Sep 7

Three Ways to Teach Your Kids Empathy


A new study from the University of Michigan found college freshmen are 40% less empathetic than 30 years ago . . . they have a harder time seeing things from other people’s perspective, and they’re not as considerate.

It’s partly because they’re online so much, and not face-to-face.  So here are three proven ways to teach kids to be empathetic.  Especially when they’re young . . .

 1.  Come up with a family mantra.  Like, “Our family helps people, we don’t hurt them.”  It might sound dumb, but a psychologist recently had parents try it.  And kids almost always remembered what their family mantra was.

 2.  Make sure they see YOU living by the same rules.  And if you ever have to apologize to THEM for something, make sure you mean it . . . explain why you’re sorry . . . and teach them to do the same thing.

 3.  Put a list on the fridge of nice things they can do each day.  Like giving someone a compliment, or holding a door for them.  Then have them try to do two a day.

Just try not to reward them for it with money or anything tangible.  The goal is to help them grow up to be a well-rounded person, not to make them think they’ll GET something out of being nice to people.




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Jan 26

Eight New Stats About Parenting


Buzzfeed recently polled more than 200,000 readers, and had them answer hot-button questions about parenting.  Here are the top eight results . . .


1.  Is breastfeeding in public okay?  85% said yes.


2.  Can a kid get a well-rounded social AND academic experience if they’re homeschooled?  73% said no.


3.  Is spanking okay?  52% said no, 48% said yes.


4.  Should kids be vaccinated?  94% said yes.


5.  Should drugs be administered for pain during childbirth?  The vast majority of people said it’s fine . . . 92%.  So 8% said it’s not.


6.  Is it okay for grade school kids to drink soda?  68% said no, only 32% said yes.


7.  Is it ever appropriate to discipline someone ELSE’S child?  67% said no, 33% said yes.


8.  Is it ever okay to put a kid on a leash?  47% said YES to that one.  53% said no.



(Buzzfeed / Parents)

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Nov 6

The Ten Things We Hate the Most About Customer Service



“Consumer Reports” just did a survey on the top 10 things people hate about customer service.  Give them credit . . . trying to narrow down a list of the things we HATE about customer service is pretty difficult.

Here are the results.  Just a few percentage points separate the top and the bottom.   So basically we hate ALL of these things . . . a LOT.


1.  Not being able to get a real human being on the phone.


2.  A salesperson who’s rude or condescending.


3.  Getting disconnected.


4.  Getting disconnected and then not being able to reach the same rep.


5.  Getting transferred to a representative who can’t help.


6.  A company that either doesn’t provide the customer service phone number, or HIDES it.


7.  Being on hold for a long time.


8.  Having to select a ton of steps on their phone menu.


9.  Representatives who keep asking for the same information.


10.  When the solution they propose is useless.



(Yahoo Finance)

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Oct 27

The Ten Best and Worst Cities For Halloween


It’s probably too late to make Halloween travel plans.  But maybe this list will give you an idea of what to expect staying here this year. just ranked the 100 biggest cities in America from the best to worst places to celebrate Halloween.

They used weather forecasts . . . the percentage of the population that’s 14 or younger . . . costume and candy stores . . . walkability . . . the number of bars . . . the crime rate . . . and the cost of tickets to Halloween events.



The ten best cities for Halloween are:  New York . . . Jersey City, New Jersey . . . Newark, New Jersey . . . Gilbert, Arizona . . . Laredo, Texas . . . Irving, Texas . . . Santa Ana, California . . . Garland, Texas . . . Chandler, Arizona . . . and Plano, Texas.



The ten WORST cities are:  St. Petersburg, Florida . . . Memphis . . . Detroit . . . Winston-Salem, North Carolina . . . Oakland, California . . . Baton Rouge, Louisiana . . . Charlotte, North Carolina . . . Indianapolis, Indiana . . . Nashville . . . and Houston. 


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Oct 21

The 12 Most Popular Halloween Costumes For Adults



Halloween is 10 days away.  And since you’re not going to come up with a genius costume at this point, why not just give in and wear what everyone ELSE is wearing?

The National Retail Federation surveyed 6,700 people, and found the 12 most popular Halloween costumes for adults this year.  Check ‘em out . . .


