Parenting: Smith Family


The Smith’s are one of the most talented families in Hollywood.  Will Smith is known as “Mr. July” for his annual blockbuster summer films.[1]  His wife, Jada Pinkett, is a singer and star of Hawthorne, a series on TNT.[2]  The Smith’s are raising three children.  Willow is the youngest Smith child, and she loves to sing; in 2010 she produced a hit single “Whip My Hair.”  Her brother Jaden has acted with his father in the Pursuit of Happyness (2006), and most recently was the star of his own movie, The Karate Kid, 2010.  Their half brother, Trey Smith, plays football and is starting to produce music of his own. In this episode of Oprah, the Smith’s discuss their family plan, their trip of a lifetime to China, Jaden’s new movie, The Karate Kid, and Parenting 101.

Boy Scares off Lions with Flashy Invention


kenyaArticle Summary:

A Kenyan boy, named Richard Turere, devised an innovative solution to protect his family’s livestock from lions.  After observing that lions were afraid of humans with moving flashlights, this 11 year old African boy came up with a simple low-cost system to scare away the predators.  Richard wired flashing LED lights to a switch box, and an old car battery powered by a solar panel.  The lights were then placed around the livestock pen and designed to flicker. It tricked the lions into believing they were humans with flashlights.  Richard was able to devise and install the complete invention by himself, without any knowledge in electronics or engineering.

Parent’s Harsh Words May Make Teen Behaviors Worse


downloadArticle Summary:

A survey study published online in the Journal of Child Development, titled “Longitudinal Links Between Fathers’ and Mothers’ Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents’ Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms,” found that when parents yelled or used harsh language against their children, they were more likely to find an increase in problems with the child a year later, and the children were more likely to have developed symptoms of depression. Parental aggression prompts reaction from the children; an unsurprising fact if you already know that these two characteristics are related. A controlling environment is likely to be a reactive and emotional environment, whether it is at a workplace or at home. All of these characteristics go hand in hand.

Fathers Instilling Confidence in Daughters for Future Decisions


DauughtersDaughters who are treated well and loved by their fathers are able to develop a sense of self worth and value in their own lives.

Fathers who treat their daughters well throughout childhood benefits them for their entire life.  Because of this, they are then more ready and able to look for similar qualities in a potential spouse for their future, who will treat them equally as well or better. It is this significant occurrence, throughout many women’s lives, that causes them to be better suited for searching for a proper husband.

10 Happiest Countries in the world and why the U.S. is not one of them!


SmilesArticle Summary:

The United Nations World Happiness Report shows that while the US has become richer over the last two years, it has become less happy. As expected, countries experiencing hardships like Greece and Egypt showed the biggest drop in happiness. Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden ranked as the happiest countries while many African countries found themselves ranked among the world’s least happy countries.

What we can learn from the Yarnell firefighters


yarnell fire

Article Summary:

On June 30th, 2013, 19 firefighters were found victims of the Yarnell Hill Fire, making it one of America’s deadliest fires. At the time it seemed like another unpredictable tragedy, however, as more information has surfaced in the last 2 months, the findings seem to be showing the opposite. The situation surrounding the death of the 19 firefighters seems to be riddled with human error. Some experts identifying that if correct procedures were followed the deaths should never have occurred.

Hindsight is always 20/20. It is amazing how many accidents are blamed due to circumstances “out of our control”, however, as we gain more information and look back on events we find the biggest problem is human judgment and decision making in the moment. One of the problems identified in the Yarnell tragedy is that the firefighters lost their look-out and they were too close to the fire, which prevented them from seeing the safe route out of the situation. Showing that having a person who is distanced from the event and can see the entire picture can help minimize risk and prevent tragedy.

10 Ways We Get Smarter As We Age

Old PeopleArticle Summary:

Do we get smarter with age? Does our ability to perceive and process slow down? Recent studies have shown how older individuals are able to process quicker than younger individuals. Although, the medical world identifies that the “brain’s processing speed slows with age”, the findings of new studies shows that older people are processing information quicker and perceive more. Some of the characteristics they have found is as follows:

1. As we age we are more capable of seeing the big picture and seeing reality (Study published in Journal of Neuron in 2005, study performed by Psychologist Allison Sekuler, PhD, of McMaster University in Canada). Younger people focus more on detail, older people take in the entire scene.