Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Italian non-profit, Giano Family, helps families with online security

You know how you always have to help your family & friends with computer problems and offer advice on useful applications & hardware for their needs? They are pretty lucky to have you.

Much in the same way, Italy is lucky to have the Giano Family, a non-profit organization that does just that for Italian families. Not only do they provide free technical support, but they also help families secure their online experience, on the computer or mobile.  They graciously created an Italian guide to Kytephone for our Italian users.

It's a pretty amazing organization that does great service. Here's a brief description of what they are about (in their words):

Giano Family is a FREE service to protect families from the risks related to Internet browsing.

Giano Family expert team is available to help you to safely and correctly set up and use your personal devices. 
At your request, they will provide advice, report the programs that best suit the needs of your family, and if you have problems with your PC, with your consent they will install directly acting remotely.
In this portal we indicate the best free available software to safeguard your PC and your Smartphone and Tablet from:

·         Viruses·         Auto-Installing Malicious Programs (Spyware)
·         Junk E-Mail (Spam)
·         Unreliable/Unsuitable browsing sites for minors

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nature's Best Winter Remedies

Hardly a person goes through winter without a cold or a cough; often flu or just long periods of being "under the weather". If neglected, in many cases these seemingly innocent typical components of winter can lead to more serious problems. There are a number of over-the-counter or prescription syrups and drugs, but there are also powerful natural products that can help easily offset flu, cold or cough.
Nature's Flu Shot


Juice of 6 lemons
3 cups pineapple juice         
2 tbsp. honey
1 bulb garlic
t tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients and store in a glass container. Drink a cup 3 - 4 times a day until symptoms go away. Helps also with colds and winter indisposition.

Although the cayenne pepper is a very powerful healer, you should avoid it if you are giving the mixture to kids. 

Nature's Cough Buster 


1 ts. dried or 2 tbsp, fresh thyme
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Steep thyme for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Drink a cup 3-4 times a day and watch the cough recede.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Optimism and Praising Kids

Praising children has another positive effect and this is the development of positive thinking. Which in turn is the backbone of optimism. It is well-known that optimistic people normally have fuller and more interesting lives; they achieve more of their goals although the pessimistic ones regard them as naive day- dreamers. Optimism can be defined as a certain outlook; the ability to "see the glass as half full"; to believe that life can always get better. Actually it is a skill, which you can try to develop in your child.

What does parents' optimism mean to a child?

  • It makes children believe in themselves; helps them form a positive outlook and realize their dreams.

How can you make your child an optimist?

  •  Be a role model. Nothing can be as convincing for your kid as the example you set for them.

  • Success. It doesn't matter how small a goal or a task your child has achieved. Let him know it is a success and acknowledge it, celebrate together. Not necessarily with a reward or something super  special - just being happy together is more than enough.
  • Togetherness. Spend more time with your child, everything you do together reinforces positive outlook.

  • Failure. It will happen no matter how hard everybody tries to avoid it. In that case make sure you don't show anger or disappointment; nobody is perfect. Analyze the situation; try to understand why your kid failed and help them see what can they do to succeed next time.

  • Critique. You cannot be a parent, if you do not critique your child. And as a cliché as it may sound - when you do it, be constructive. Do not critique your kid's personality. Critique the way they approached  a task or a situation, put the emphasis on their behaviour, not on their character.

  • Humour. It always helps, even in the most difficult of situations. Humour is contagious and is basically a display of optimism. Make your child laugh and laugh together. Kids love the smiles on their parents' faces. They love it when we act like children ourselves, at least once in a while, for a little bit. Laughter helps relieve stress, erases negativities.

  • Assurance. Believe in your own kid! And let them know you do. If you don't it is very easy for your child to not believe in themselves and gradually they may turn into a fearful person with low self-esteem and no confidence. Only positive, optimistic people can give their kids the knowledge that they are special; the strength to believe in themselves and the ability to go after their dreams.
The way we think affects the way we feel and those define the way we act.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Praising Kids

Not too long ago I was enjoying a peaceful afternoon at the park with my grandsons who were happily playing with the other kids. Soon one of the moms was ready to leave. Her son, however, definitely was not. She really tried to convince him they must go - nothing unusual, but what caught my attention was her tone - she sounded more like pleading than telling him it's time to go. Time was passing, she was getting impatient and he kept playing basically disregarding his mom.

Eventually,  she said: “Come on, sweetie, if we leave now I'll buy you an ice cream.”

“Can I have Bubble Gum, mom?” was the quick reply and sure now he was more than ready to leave...

How very fine the line between praising and spoiling, or even bribing is indeed, and how easy it is for some parents to lose perspective and stumble. There is no doubt praising for good behaviour can be a very powerful motivating tool in raising kids. The big question and challenge for parents is: Will the child be motivated to behave well because they know they are doing the right thing and it feels good or will they do what's considered good by their parents just so they will receive some reward? I think that through wise rewards we can teach our children about values in life and help them develop their self-esteem. It is not that much what we reward them with; it is why we do it. A reward should never be used as a bribe or in a way that emphasizes the materialistic as opposed to the moral side of praising. And again simplicity seems to be the best approach.

  • Parents' expectations. We all want our kids to succeed in life, but in order to set them properly on their way to success we have to teach them to achieve their goals, to have a sense of success.  You know your child, so set simple, reasonable and achievable goals. And clearly state your expectations. This will make it much easier for the kid to understand what’s expected of him and therefore try to achieve it.

  • Create a balance. Your children will get the right message only if you create a balance between the daily, ordinary goals and expectations and the more special ones; that's how you will motivate them and teach them important values.

  • Rewards. First and foremost make it absolutely clear to your kids that when they want something they have to work hard to get it. A reward is sweet, but it has to be earned. Choose something simple that your child will understand and appreciate. This can be anything from some extra TV or play time, to a special bed-time story, to a favourite meal, to collecting rewards points. I would never consider using money unless it is a really special occasion and the child is older.

  • Make it simple. Again, no need to complicate things. Just because this is a most important side of raising kids doesn't mean it has to be complicated. It's a must though to make sure the reward you've chosen corresponds to the task or goal set. If you give a small reward for a serious achievement, you will be underestimating your child and they will not be as motivated anymore, nor will their self-esteem get a well-deserved boost. If, on the contrary, you give a big reward for something really small the kid did, you will not only spoil them, but you will also set them for having unrealistic expectations in the future. Also, you don't have to make every other reward better and bigger than the previous one. If you do how will your child ever learn to appreciate the small things in life?

  • Do not delay the reward. “Do unto others what you would do unto yourself”. If you don't keep your side of the deal you cannot expect your child to keep theirs. Even worse, they will grow up without knowing the value of promise or commitment.

  • Be positive. When your child has failed to achieve or do what was expected of him, but you see he had definitely made efforts, do not be so quick to criticize him; try to see and encourage the positive in his actions first. And if the opportunity is there tell him why he did not succeed this time. Be true to your principles and be patient.

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