sky and landed on the other side of the road. When he landed on the ground, he was motionless.

I was in shock but somehow managed to drive the car and stopped
right in front of the junction. When I parked my car and turned on the hazard light, I quickly rushed to the victim. He was a middle-aged man lying on the floor unconscious.

By that time, the car driver involved in the accident reached there too. Both of us were in shock to see the victim bleeding VERY badly. The motorcyclist apparently did not have obvious external injury EXCEPT just one very deep cut on the throat. I meant really DEEP cut as the blood was flowing out like water from the tap. That was the first time in my life to see such a horrible scene. We grabbed a raincoat to press on the wound in order to stop the bleeding but to no avail. He just kept bleeding and in very short time, there was blood all over the road. 
We were panic.

I quickly approached someone to call the ambulance. That man was
in shock too and could not recalled what number to call. I was so panic that I told him to call 911 (I lived and worked in USA for 2.5 years), only to realize few seconds later the number to call for ambulance was 995 in my country.

Soon after that, a young lady came and claimed that she was a nurse. We were relieved to have someone who was trained to handle such situation. She took over the 'difficult task', i.e. stop the bleeding. The victim, by that time, was breathing heavily and coughing with blood flowing out from his mouth. A few minutes later, a doctor from the nearby clinic was there to help too. But the victim's condition was deteriorating, his pulse was getting weaker and his breathing was shallow too. Judging from the situation, I was thinking to myself that the victim would not make it.

While the doctor and nurse were doing their best to save the victim, we were directing the traffic. Everyone was waiting patiently but anxiously for the ambulance. That was the longest wait I had in my life. I was thinking that time what if this man was the sole breadwinner at home, what will happen to his children ...etc. At last, the ambulance arrived and the victim was rushed to the hospital.

Even though, he was a complete stranger to me. It was very strange 
that there was somehow a 'bonding' between us. I couldn't do anything that whole day and kept thinking about the victim. Later that evening, I called the A & E Department to inquire about the victim's condition. The hospital did not disclose anything to me due to the hospital policy. Anyway, I found out a few days later from other sources, the victim survived.

If these recent events (including the family that lost their houses and 
virtually all their possessions in the hurricane Isabel) taught me anything, it taught me these three truths about life:

1. Life is fragile and valuable - don't take it for granted.

2. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of family 
and friends. Sometimes it takes a calamity or an accident to remind us.

3. If you have your best dress that you plan to wear only on 'special' 
occasion, if you plan to say 'I Love You' to your husband/wife, if you 
plan to hug your kids ....etc. Do it today, for your plan may never come. 
Seize the day! 

Take care!

Andrew Loh
Publisher/Editor of the BrainyZine
andrew @ brainy-child.com

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~ Give Your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem ~
by Cassie Simons

Much has been said about the "gifted child" but in truth every child is born with unlimited potential. As expressed so well by Orison Marden:

"Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action."

This statement can be true for your child. Not just if he's a "gifted child" but any child. Indeed, perhaps we should consider a "gifted child" to be a child whose parents have gifted him with a high self-esteem.

Children with high self-esteem are happier and more successful. Low self-esteem is common in children who are performing badly at school, have behavioral problems and suffer from depression.

The Newborn

The "helpless" newborn baby actually comes into the world well equipped with the power to get what she wants. Not only do her cries bring her parents running to tend to her; she also uses her body and facial language to get what she wants. It's no coincidence that babies learn to smile while they are still very small - it is an essential tool in their armory of communication. A baby with a disarming smile can frequently wrap mommy or daddy round her little finger!

At this early stage, it's important to respond to all your baby attempts at communication. Attend to her when she cries (this does not preclude training her gently into a stable routine), mirror her attempts at facial communication and reward the infant sounds she makes by praising her and talking back to her.

The "Can-Do" Toddler

Toddlers are into everything! They are learning so fast about the world around them and want to explore everything, touch everything and even try to eat many things.

It is such a crucial stage and one that is stifled by many parents. Yes, you need to control your child's behavior so that he doesn't hurt himself or damage valuable property. But you also need to give him opportunities to express this exploratory behavior without constant criticism and telling-offs.

Put valuables out of reach and supply your child with toys or household items that he can play with safely. Try to find time to get down on the floor and play with your toddler. Let him watch you and imitate you. He could play on the kitchen floor with some pots and wooden spoons while you are cooking.

Discipline

I want to emphasize up front that I believe discipline is very important, because I don't want you to think in any of what follows that I'm advocating spoiling your child. Some parents call this "allowing the child to enjoy the freedom of youth." These parents are entitled, of course, to raise their children however they wish.

But if you want your child to grow into a successful adult, you would do better by teaching her firmly what is and isn't acceptable in present day society. And, just as importantly, helping her to learn self-discipline and that you will support her in achieving anything she wants, as long as she does so ethically.

Discipline should be sensitive, thoughtful and appropriate. You should strive to never lose your temper but to discipline your child calmly and firmly. When is discipline appropriate? When your child's actions (or lack of them) may harm herself or others. When is discipline not appropriate? When it is purely for the parent's own selfish preferences.

Talk to Your Child

Positive talk with your child and generally within the household cannot be over-emphasized. Avoid criticism wherever possible; it is praise that produces good, successful behavior. Be sure to find at least one thing to praise in your child every day. Even better, give praise as often as possible.

Are you having problems finding good behaviors to praise? If so, give your child a task to do that you know he is capable of. Children love earning their parents' approval. Also remember to praise your child for trying, on those occasions that he is not successful.

Set a good example; talk about your goals and successes, and teach your child by example to accept compliments gracefully. Resist the temptation to put yourself down when you are complimented - instead, say a simple Thank You. That's an important sign of a healthy self-esteem.

