Would you say your child is introverted or extroverted? Kids in the latter group are naturally gregarious and usually look forward to activities where they work with others. Introverted children, on the other hand, are often more comfortable with a smaller group of friends and are quite happy working on their own.

Both personality types are completely normal and have their advantages and disadvantages. However, all kids, no matter what their disposition, benefit from learning teamwork. Discovering how to cooperate with others and treat them with respect not only serves kids well in school, it helps to prepare them for adulthood.

Working with others helps children to develop a new type of thinking. In their earliest years, kids only think about themselves and their own needs; the fact that others have needs as well simply doesn’t compute. Of course, as adults, we know that anyone who tries to go through life thinking only of themselves will not get very far. Children need an introduction to this line of thinking and teamwork is a method that can present it quite effectively.

Teamwork almost always involves a degree of socializing. Some kids may find this intimidating, but for others, it is an effective way to help them come out of their shell. This may involve working in pairs, or in larger groups. Whatever the number, the best way to ensure this lesson sinks in is by being democratic: all participants have a responsibility to fulfil and an obligation to do their part for the benefit of everyone involved.

Parents can also extend teamwork lessons to home life. Come up with both chores and fun things (eg. board games) that require siblings to work together and respect each other. This behavior hopefully then becomes second nature and a regular part of their interactions going forward.

Do you find yourself having trouble paying your vet bills? For millions of us in this country, our pets are cherished members of the family and we want the best for them. Sometimes, alas, that can mean spending thousands of dollars on procedures that are necessary to maintain or restore their health. Also, unlike with humans, the government does not cover any part of your vet bill. In their eyes, a cat or dog is no different from a car: your voluntary purchase = your responsibility.

Even if you dote on your pet, they will still age and become infirm: there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent that. However (and sorry to once again compare a beloved member of the family to a car), if you do preventative maintenance, there is a very good chance that you can reduce both your vet costs and the animal’s discomfort by catching issues before they become major problems.

That means making sure the animal has its yearly shots and examination. That checkup performs the same function as a physical for humans: making sure everything is in working order and nothing unusual is evident. Catching things early will mean some expense, but most likely a lot less than what you might face had the problem been found later. There is also a very good chance that your pet will live a longer and happier life.

There is nothing wrong with saving for the future, and you should do that as well when it comes to vet bills. Work out your budget and see how much money you have left over. Take some of that each month and put it into a separate savings account. Thus, when that expensive procedure inevitably comes, you will have money available to cover all, or at least some, of the cost.

Do you smoke pot? Do you plan to start when it becomes legal in Canada? It’s estimated that 4-6 million Canadians will smoke cannabis when it is sold legally in stores starting next July. However, if you are planning on being there when the doors open on July 1st, don’t be surprised if the place sells out quickly. There are currently 170,000 people using medical marijuana in this country and the suppliers often run out. Although new growing areas are being prepared and plants cultivated, it is still clear that there will not be nearly enough ready to meet the demand that legalization will create.

Unfortunately, this will not be a short-lived problem. Using the United States as an example, in the parts of that country where recreational marijuana is legal, it took 2-3 years before growers were producing enough to meet the demand. That means a lot of people are going to be very disappointed come July 1st next year. As of this writing, it’s not even clear yet whether stores will even be open in every province.

While this will eventually pay off for the Ontario government, which is only allowing pot sales in stores they run, the main goal of legalization will still be a way’s away: halting the criminal activity and dangers associated with underground marijuana.

In the meantime, people will continue to buy from their dealers. We will also wager than hardcore pot aficionados will have complaints about the government dope, specifically, that its THC level is too low. And you can forget about edibles: those won’t be on offer until at least July 1st, 2019.

What is your plan? Do you want to stand in line and be among the first (and only) to get legal weed on July 1st? We suggest bringing some munchies along because you will be in a very long line.

It has become as much of a joke about Canadians as the amount of times that we say “Eh?” Yes, most Canadians are incredibly polite. We are also much more likely to say “Sorry” than our American counterparts. It hardly seems like something to get upset about, but some people are actually now wondering whether Canadians are too passive their our own good.

Think about how many times you would say sorry during the course of the day. Noticed that we cut someone off? Sorry. Interrupted someone else when they were talking to a coworker? Sorry. Bumped into someone while walking towards the elevator? Sorry. Needed to talk to someone who appeared to be busy at their work? Sorry. Reached in front of someone to grab a paper towel in the bathroom? Sorry. Showed up 30 seconds late for a meeting? Sorry.

