Happy Veterans Day

  “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” –President Woodrow Wilson Nov 11 1918   I am proud to be a Veteran of The United States Army. Not many people understand the discipline and self sacrifice required to serve in the military. As an educator I often ask questions to gain a better understanding of what motivates people to think the way they do. Today I decided to ask this question of random people that I encountered while running my errands “Why is it important to celebrate Veterans day?” The responses ranged from offended looks to the standard answer of “because the people that died for our freedom deserve recognition”. As a result of this experience, something very important occurred to me; many civilians that have not served in the military have no idea about the origins of Veterans Day or why we should celebrate it. Nothing to fear, Nurse educator Nicole is here. On any given day I wear a number of hats. I am a mom, daughter, sister, Nurse, educator, entrepreneur, and an Army Veteran.  Today I’m putting on my Veteran and educator hat. Answers to commonly asked Veterans day questions are listed below. Knowing these answers will make you a more informed citizen. My hope is that...

Little Girls need Positive Female Role Models

        When it comes to little girls and pretend play the choices are quite limited. While there is nothing wrong with being a princess, ballerina or a fairy – these options don’t showcase rewarding real life careers such as that of a Nurse. As a child, I remember wrapping paper around my stuffed bear to symbolize broken or fractured limbs. I would fix the arm of my teddy bear by removing the paper and sending them on their way while awaiting my next patient. I always longed for dolls and accessories that would make my play experience more enjoyable and realistic. I grew up, served in the military, became a veteran, became a nurse and a mother of three and had no more time for pretend play. My children would see me get ready for work with my scrubs and white lab coat and would ask “Mom are you a Dentist or a Doctor?” As I explained to them the amazing field of Nursing it hit me, I had been a Nurse for over 15 years at that time and my children still didn’t quite understand the concept of what I did day in and day out. The children weren’t exposed to pretend play opportunities or accessories that conceptually made the Nursing field make sense for them. Worst of all, my Daughter wasn’t being given pretend play opportunities aside from being a princess, ballerina….or a fairy. As a Nurse Educator, I have a calling to provide our youth with positive role models. As a woman and the mother of a little girl, I have the responsibility...

Helping Your Child Transition into September

Transitions happen every day in your child’s world and September, like no other month, is a time of transitions for your child. Starting a new grade. Getting a new teacher. Learning new classroom rules. Adding more homework. No matter what the transition, you can expect an added level of stress as your child adapts to the change. When making the transition to a new grade, your child will be challenged by more rigorous academic challenges, more social demands and more responsibility. Your child will have to follow the rules, take turns, make new friends, learn harder material and try to meet the requirements of a new teacher(s). It takes a lot of energy, focus and control to keep it together all day long at school, so most kids will be tired and you’ll see an increase in temper tantrums, whining and defiance at home. Don’t take it personally! Recognize the stress that your child is under! The best response to stress is to provide empathy and support, help the child gain a sense of control, create rituals that provide predictability and teach your child ways to de-stress. Way to Show Empathy: A.) Listen – Become an “empathic listener” by listening for feelings. o Listen for the unspoken feelings that are behind the words that are said. o Look at your child’s body language and try to gain helpful information. o Listen with your heart. o Don’t be critical. o Give your child your full attention by sitting down, looking him/her in the eye. o Try to reflect back the feeling that you believe your child is conveying. B.) Ask...

Summer Allergies

When most people think of allergy season, they think spring. And while spring time allergens cause discomfort for over 50 million people in the U. S. alone, summer can be just as debilitating for those who struggle with summer allergens. Here are four of the most common summer allergy triggers and a solution for minimizing their effect. Pollen-Just as in the spring, summer’s biggest offender is pollen. But by summer the trees are done with pollination and it is the grass and weeds that step up to take their place. Grass is the most popular ground cover and is next to impossible to avoid. There are many different kinds of grass that can cause problems including well known varieties such as Timothy, Red Top, Orchard, Blue, Bermuda, and Sweet Vernal. Weeds-Weed pollination usually begins in August and can continue through late fall into November. Ragweed is probably the most well known followed closely by Sagebrush, Pigweed, Cockle weed and numerous others. For both pollens and weeds, dry windy days are the times when the air tends to be thick with pollen. It attaches to clothes, hair and any other handy surface in hopes of finding fertile ground to begin the cycle again. Mold-Mold occurs naturally outside and can only survive if and when it finds moisture. Landscaping that allows water to stand, or areas that don’t drain naturally, and piles of leaves are all places where these spores will thrive. Mold spores enter your home constantly, there’s no keeping them out. And with the increased humidity in the summer it becomes easy for them to make a home in...

Summer Fun for Kids

Summer can be an enjoyable time for parents and children while adhering to the family budget. By using a little creativity and some local community resources, summer can truly be an enriching and memorable time of the year. The local library is a great resource. Take a trip and chat with the librarian about upcoming age appropriate programs for children, many libraries offer play groups, story time, as well as provide entertainment, all for free! Find out about special events provided through your community church for children. Many county park systems also have free events and programs during the summer months. Taking local nature walks provides a bonding time for parents and children. Spending time in nature is both therapeutic and fun! Keeping children active and fit is very important. Try taking bike rides, going swimming or for a light jog with your kids. Come up with creative projects indoors on those steamy summer days. Assist your child in writing and illustrating their own book about their favorite summer activities. Invite friends over and help the children to organize skits and plays. For example, you can take a few cereal boxes, cans and personal care products and help the kids create their own commercials. They can make signs, and even a stage out of cardboard. Create puppets out of socks and allow the kids have a show with friends, what fun! Turn on some music and play games such as freeze dance, musical chairs or have a dance contest. Get new age appropriate books bi-weekly on several topics of interest at the library. Books on tape and educational videos...

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