Tag Archives: friends

Why Is Drunk Driving On the Rise? (Guest Post)

Drunk driving awareness campaigns in the UK are like the Coca-Cola truck commercial, the movie Home Alone, and pigs in blankets; They are at their most prominent over the Christmas period. The dangers of drunk driving clearly don’t need advertising to be obvious. So why are drunk driving-related deaths and incidents on an upward curve in the UK?

With yearly increases in drunk driving-related deaths since 2011, the statistics show that driving whilst intoxicated is on the rise and more and more motorists are admitting to have driven under the influence of drink and/or drugs at some point in their lives.

A recent survey of around 2,000 adults carried out by car insurance comparison giant Confused.com found that 19% of adults confessed to having driven under the influence. That equates to around seven million of Britain’s drivers. So why would so many people make this potentially fatal choice? There are a few possible explanations. 

The morning after the night before

An apparent lack of education and awareness regarding the longevity of the effects of drinking could have contributed to the recent hike in DD deaths.

So many crashes are occurring in the morning, suggesting that people think a few hours sleep is enough to shake off the effects of a heavy session the night before. The simple truth is, you can be over the limit and susceptible to consequential substandard driving skills for a long time after the drinking has ceased.

Authorities and police have backed this theory up and expressed a need for further education. The notion that a bacon sandwich and a night of broken sleep will suffice are way off the mark. 


2011 saw the lowest drunk driving deaths since 1979, so the increase since has been viewed by many as an anomaly, a fluke. But if we dig a little deeper we may find that the increase has come due to a relaxation in the standard of drunk driving education and marketing in the wake of the previously successful years.

In the UK, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine. This is across the board, irrespective of your height, weight, gender, metabolism or current mental situation. In other words, you can give two individuals the same amount of alcohol and they could react completely differently.

There should perhaps be a shift in the marketing and education of drunk driving awareness so that people become aware of what is safe for them. The general consumption statistic is broad and people think they can handle the maximum amount without any issues, and perhaps handle even more. The legal limit in the UK is actually higher than in the majority of Europe, so this is also another blindingly obvious possible reason. Should we head towards a zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving? I can see no logical counter-argument to suggest otherwise. 


Amongst the young and perceived naïve exists a school of thought that a first offence will lead to minor retribution. They may consider themselves unlikely to get caught, and if they do get caught they consider the risk worthy of the possible consequences. All roads here point to a lack of fear amongst drivers. It seems to be the case that not enough people are scared of the consequences of drinking and driving.

Each accident, each death, has a devastating effect on the victim and his/her family and friends. The temptation to drink and drive would be greatly reduced if the possible consequences were rammed home with vigour at every available juncture.

Bio: This article was written by Suzanne Roberts, who works for YourParkingSpace.

Thanks, Suzanne, this is a very serious problem in the U.S., as well. pb


New Year’s Eve is almost here, and with that brings the famed New Year’s resolutions.  Adults everywhere are reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the next, finding places where they can improve their lives.  Parents often make big plans to change habits and behaviors with this fresh start, and these plans often include their children.  Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions you could work with your child to make.

Keep my belongings organized – The first thing that parents need to recognize about this resolution is that it very likely means something very different to your child.  Children typically have unique ways of keeping things organized.  This frequently stirs friction between child and parent because mom and dad might believe “organized” means that everything is folded, put away neatly and out of sight, while their child might consider things organized if he can find his underwear in the morning.  This is a great opportunity for parents to connect with their child.  Sitting down and discussing the differences between your view of organization and theirs can actually help a child if it is done though positive conversation.  Giving him freedom in this area can go a long way in helping him discover what his organization style is.  If there are rules in common areas, parents should be clear about those, but should also allow their child to control how he organizes his own space. This will help him learn to keep it all together.

Drink water with every meal. Most people do not drink enough water; this is true for adults and children.  Telling a child she cannot have soft drinks or juices anymore will cause aggravation in the child and will only work to make her sneak them elsewhere.  By setting the rule that everyone drinks water with each meal, this healthy liquid is introduced without the ban on other drinks altogether.

Practice the sport, art or activity of their choice for 30 min every day.  Everyone has hobbies or skills they want to improve.  Children often beg parents for lessons to learn to play piano or be in basketball, but after the first few weeks of lessons, the excitement fades when they learn they have to practice.  Parents can help their children set the goal to practice by finding their own new skill to work on. This way parents and children can work in unison to improve themselves in at least one way.

I will talk to one new person every week at school.  This is a great resolution for the child that has a hard time making friends and connections.  It can seem like a leap of faith for a timid child to make new friends, which is why it is so important to start with just one conversation.  Maybe only one in every five conversations end in some kind of friendship, but then in a little over a months’ time your child will have a new friend and be confident enough to make more.