These may all seem like trivial things, but you can probably understand how they would add up over the course of a typical day. However, would not this just be showing basic politeness towards our fellow human beings? It would seem so, but some view that as a sign of weakness, oddly enough. Some have speculated that this tendency comes from our history as a British colony, the English being resolutely polite people (at least in theory).

Another supposition is that people sometimes say sorry as a way of avoiding potential conflict. Admitting guilt sometimes, even when you are not really guilty, might be seen as preferable to actually getting into an argument and having to deal with the repercussions. Some women have started they did this out of fear of physical violence.

What is your take on this? Do you think you say sorry too often or do you feel that, as a society, we do not actually say sorry enough?

Are you finding that your get up and go has got up and left? It is normal to feel a bit sluggish once in a while, but when that becomes your default mode, something is clearly wrong. Regular sluggishness can be attributable to several things, including the following:

Lack of Exercise

Physical activity is important for people of all ages, and while exercising can tire you out, it also produces brain chemicals that reduce fatigue. So when you feel sluggish, the best thing to do is to force yourself to get up and get moving.

Poor sleeping habits

Are you not getting enough sleep at night? That fatigue will carry over into the next day as you are running on empty energy-wise. Do what you have to do to ensure that you have a regular good night’s sleep. Or it will come back to bite you the next day.

You need to lose some weight

Having extra pounds means that your body has to work that much harder and you will then run out of energy that much faster. Talk to your doctor about what is the ideal weight for your height and age, and then create and follow a regular exercise program.

You skipped breakfast

Breakfast provides you with that morning fuel to get you up and going. Without it, you will not be running at full speed and playing catch-up for the remainder of the day. Make changes to your schedule so that you always have time for a complete breakfast.

You may be depressed

People suffering from depression typically have very low energy levels. This means that they are reluctant to get up and get on with their day. Depression can also cause them to lose interest in activities that they normally find enjoyable and fulfilling, and can lead to social isolation.

Are you embarrassed to look in the mirror? Have you been putting off that diet for too long? Feel like just giving up and not even thinking any more about losing weight? Well, do not throw in the towel because it is never too late to start dieting. We will not tell you that it is going to be a breeze: we live in a world of constant temptation and easy access. Even people who pride themselves on their willpower are not always able to carry through on successfully losing weight.

However, it is definitely not impossible to shed those pounds and millions of people pull it off each year. Here are some tips on how you can be successful at losing weight on a diet:

Do it with a friend

Challenges can seem particularly daunting when you are tackling them on your own. So why make dieting any harder than it already is? See if you can find a friend or family member who also wants to lose weight so that the two of you can do it together. You will be able to support each other and provide encouraging advice.

Work with the dietitian

We all know we need to exercise more and eat less, but the process would be easier if we knew more about what we could and could not eat. Not to mention foods that will satisfy those cravings without adding to your waistline.

Regular exercise

Doctors advise us that we should have at least a half hour of exercise per day; if you want to lose weight, try to increase that number whenever possible. If you are particularly heavy and in middle age, it is a good idea to check with your doctor about coming up with an exercise plan that will benefit you without creating any adverse effects on your heart or blood pressure.

A day doesn’t go by without some news outlet reminding us of the importance of exercise. This applies across all age groups, from toddlers just getting started in Kindergarten to your grandmother. Children are of particular concern as obesity rates in this age group are reaching crisis numbers. The issue is that kids today have so many distractions, thanks to technology, that they rarely bother to exercise anymore. Add in a poor diet and you have a recipe for weight problems and even diabetes.

If your own kids are reluctant to exercise, here are some things you can try:

Participate With Them

Simply ordering your kids to “get outside and do something” might get them out the door, but they will probably then just sit around looking at their phones.  Arrange to do something with them: walking, hiking, basketball, or even a game of catch. This shows that you care enough to be interested in spending time with them and participating.

League Play

Encourage your kids to join a league that interests them. This means that they will both practice and play on a set schedule. They can also make new friends, which will act as a further motivation for them.

Encourage Play

Exercise does not always have to be organized. Encourage your kids to call up their friends and play street hockey, touch football, or some other pick-up sport.

