Kids Want Power And Control – How Can You Give It To Them And Still Maintain Your Authority?

When our kids misbehave or act out, there’s a reason. It can be any number of things. One is purely to get attention and the other common reason is to gain control and power. As human beings we all want to feel we have some control over our lives and if we don’t we’ll find a way to get it. People of all ages have the same basic needs. So how can we give kids control, without them walking all over us?

When I was studying the S.T.E.P. program (Systematic Training To Effective Parenting) in the mid ’80’s I was introduced to the notion of offering children choices. It was new to me as I don’t remember anyone ever offering me a choice when I was growing up and I don’t remember learning about choices when I was studying early childhood education. We did though learn many ways to be firm but gentle with children.

What do I mean by offering a child a choice and why is it so powerful? When they’re very young, say two or three years old we can show them two plastic cups; a blue one and a green one and ask: “Do you want the blue one or the green one?” Or you can say: “Do you want to sit in this chair or that chair?” or “Do you want to wear your green pajamas or your blue pajamas?” It makes them feel they have some power and control and consequently are less likely to gain it in inappropriate ways. It also tells them their likes and dislikes matter to you. As well, children who are given choices learn to start thinking for themselves. They become less reliant on other people to make decisions for them.

As children get older we can start offering them more than two choices, keeping in mind that all the options you’re presenting must be acceptable to you. You can say: “Here are some choices for lunch; vegetable soup, peanut butter sandwich or grilled cheese sandwich.” Or you might say, “Do you want to play a game tonight? We could play this, or this, or this. Choose one.” If you’re having a difficult time getting your child to do something, you can say: “I need you to clear your plate away. Do you want to put it on the counter or in the dishwasher?”

As children approach their middle and teen years you can continue to use choices. You can say: “I’d like your homework done before 8pm. Do you want to do it at the kitchen table or in your room?” Or you might say: “I need some help in the kitchen. Would you like to empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor or fill the dishwasher?” Offering a choice significantly reduces arguments around tasks that need to be done around the house.

One of the problems parents might encounter with choices is that their kids don’t want either or any of the choices you’re offering. If that’s the case, the next choice becomes: “Do you want to choose or would you like me to choose?” The majority of the time, kids will make a choice and that will be the end of it.

Using this simple tool you’ll find you can eliminate many power struggles and arguments. Children are as human as the rest of us and need to feel they have some control over their lives. We want to give it to them in appropriate ways so they don’t try and gain it in inappropriate ways.

Amateur Amachure – Is There a Choice?

The loss of a useful word is to be regretted but sometimes I think we need a new pronunciation of an existing word to give us a different meaning. ‘Amateur’ exists in the sense of doing something for love and not for money; it means being non-professional.

It also exists in the derogatory sense of being completely unprofessional, incompetent and useless. I think this can be confusing. The old distinction between amateur and professional in sports has been reduced or removed nowadays, but the difference between a person doing a good job and an idiot just taking your money will probably never die.

The correct pronunciation of ‘amateur’ has the French sound, with a hard ‘t’. That’s good, and should remain, but in many parts of the world it’s pronounced ‘amachure’ anyway.

I suggest that ‘amachure’ should be a new word, written and pronounced as it appears here and restricted in meaning to the unprofessional people who couldn’t produce a good job if they tried – and they probably don’t even try.

This seems fair to me – the ‘amachure’ pronunciation seems imperfect, unsound, just like the products of the people who deserve it.

Of course there will always be honorable amateurs doing things for love at a level below the professional level: theatre groups and music societies come to mind.

Many of these groups regularly produce shows that can fill a theatre or concert hall with a paying audience, while lacking professional ‘polish’ – or money.

Such people don’t get paid but, unlike the charlatans, they do their best and produce good results. Nearly all voluntary social workers are amateurs in this sense and they can be proud of their work.

We all know when we are doing our best and when we’re working for the love of it. But the electrician who blows up your kitchen and the plumber who washes away your back yard know something else; something dishonest, and so they deserve to be called something else – especially if it’s not a defamatory word so they can sue you!

