The Press-Dispatch

October 11, 2017

The Press-Dispatch

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The Press-Dispatch Wednesday, October 11, 2017 D-1 HOME LIFE TO ADVERTISE: Call: 812-354-8500 Email: Visit: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg Deadline: 5 p.m. on Monday net edition It's the paper. Just digital. Youth First Today by Heather Miller, Youth First, Inc. The challenges of parenting tweens Katiedid Versus by Katiedid Langrock Fighting for joy SO SEE US NOW FOR YOUR NEW HOME! 814 Niblack Blvd., Vincennes, IN 1-800-743-7004 We have 1 on-lot 68ft home where you'll save A MINIMUM OF $6,000. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Due to lumber tariffs and natural disasters (hurricanes and fires), prices of homes are increasing! We anticipate higher prices in the future SALSA VERDE CHICKEN By Monica Sinclair On Sunday, I made a very tasty dish in the crockpot. It had been awhile since I had pulled the crockpot out of storage, so it was great smelling the wonderful aroma throughout the house as lunch cooked. This recipe is only five ingredients and only took four hours to cook. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts (fresh or fro- zen) 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 15 oz can corn, drained and rinsed 16 oz jar salsa verde 8 oz package cream cheese DIRECTIONS 1. Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Add black beans, corn, and salsa verde. 2. Cook in crockpot on low for 6 hrs or on high for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through. 3. Add cream cheese ( just throw it on top) and let sit for about 1/2 hour. Source: Share your favorite recipe! Monica's Meals in Minutes PO Box 68, Petersburg, IN 47567 FACEBOOK MAIL EMAIL a MEALS IN Monica's MINUTES "Why did Jack score two goals and I didn't score any? " "I'm terrible at soc- cer. I should just quit." "Everyone else in my class knows how to do this math problem but me. I'm awful at it." "You just don't understand." And so it begins ... I have a tween. With this new label comes a noticeable change in my once easy-going, happy, confident child. New emotions have set in as well as constant comparisons be- tween my tween and classmates, team- mates and friends. Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines a tween as a boy or girl who is 11 or 12 years old. The tween years serve as the transitional years be- tween being a child and becoming a teenager. With this transition comes uncertainty as to what defines the tween. This uncer- tainty manifests in various ways such as tears, angry out- bursts, and more seriously, depres- sion and anxiety. Parents and caregivers are of- ten caught off- guard as to how to help their tween nav- igate this stage of life. Fol- lowing are some tips for helping parents and tweens not only survive these years, but to use them to strengthen relation- ships. First, remember to validate and ac- knowledge the tween's feelings. Give permission for your tween to be sad or angry. This will assist the tween in feel- ing comfortable with sharing various emotions with adults. Additionally, this simple ac- knowledgement will help the tween trust the adult by knowing their feelings will not be laughed at or dismissed. During this stage, tweens are attempting to define themselves. Of- ten this is done by ranking their abil- ities compared to others. No matter what the tween is comparing, he or she will always find someone who is better than them. Adults can help by directing praise and compliments toward character traits rather than abilities or accom- plishments. Praising a tween for get- ting a B in math will likely be followed by the response, "but so and so got an A." Focusing on the traits that result- ed in the tween earning the B will as- sist the tween with recognizing the positive traits he or she possesses. In this situation, stating, "You showed a lot of patience when learning the new material in math. It would have been easy to give up, but you continually gave it your all," will bring the focus to the traits of patience and persever- ance rather than a letter grade, which serves as a ranking system. The most important factor in help- ing your tween is to be available. Ac- cording to World of Psychology, it is imperative to give your tween options to communicate their feelings to you. Allowing your child to choose wheth- er to talk face-to-face, by text, or by calling you about emotions and situ- ations will increase the likelihood of your tween coming to you with con- cerns and for support. If you find that your tween is expe- riencing more serious emotional out- bursts or is becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated, additional as- sistance may be needed. Contacting your school's Youth First Social Worker with these concerns can result in early intervention. Early in- tervention by a professional is