I will try one new food a week.   Children tend to eat the same foods every week.  This is due in part to the fact that these foods are easy to make and because parents are tired of fighting with their children to eat new and more healthy foods.   This approach addresses the problem in steps.  It does not require the child eat entire meals that he hates, just one new food a week.  Make the new food three or four times during the week so that he gets a chance to try just one bite a few times.  Parents should try to make the experience fun and set a good example by eating the food alongside him.

I will help one person every day without being asked.  Generosity is a character trait most people believe is absent in children these days.  Parents can inspire the development of this habit by encouraging their children to find one person to help or to do one helpful activity each day without being asked to do it.  Keep a chart of these activities and praise the big-heartedness that it brings. Try to avoid “rewarding” these activities with material positions because part of generosity is not expecting anything in return.  Instead give rewards with kind words and gratitude.

Change is best done with someone else.  If parents want to encourage their child to make these transformations, the best way to do so is to make the changes along with their child.  Find one or two small changes that you and your child can work together to make, then connect and talk about the successes and the challenges of altering this habit every week.  If you do, then by this time next year both you and your child will be healthier, happier and more connected to each other.


 Written by Kaylee Wilson; Submitted by Joyce DelRosario

There are a lot of things that parents fear, and for a child to become an addict at a young age is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. There are some things that parents can do to help deter their children from this ill fate. These things include keeping children safe from friends who are addicted to prohibited drugs. 

Addiction is something that strikes even people who may seem to have their lives completely together, and friends of children can often be involved in activities that put others at risk. This is just one of millions of reasons to develop a healthy relationship with children that include communication and trust. Yes, it is very important for your child to trust you, as you want to be able to trust them. This can help in developing communication, and knowing when they, or one of their friends may possibly be in trouble. 

Knowing Your Child, and Knowing Their Friends; Recognizing a Problem

It is not always easy to see problems when they are hidden in plain sight. This is why it is important to have communication with children. It is also important to know the type of company that they keep, and the company that the company keeps. There are warning signs for problems, which if caught in time can help your child, and their friend. 

There are many signs of use of prohibited drug use, and noticing them may help you and your child, address the problems before they escalate out of control. It is important that you do not cut the ties of communication between you and your child. This can happen by directly prohibiting contact with their friends. 

There is another approach to severing the ties to illicit drugs. It may serve you better to attempt to help your child get help for their friend/s. You can try to get in touch with the other parents to be able to aid in the intervention of the child that is in trouble. 

Working with Your Child to Understand the Damage Done by Addictions

It cannot be said enough, how important it is to be able to communicate with children. This is even more so when it comes to explaining the danger of addiction in a way that children will listen. Sometimes, it pays to be able to communicate with your child. 

There are many instances, where children became involved with illicit drug activity due to misunderstanding, and not knowing the consequences. Having a way to communicate with your child, and developing trust on both sides of your relationship  may aid in educating your child on the dangers of illicit drugs. 

There are many resources that are available to help you break the barrier of communication with your child. 

Dealing with Friends Who Are Addicted to Illicit Drugs

It may not always be easy for a child to cut ties with friends, and it is for this reason that communication can play an important role. Friends that are addicted may bring your child into a world where they do not belong. It is important that you always know where your child is, and what they are doing. 

You may not be able to completely cut ties and associations, but you can make compromises, as can your child. You can make sure that if they have to be around the friend that is addicted, it is with supervision, and you know what your child is doing. Eventually, the friend will need help, which you can help your child reach out and try to help through places, such as http://thefamilycompass.com, and get the friend the help that they may be looking for. 

About the Author:

Kaylee Wilson is a proud single mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at http://thefamilycompass.com. The Family Compass brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings.


In many jobs, who you have as friends isn’t something that’s really important to your boss. But like with government and high profile jobs, many nanny employers do care about what you do and who you associate with.

While it may seem unfair that an employer judges you by your associations, for many parents, knowing as much about a caregiver as possible helps to them to make informed and educated hiring and managing decisions.

When it comes to evaluating a nanny’s character and judgment, which are unquestionably important in evaluating nannies, the type of people a nanny spends her time with can provide insight into those both of those qualities.

Nanny employers typically care about four main things when it comes to who their nanny keeps company with: they care if there is a safety risk to their children, a security risk to their children, a security risk to their property, and a risk of their children being influenced negatively.