Can I Get Paid to Rodeo at School?

Three years ago I would have never even dreamed of doing something like this. A lot of things have changed since then however. Graduating high school instigates a great deal of change. The biggest change can be one of probably two things; staying in school or pursuing higher education. Today college is very important, and for us rodeo competitors, college is a very possible choice after high school. For me it was an easy choice. I’m still banking on making my living in the arena. A problem soon arose when I discussed this with my parents.

“You know Teddy, you won’t be able to rodeo all your life right?” My Mom stated.

“Dang, that’s what I was hoping to do” I Replied.

Well in the past two years I got hurt a few times and I still don’t want to get a real job so I’m a college kid now. And you know what? School really isn’t that bad. What many students and parents may not realize is just how easy is it to get scholarships to go to college. The best part is just how many there are out there and how many different entities award them. Scholarships can come directly from high schools and colleges, government foundations, private donors, rodeo associations and businesses. Another place they come from that I found out about just this year is rodeo committees. Not as much in Canada so far, but I am looking. The Alberta High School Rodeo Association has to be one of the best associations in North America for high school students to learn, rodeo and set themselves up for a successful future in college and in the rodeo arena.

Since I would like this article to be of use to its readers I would like to talk about all the scholarships I know of that are out there for graduating high school students. The money is out there for the most part it is whether or not a person takes the time to apply. The biggest cost in applying for scholarships is the stamp for the envelope. Sure you might now win some scholarships but you can’t get any of their free money if you don’t try. Here are a few all of you high school students should apply for:

Montana Silversmiths Pursuit of Excellence Scholarship: Deadline: August 1st. This scholarship is open to graduated high school students and current college students with a minimum a GPA of 2.0 or higher. For those of us north of the 49th you have got to have about a 70% average. For more information, and to apply go to: Or call 888-677-9487 for an application form.

The Bill Kehler Memorial Scholarship: Deadline: August 28th. Open to students who have completed grade 12 or are currently in college. Up to four scholarships of $2500 are awarded each year. The scholarships are given to students studying in agriculture and broadcasting, along with those who are great ambassadors to the legacy of Mr. Bill Kehler. Professional rodeo contestants can also apply for a scholarship to support their post secondary studies.

The Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship: Deadline: May 1st if you will be going to school in September and December 1st if you start college in January. If your Grade 10, 11 and 12 averages are above 75% in the four core subjects along with one option class this scholarship can be worth a lot of money to you. If your average was above 80% it can be even more. And the best part is that if you apply and your grades are right then you get the money. Your high school counselor should have the information for this scholarship but if not look them up.

The Alberta High School Rodeo Association Scholarships: Deadline April 1st. Now you must be a member of the AHSRA to apply for these scholarships. So those of you who want to go to college and aren’t members yet, should join. This association is the absolute best place to start your rodeo career. No were else will you find better help, stock and a positive atmosphere to be the best you can be. You can start now in Jr. High School Rodeo in the sixth grade and almost have your whole first year of college paid for before you even get there.

The last type of scholarship I want to talk about in this article are the ones awarded by colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Some of the Schools in Canada that are part of the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) are: Olds College, Lakeland College in Vermillion, AB, Red Deer College, NAIT, SAIT, The University of Lethbridge, U of A and U of C. The CIRA is growing and is a great place to further your education and rodeo at the same time. College rodeo in the United States is done in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). The member schools are spread out all over the Western United States it is divided into eleven regions geographically. There are many scholarships given out to students from all over North America by NIRA member schools. If you are a student who wants to go to college here in the United States look up College Rodeo. There you can find all the contact information for every school’s coach. You don’t have to be the best in Canada to get a scholarship to go to school somewhere down here. All it takes is the desire.

Good luck and remember:

“As long as there is a sunset there will be a West” Dr Lynn Phillips

Reasons Why Ceramic Ferrules Are the First Choice of Every Industry

Development has made life easy for every sector. With rising technology, more efficient products have risen the bar of efficiency in the industrial sector. Even when we talk about Fiber Optic Connectors, manufacturers have made them more user-friendly. They are no longer an area of concern as they were before.