1.  Witch.


2.  Some kind of animal . . . which also includes SEXY animals.


3.  A character from“Batman”.


4.  Zombie.


5.  A character from“Star Wars”.


6.  Pirate.


7.  Vampire.


8.  Superhero.


9.  Doctor or nurse.


10.  Political personality.


11.  Horror movie character.


12.  Wench/tart/vixen.




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Jun 26

Here’s How the Average American Spends Their Day

ThinkstockPhotos-478529110 just analyzed Census data to figure out how the average American spends their day.  Here’s the full breakdown . . .


*Sleeping, eight hours and 48 minutes.


*Working, three hours and 36 minutes.  That’s because weekends and unemployed people pull the average way down.


*Watching TV, two hours and 49 minutes.


*Doing stuff around the house, one hour and 46 minutes.


*Leisure activities like surfing the internet, one hour and 29 minutes.


*Eating and drinking, one hour and 10 minutes.


*Personal care, including showering, 47 minutes.


*Shopping, 44 minutes.


*Taking care of and helping other people, 43 minutes.


*Socializing and communicating, 43 minutes.


*Activities like going to church, 33 minutes.


*Education, 25 minutes.


*Exercise and sports, 17 minutes.


*Communicating over the phone, text, and email, eight minutes. 



(That comes out to about 24 hours and nine minutes, because of rounding.)



(Business Insider)

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Jun 17

Five Tips for Buying Sunglasses



Summer officially starts this Sunday.  According to eye doctors, here are five tips for buying a good pair of sunglasses . . .


 1.  Make sure they have 100% U.V. protection.   U.V. rays are radiation from the sun that can make you develop cataracts.  And a survey last year found less than half of us check the U.V. sticker on sunglasses before we buy them.



So check the tag the next time you buy a cheap pair at a gas station.  Some of those only block about 40% of U.V. rays.



2.  Big sunglasses are better, because they keep more of the U.V. rays out.  Ideally they should be oversized, and wrap around your face.



3.  The color of the lenses doesn’t matter, and neither does how dark they are.  Lighter lenses can still block all of the U.V. rays.



4.  Polarized lenses reduce glare, not necessarily U.V. exposure.  So if you’re buying polarized sunglasses, make sure they block 100% of U.V. rays too.



5.  Don’t break the bank.  You don’t have to spend a hundred bucks to protect your eyes.  $10 sunglasses with 100% U.V. protection work just as well.



(PR Newswire)

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May 5

Big Day Of Giving [May 5th]



For 24 hours on May 5th, 2015, the region will again come together for a BIG Day of Giving to demonstrate our generosity. With a goal to raise $5 million from 25,000 donors for over 500 nonprofits, the Sacramento region will join hundreds of community foundations across the country in a 24 hour giving challenge as part of the national campaign called Give Local America. To participate, local donors can go to to give and support the nonprofits that lift up lives and make this the place we call home.


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Apr 27

Seven Part-Time Jobs That Pay Well



If you could use some extra cash, the website posted a list of the best part-time jobs that pay well.  Here are the top seven . . .


1.  Uber driver.  They make between $15 and $30 an hour.  You need a decent car though, and have to pass a background check.



2.  Bartender.  You can make anywhere from $10 to $75 an hour, depending on the bar.



3.  Office professional, meaning a temp.  They usually make $20 to $30 an hour.  But if you’re really good at something like Quickbooks, you can make more.



4.  Babysitter, $13 to $18 an hour.  Or more depending on who you’re babysitting for.  If you do it through an agency, you usually have to get CPR training and pass a drug test.



5.  Part-time web designer.  Depending on how good you are, you can make anywhere from $20 an hour to $150 an hour.



6.  Dog walker, $15 to $75 an hour.  But that higher number is if you’re walking more than one dog at a time.



7.  Tutor.  The really good ones make up to $200 an hour.




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Apr 16

The 10 Random Little Things That Make You Feel Great



It’s nice to see a list of things that make us feel good that doesn’t include donuts, porn, cocaine, social media, or punching someone in the face.  Maybe we’re NOT crumbling as a society?


A new survey asked 2,000 people to name random little things that make them feel great.  Here are the top 10 . . .


1.  Sleeping on clean sheets.


2.  Feeling the sun on your face.


3.  Hearing someone say “Thank you.”


4.  Finding money.


5.  Having a little time to yourself.


6.  Laughing hard.


7.  Cuddling on the couch.


8.  Fresh bread.


9.  Doing something for someone else.


10.  Feeling clean after a shower.



(Daily Mail



(You can see the top 50 here.  It’s a British survey, so a few might not apply.

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