ben- eficial to help tweens learn coping skills before the emotions become too intense and overwhelming. This column is contributed by Heath- er Miller, LCSW, school social worker for Youth First, Inc., a local nonprofit ded- icated to strengthening youth and fam- ilies. Youth First provides 38 Master's level social workers to 56 schools in sev- en southwestern Indiana counties. More than 60,000 youth and families per year are served by Youth First's school social work and afterschool programs that pre- vent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student suc- cess. To learn more about Youth First, visit or call 812- 421-8336. I walked into my 5 -year- old's classroom to pick him up before the final bell rang. He ran to greet me, followed by his teacher, who looked stern. "I thought you should know, your son has been telling the other students that you are" – she lowered her voice to a whisper – "a witch." I looked at my child and spoke with anger: "You've been telling kids I'm a witch? " A big smile spread across his face, and he giggled, un- fazed. "Yeah." "You shouldn't tell kids that! " I leaned down so we were face-to-face, and with a whisper, I said, "You wouldn't want your friends to get jealous." I winked at my son. He nodded and winked back. We walked out of the classroom, hand in hand, giggling. I looked back at his teacher, whose face was contorted in complete bewil- derment. My son believes I'm a witch. And I am grateful. He developed the theo- ry after coming home from day care a couple of years ago terrified of the nurs- ery rhyme about Little Bun- ny Foo Foo. He was scared that the next time he didn't listen, a witch would turn him into a goon. To quell the nightmares, I told him that if that ever happened, I would simply turn him back. When my son asked how, I replied, "Don't you know? I have spe- cial powers." His unflinching belief in my powers has served us well – especially when it comes to scary times. Espe- cially when it comes to hor- rors like the massacre in Las Vegas. My first visit to Las Ve- gas left its mark. While I was entering my parents' car after it had baked in the summer heat, my bare back pressed against the metal seat belt. It seared my skin, forever leaving me with a squared figure eight on my lower back. Even at 14, I couldn't leave Las Vegas without a "tramp stamp." The Las Vegas Strip is an adult playground destina- tion, visited by the joy-seek- ers of the world. And it is the joy-seekers they most love to kill. These terrorists are af- ter not only our lives but al- so our heartbeats. The beats we move to when we sing and dance. When we attend concerts in Manchester or clubs in Orlando. When we vacation in Barcelona. Have dinner with a loved one in Paris. Go to the movies in Aurora. They aren't just af- ter our lives; they're after what makes us feel alive, so that even if we're breath- ing, we're dead. Wheth- er you approve of the ways people seek joy in Vegas – gambling, drinking, eating in excess, shopping extrava- gantly, playing golf on green courses in the middle of the desert, going to a strip club, attending expensive shows – it really doesn't matter. I'm confident no sin has ever happened in Sin City great- er than the sin that occurred Oct. 1. The NR A says we have the right to own semiautomatic rifles because we have the right to protect ourselves. Guns are a safety measure, like seat belts. And they can kill and harm, just as seat belts do each year. Look at how that seat belt branded my back. But seat belts save astronomically more people than they harm each year. Seat belts aren't made with the intent of producing mass casualties. A few hours before 22,000 people fled for their lives and 58 didn't make it, my son and I attended a med- itation for world peace. We talked about energy and the power of positivity over fear and rage, about how hate can only grow where it can feed on more hate. We talked about how evil surrounded by love has no power. It's easy to say that stuff to a 5 -year-old; he thinks you are full of magic and doesn't hold you accountable. But this time, I will try to hold myself accounta- ble to live by all the things I teach my son – to remember that there are always more good people than bad, that we are a world of cape-less heroes. I will not spiral into hate or fear. I will hold my- self accountable to relent- lessly, fearlessly and tire- lessly fight to retain joy, to fight for what's right, and to remember we are far from powerless. It's not easy. It's really hard. But together, we can be the heroes we're wait- ing for. My son believes I'm a witch. And I am grateful. He believes I have spe- cial powers – the power to stop nightmares, the power to change his world. I hope I never let him down. I hope we never let him down. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.face-

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