Do It for a Good Cause

Many organizations hold walks or runs to raise money. Encourage your children to participate, and also do so yourself.

Start Small and Work Your Way Up

Try different things in order to find the activity that really clicks with your children. Once you have, have them do it a couple of times a week and then gradually increase. Don’t force it upon them; their interest needs to be organic.

 

Blogs are a wonderful way for people to express themselves and further develop their writing talents, even on a beginner or professional level. However, if you spend any time on Blogger or WordPress, you will run across many blogs that have been abandoned not long after they were started and certainly long before they ever had a chance to develop any kind of following.

If you have a blog that is starting to grow fallow, here are some tips on how often you should post an update:

Are Your Posts Based Around Recurring Events?

Do you tend to cover events in the news? If so, and you are focused on a particular person or subject, then you need to keep up a fairly regular schedule in order to live up to your blogs focus and retain readers. If you find that this schedule is too much for you, perhaps limit the blogs emphasis a bit.

Business Blogging

Blogs are a great way to bring attention to a business and attract loyal customers. People like to read blogs that offer some kind of value for their time (e.g. tips on how to do something, how to save money, etc), rather than ones that are just a recurring advertisement.

Make sure your blogs offer the reader something worthwhile for their time. It is recommended that you update it with new material the equivalent of every two days as that provides ample reason for people to check back.

What is the Competition Doing?

If you are concerned with being competitive, you will have to keep up a schedule that is similar to others in your chosen field. If they are posting every three days, then you need to be just as prolific in order to generate the same level of steady traffic flow to your site.

You don’t have to spend much time in your local pet store to discover that pampering pets is a multi-billion dollar business. When I was young, we pampered our dog by getting him the occasional meaty bone from the butcher. Nowadays, dogs receive expensive gourmet foods of almost every description, incredibly comfortable bedding, and leashes that are precision-designed to provide as little discomfort as possible.

Pets are often seen as substitutes for children, and they can certainly receive the same degree of attention. Is this a good thing for the dog? What about their human friend(s)?

Dogs Don’t Understand This Extra Attention

You may think that taking Duke to the doggie spa is a way of showing just how much you love him, but dogs don’t understand, or often even appreciate, this extra attention. They much prefer just to be treated like a normal, everyday dog. That’s what they understand and look forward to, so save your money and go to a human spa without Duke.

Spoiling is Bad for Discipline

You can’t spoil a dog and also expect it to be behave the way you want it to. Dogs that do not receive the proper degree of discipline can become ill-tempered and won’t appreciate (or even understand) when you want them to do things.

Dogs Need Socialization

If you prefer to keep your dog away from all of the “canine riffraff” in the neighborhood, don’t be surprised if it becomes unruly from all of the isolation. A dog that lashes out, jumps on people, and hops over/through barriers meant to protect it is likely acting in fear. Letting it get out and learn that there is little or nothing to be afraid of will lead to a happier, more even-tempered dog.

Dogs Need Exercise

Don’t think that your lounging dog is tired because se is getting too much exercise. It’s more likely she is bored from sitting around the house. That can lead to health issues and destructive behavior when the dogs decides to vent that pent-up energy by trashing your home.

You see them all of the time in restaurants, areas, the library, movies theatres, coffee shops…really anywhere people typically go. But have you ever thought about what goes into training a guide dog (or service dogs, as they are sometimes called)? As you might expect, not just any dog can be given this important duty. The dogs selected undergo some very specific training so they will meet the needs of the people they are paired with.

A guide dog’s training period typically lasts about 20 months, usually beginning when the animal is 14-17 months old and has demonstrated the ability to understand basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” One of the main skills for guide dogs is navigating obstacles and learning to stop at kerbside. The dogs must be able to show initiative and demonstrate the action that would be the correct one for that particular obstacle.

This is a key skill for dogs that will be helping people with eyesight limitations. They are entrusting their safety to these animals, so the training must be precise and the dogs must pass very involved tests to confirm that they have learned the necessary skills. For example: the owner may tell the dog to go forward, but if there is a car coming, the animal must know when it should ignore that command and remain still.

When the dog has been assigned to a human partner, there is a getting to know you period where the two become used to one another. How this interaction period goes will determine whether the pairing will continue. These animal/human partnerships typically last for about seven years. At that point, the animal retires from guide duty and then lives out the rest of its days as a normal everyday pet, either with their regular human or with a new owner.