What is Fiber Optic Connectors?

A Fiber Optic Connector helps to carry out various functions like aligning the fiber in photodetectors with receivers and so on. They have four main parts: Ferrule, Connector Body, Cable, and Coupling Device. In fiber optics, Ferrule is extremely important. Don’t let the fact that it’s tiny mislead you. It holds great value. Why? Let’s find out.

What is a Ferrule?

A Ferrule is an object which is used for fastening, reinforcement, connecting or sealing. It is kind of a ring or a cap that is attached to an object, preventing it from wear, shock or any other damage. It provides protection to the stripped end of the fibers. A ferrule is used along with a connector body.

Types of ferrule:

A ferrule is of various types. The following are the materials used to form different types of ferrules.

– Glass

– Plastic

– Metal

– Ceramic Material

The most efficient choice:

Out of all the materials, Ceramic Ferrules are considered to be the best. They are the first choice of maximum industries. Why? Read on to find out.

Ceramic Ferrule:

The quality that Ceramic Ferrule adds to the fiber optic connectors is commendable. They can be divided into three categories according to dimensions: SC, LC, and Non-standard. According to precision, they can be divided into two categories namely single mode and multimode.

It uses the material zirconia ceramic which is known for its amazing properties like high melting point, good thermal stability and so on. It’s natural that they are the preferred choice.

The following are the benefits of using Ceramic Ferrules:

– Has a good thermal shock resistance.

– Commendable mechanical strength.

– Is heat and water resistant.

– Its expansion coefficient is close to that of the glass fiber. This is the reason it bonds well to the glass and is environmentally stable.

– Strong resistance to environmental changes.

– Low insertion loss required for optical transmission.

The list of advantages that Ceramic Ferrule offers is impressive, right? Ceramic Ferrule is rightfully considered to be the best of all the materials used to from Ferrules. Do you agree? Let us know your views.

Adult Education – How is it Different?

How is it different from K-12? Why is this important to us? Discuss andragogy and life-long learning.

Adult education, how is it different? Before we discuss the practical differences, let’s first address the two primary categories of education – pedagogy, and andragogy. Simply stated, in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, pedagogy is the art science or profession of teaching. Within the profession, however, pedagogy, more often refers to the K through 12 type of approach; the Socratic approach, if you will, where teachers teach and learners listen. The information is passed from the instructor to student – more of a rote learning approach, where the learner is dependent upon the instructor for all learning. The teacher or instructor assumes full responsibility for what is taught.

Andragogy, however, assumes that the learner is self-directed. The learner is responsible for his or her own learning. Self-evaluation is characteristic of this approach. With Andragogy, the learner brings his own experience to the learning process. Each adult learner is a source of knowledge and contributes to the overall learning experience. With this approach is more of a built in readiness to learn than in the pedagogical model. This self-motivation comes from the need to know in order to perform more effectively or to accomplish one’s goals.

So, adult education is focus more on learning what we need to know to accomplish our different life goals. The other education approach is more of a required process to gain certain basic credentials. It is often much less student centered and focuses more on specific outcomes centered around a set curriculum. Adult education in comparison to K-12 is more learner centered in the expectation is more participation based on life experience.

The adult education approach becomes important to us since the goals are primarily different. The goals are centered on achieving a specific task outcome, or learning new behaviors. The adult becomes less motivated by grade point averages, and more motivated by achieving specific goals. Most often these goals are more pragmatic, and are centered around specific outcomes at the learner wants to achieve.

In this 21st century world of complexity, all of our senses are continually being assaulted with multiple types of information. To survive and possibly even to prosper, learning becomes a lifelong process. Most of us become lifelong learners, whether we recognize that specific term or not. In essence, adult education is different primarily from our K-12 experience, and possibly early college, by both our motivation and our need. Adult education becomes a choice, not a responsibility.

Copyright November 4, 2009 Boyd K. Smith, Ph.D. All rights Reserved