A safety risk to their children. It’s only natural and necessary for parents to be concerned about their children’s safety. A nanny who hangs around with individuals who have poor judgment, are unstable, or who have a history of criminal problems can be concerning to a parent. This is especially true if a nanny is in an abusive domestic relationship. Parents may be concerned that the nanny’s abusive partner may show up at the home, either uninvited or not, or that the nanny may be persuaded to assist a friend in trouble during her on duty hours, taking her focus off of the children.

A security risk to their children. Nanny employers may also be concerned about the security of their children, especially if the family is wealthy or is a high profile family. Parents may feel that the more people who know the nanny cares for their children, the greater their children’s security risk is. A parent may be paranoid that if the nanny has shady friends, they may have less than genuine motives for getting to know the family, the children’s schedule and classified family information.

A security risk to their property. For live-in nannies especially, the prospect of having visitors is appealing. However, if the parents aren’t confident that the nanny’s pals are people of integrity, she may be concerned with them coming to the home. Fears of thievery, snooping or property destruction may cause some concern.

A risk of their children being influenced negatively. Most parents, whether nanny employers or not, want to shelter their young children from drugs, violence and swearing. If a nanny has friends who engage in drugs or violent behavior, or who curse like a trucker, the parents likely won’t want those friends coming around. Since individuals with common interests and hobbies tend to stick together, a nanny employer may discern that the nanny has similar character traits as those she spends her time with.

While the majority of nannies are straightedge individuals who are responsible, competent and caring, these same qualities that make them great child caregivers can make them susceptible to caring for other individuals who need help.

Some nannies feel that who they spend their time with off the clock has no bearing on how they do their job, but nanny employers may feel differently. Nannies are hired to serve as role models to the children in their care and to provide their charges with high quality, attentive childcare. During their workday, nannies are forced to make judgment calls on everything from what playground slide is appropriate to go down to what size a toddler’s grapes should be cut into. For many parents, knowing that a nanny consistently makes good judgment calls is vital to developing a trusting relationship.

While a nanny may be put-off that an employer cares about or questions her associations, nannies must respect that the well-being of the children is a priority and anything that could jeopardize that priority is best discovered by the parents.

Thanks to Sarah Tucker


Guest Blog by Martina Keyhell

You had to have seen this one coming: kids are picking up bad habits from their extensive use of social media giant Facebook. This can’t come as too big of a surprise though, because it stands to reason that something so popular and fun would be bound to have some ill effects. Not that we’re condemning Facebook, mind you, but there are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for regarding your child’s usage. The following are seven bad habits that kids pick up from Facebook:

  1. TMI – To be honest, many of us are already guilty of grossly over-sharing our personal lives on Facebook. When you have a place to update your status 24/7, though, it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that eventually one’s entire personal life is right there for anyone and everyone to read on their profile.
  2. Inappropriate Friending – It tends to be an automatic reaction for some to “friend” someone after they’ve added you, accompanied by the friend confirmation request, whether this person is someone you know well or not. While they may not like the idea of saying ‘no’, safety should have a higher priority than popularity.
  3. Posting Inappropriate Photos – Inappropriate photographs always seem to find their way onto people’s Facebook pages. For that matter, taking such photos in the first place is ill-advised, to say the least. Coupled with the prospect of being friended by stalkers and strangers, not to mention being available for any potential employers or school officials, this makes for a very dangerous mix.
  4. Poor Time Management – It’s very easy to lose track of one’s time while socializing on Facebook, and hours at a time can be lost without even realizing it, often at the expense of more important things like homework, chores, etc. It may be wise to install a filter software that can monitor use and block certain sites during specified time periods to ensure that your kids don’t spend too much time on the website.
  5. Indiscriminate Downloading – Facebook is notorious for third party apps that seek to gain access to personal data and the friend lists of members who use them. There’s a large risk associated with accepting gifts via some of these apps, unfortunately, that could end up compromising your personal information.
  6. Poor Grammar – As with chat rooms, IM’s, and text messaging, all of which came prior to social media, Facebook posts can tend toward cyber shorthand, whether it’s in the interest of brevity or simply born out of sheer laziness. Although it’s acceptable – even necessary in some cases – to limit character usage, it’s very easy for this habit to leak over to your child’s more formal writing and correspondence.
  7. Not Safeguarding Personal Info – Facebook provides varying levels of privacy settings for its users. Members can share everything with anyone, or limit access to their profile to just friends and/or family. Kids today have become ok and even lax with the safeguarding of their personal information, and identity theft, stalking or harassment can end up being one of the penalties for your child being too open with his or her personal information.

You can read more of Martina’s advice for parents and youngsters Facebook is a very popular social network; it is a good way for old friends to locate long-lost associates.  However, many times young people have been cyberbullied by someone on social networks to the point of hurting themselves or taking their lives.  Teens and parents would be wise to follow this advice from Martina.