The other side of the coin to talking is, of course, listening. It is very important to listen to your child. When there is something he is upset about, don't sweep it under the carpet by saying "Don't be silly!" Whatever it is might seem totally trivial to you but often all your child needs is for you to empathize. "I'm sorry you feel sad about that." He may then come up with a solution, or put the incident behind him without further help. Or, you can suggest a solution.

The Power of Desire

You can give your child the best possible schooling, teach all the important techniques of success, encourage goal setting and set a fantastic example. But that is not enough! All these good things have one vitally important pre-requisite. Before you can achieve anything, you must know what you really, really want.

A burning desire is the first, most important and essential step towards any major achievement. As a parent, you are in a unique position to influence another person's desires - your child's. By the time they reach their teens, you will have lost this influence to a significant degree, as young adults are swayed much more by their peers' opinions than their parents'.

So make the most of the early years by instilling positive, beneficial desires in your children. The desire to do well academically could shape your child's further education and career much more than her innate ability.

How can you instill desire? Telling stories is a great way. Children love stories! Be creative and tell stories where the hero or heroine has a burning desire for something, overcomes challenges and set backs, and achieves the desired outcome. Try telling stories where a child achieves academic success, which in turn results in something even more desirable. For instance, one story could tell of a child who has a burning desire to travel to the North Pole. She succeeds academically and thus wins an award, which makes her dream come true. Tailor the stories to your own child's life and experiences as much as you can.

The famous author Napoleon Hill used story-telling to instill in his almost-deaf son both a burning desire to hear, and a firm belief that his disability would actually bestow upon him a great advantage (although at the time even his father had no idea what that advantage could be). By the time this boy left college, he had against the odds acquired a hearing aid that enabled him to hear clearly for the first time in his life. More remarkably, he had justified his father's belief by securing a marketing position with the hearing aid manufacturer to bring the same benefit to millions of other deafened people.

"Gifted child"? Give your child the gift of self-esteem, and you will give him the gift of happiness.

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Cassie Simons (cassie@kidsgoals.com) is the author of "How to Help Your Child Succeed", a revolutionary approach to guilt-free parenting. Positive Parenting, Gifted Child - Visit www.KidsGoals.com today for the secrets of raising successful children.


~ Top Ten Tips For Disciplining Your Toddler ~
Dr. Clare Albright

How can I support my toddler's spontaneity while supporting his need to learn to behave in ways that will help him to get along well in relationships and at school? How can I discipline my toddler without causing him to feel shame?

1. Learn to say "no" in a firm, peaceful way that carries authority but not anger. This parenting skill will help you to cut short years of power struggles with your child and will help your child to feel secure in knowing that there are limits. Strong-willed behavior and temper tantrums can be encouraged by a "no" from a parent who doesn't sound convincing.

2. Stay with your child when they are in "time out" so that they don't feel abandoned. Many parents leave the area, which can make a child feel rejected.

3. Follow through, no matter what, if you say that there will be a consequence for misbehaving so that your child does not learn to manipulate you. If you change your mind after a child protests, you are encouraging your child to protest even more in the future.

4. Pick one or two target behaviors to focus your discipline on at a time, such as not playing with their food. It is usually more effective to completely train your child in one or two areas than to try to train them a little bit in many different areas.

5. Be the boss and don't be ashamed of being the boss in your relationship with your child. If you are not the boss, they will step into the power vacuum and this may have long term negative consequences. You could even say to your child occasionally, "I am the boss."

6. Discipline your child in your loving, caring environment.
Otherwise, they may learn discipline from frustrated teachers in the less caring and loving environment of school.

7. Present you child with small choices if you are in a lot of power struggles with your child. "Do you want to wear the white shirt or the blue shirt? Do you want the carrots or the peas?"

8. Remember that consistent discipline is a safety issue.
There will be times that your child's obedience to your input can save them from danger. The best time to prepare for a dangerous situation is before you are in a dangerous situation.

9. Do not feel obligated to explain your rationale for the things that you ask of your child every time that you ask something of them.
Many parents fall into the trap of explaining the rationale behind all of their requests, usually because they want their child to feel respected. Unfortunately, this often leads to the child learning how to manipulate their parent by acting like the rationale is not compelling enough to justify cooperating with the parent's request.

10. Focus on "first time" obedience.
Your child is old enough to learn this concept. It is not helpful to your child to have you repeat yourself over and over when it is time for them to come to dinner, have their diaper changed, etc.

Written by Dr. Clare Albright, author of "100 Tips for Parents of Two-Year Olds", Psychologist and Parenting Coach.

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Three issues ago, I published an article about how you can protect your child from toxic threats to their brain development, if you have not read it, here is the link.

Recently, I've come across another two latest news about the toxic
threats that I think you should be aware of:


~ 'Baby Hair' Study Shows Autistic Children Have Altered Response to 
Mercury; Reduced Excretion of Toxic Metal May Explain Autism Link
~
By USNewsWire.com (Aug 25, 2003)

A study published this month in the International Journal of Toxicology, the official journal of the American College of Toxicology, provides the strongest clinical evidence to date supporting the theory that mercury exposure is tied to autism.


~ Consumers Unaware of Mercury Risk from Canned Tuna & Other Fish, 
Survey Shows; Groups Call for Warnings in Stores
~
By USNewsWire.com (Aug 28, 2003)

The New England Zero Mercury Campaign released results today showing that over half of the 1400 consumers surveyed are unaware of mercury exposure risks to women and kids from consumption of canned tuna. The Mercury Policy Project, a campaign partner, called on FDA and 
health departments to strengthen fish consumption advisories and 
require businesses selling fish to post mercury fish warnings.


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Next issue, How do I know if I am being a good parent?

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