Category Archives: Personal Development

Learning to cope with various situations with friends, family and society and over all self-improvement.

Conversations to teach Civic Engagement

Conversations start here
Conversations start here

It’s amazing how one little conversation can change things forever.

Conversation is the ‘exchange of thoughts through informal talking‘, together, but there is also the other quote, ‘talking to oneself‘. Either way, it’s to examine or share, a topic of interest. Discussing a specific topic can lead to learning various outcomes, depending on the topic. Meeting at the table has been a favored gathering point and event for family and friends. Conversation can be considered the ‘toast of the party’! Would you agree?

Civics refers to the duties, rights and privileges of citizens. Parents can introduce this topic during evening dinner meals, and discuss with their children, just what is and what isn’t, allowed since society has it’s norms, rules and laws, along with the consequences. Children can learn from these discussions and hopefully, avoid glamorizing or considering, criminal behaviors or acts. It’s preferable to begin with asking questions, to measure the amount of knowledge and starting point versus entering preach or lecture mode.

Parents take on many roles for their children, and one is, as a teacher. Helping children understand their place in society, will help towards developing the child’s personal and intellectual growth. In turn, they will be able to pass on these lessons learned at home, to their friends. They will also be learning the beginning steps of civic engagement. The ability to discuss, as individuals yet act as a collective, to achieve or address, public concerns.

Parent and child conversations can help develop a child’s intellect and learning to use reason, gain understanding and separate, real from the imaginary and ground the ego. After all, society works together to uphold their norms, rules, regulations and laws, to function as a nation, and remain in a state of peace, with each other. A child learning this knowledge and skills can develop into a socially well -adjusted adult.

A few parents may find, they do not spend or make for, any quality time with their children other than giving directions and reinforcing rules. This can be detrimental for both parent and child along with making for a bad day. Socially maladjusted children can usually be observed as those with behaviors and values that conflict with society norms. Abuse and neglect can have lifelong consequences on a child, which can easily be observed by trained education and mental health professionals. Local laws may require suspicions of child abuse and neglect, to be reported.

The idea of teaching a child about rights and responsibilities of adults and children may be daunting for parents. This can be resolved by taking time, to research the subject online, or visiting the library. A conversation with our child is a two or more person orchestra vs a one-sided conversation, allow for all to contribute. It takes skill to shape and guide a conversation to create meaning, learning and thinking. We can’t forget a dose of humor can lighten a conversation and add fun.

A meaningful conversation in a family can take place when trust and safety exists. Let your next dinner conversation be a learning experience for your children. There are many topics to choose but one should first start with their place in society. One may be influencing a future leader.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest, a guest post, or to say Hello! I hope you visit again.

Copyright Article (C)2014, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and advocates on social issues.

Extra Reading

Civic Responsibility – A Paper

National Traffic Safety Institute

World Learning Education


What’s the Alcohol Doing to You?

A 2012 survey revealed that alcohol is consumed by 75% of Canadians.

We also realize that not every alcoholic is the same. Another landmark study (2007), done by The National Institute on Alcoholic Abuse and Alcoholismcreated categories on the sub-types of the alcoholic such as, Young Adult, Young Anti-Social, Functional, Familial (mental illness), Chronic Severe but also, the ‘high functioning’ alcoholics, those able to function within their responsibilities, lead a double life. A few addictions experts are suggesting that 75% -90% are high functioning alcoholics. Shall we learn the the effects of alcohol?

Alcoholism progresses the same for every alcoholic and will reveal itself, at different rates. After all, as said earlier, no alcoholic is the same. Alcohol crosses the ‘blood-brain’ barrier and changes brain cells thus the central nervous system (CNS), indications the brain slows the body down (depressant) – altered speech, foggy memory, hazy thinking, impaired co-ordination, heartrate, blood pressure, breathing patterns will slow or stop.

The behaviors of an alcoholic will depend on the stage of their addiction. There are different definitions for the stages of alcoholism but most will contain the following qualifying criteria:

  1. Social drinker, one or two drinks a day, enough for euphoria
  2. Non-Social drinker, to reduce stress, first sign of dependency, urge to drink at stressful events

  3. Frequent Relief, to escape, stress, feelings, guilt, seek to diminish senses, may steal alcohol

  4. Daily Routine, memory blackouts, hidden drinking (mix beverage with alcohol), tolerance to alcohol effects rises

  5. Full Dependence, find reasons to drink (opportunist), defensive to offers of help, unpredictable mood and behavior changes, loses control over responsibilities, lies, manipulative, avoidance behaviors, tremors,

  6. End Stage, alcohol obsession, deteriorating health, eats less, resents interference, emotionally unpredicatable, seizures, tremors, cirrhosis of the liver, dementia

  7. Death

Differences in body and weight will create differences in tolerance. One person with low body fat will feel effects of alcohol less than a person with higher body fat. A woman has less of the enzyme dehydrogenase (an enzyme that moves a substance to a hydrogen acceptor for break-down), in their stomach. Also, women tend to have higher body fat and lower water content in their body. Over all, the less you weigh, the more quicker one feels the effects of alcohol. Our bodies can only break down one alcoholic drink per hour.

  • The stages of alcoholism brings personality changes that can range from mild to outright dangerous with the loss of inhibitions. Negative emotions are intensified and responses are apparent with knee-jerk reactions. Paranoia, delusions and hallucinations can lead to endangering self and others. This is due to reduced blood flow to regions in the brain.

  • Aging organs, including the brain, decrease their abililty to withstand the effects of alcohol. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can develop with the prolonged, high- intake of alcohol.

  • Medical treatment and neurogenesis may help to resolve these effects but further study is needed. Long term alcohol abuse can still lead to varying degrees of lasting brain damage and/or eventual death.

  • Recovery from alcohol abuse also has a place and begins with first admitting, a problem exists. A visit to your doctor can helps towards repairing the physical effects. Visiting an alcohol treatment centre and/or Addictions professional, can help towards further understanding your addiction cycle and triggers helps toward learning and applying the available options, to change your life.

  • Lasting friendships and support can be found through joining Alcoholics Anonymous. One just has to be aware that even if alcohol is removed, one may still exhibit ‘dry drunk’ behaviors. Over all, recovery is a choice available to everyone and which can lead, to helping others step out of their own alcohol addiction. Do we really want to go beyond that second drink?

    Extra Learning Resources

    National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

    Understanding the Insanity of Alcoholism: How the Alcoholic Thinks
    Alcoholics Anonymous

    Learning in Motion

    I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest, a guest post, or to say Hello! I hope you visit again.

    Article(C)2012, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and social issues.