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Highlights and documents I have written


Creating Customer Loyalty

End user Training
 

Many occupational hazards of adult life will be greatly alleviated by massage:

  • aching back and shoulder after a long office stint

  • exhaustion or overstrained muscles from physical labor or excessive exercise

  • circulatory problems from too little exercise by sedentary workers.

 
Massage Therapy

Being a Male Therapist

Ethics

730 Hour Certification

Transcripts

Massage can benefit you right down to the cellular level!

Contact Marcus Ball Directly at (408) 896-5555, or MarcusBall@MarcusBall.com


 


 

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I DISCUSS DRUG USE WITH MY CHILD?

Start with preschoolersÖ
Children at this age are not drug users, but if we talk to them now, before the problem exists, we can have an impact when they are 10, 11 and 12. The foundation for all healthy habits, from eating nutritious foods to using proper hygiene to dressing appropriately for the weather, begins in the preschool years.

While drug use by for children this age may not be a concern, even young children hear about drugs. Unless adults take the time to help children sort through the messages they receive, what they think they understand about drugs may be far from reality. Moreover, because children who resist early drug experimentation are generally adept at problem-solving and self-help, parents need to ensure that the foundations for these skills are laid down during the preschool years.

Preschoolers regard the adults in their life as all-powerful. Perhaps at no other time in their lives is your approval as highly prized or your teachings as well received as during these early years of unconditional devotion. Remember that both as you talk with your children and as you consider what behaviors you model about the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

  • Ask children what they think about a TV program or story-line. Discuss how TV/storybook characters are like and unlike people they know.
  • Discuss how violence and bad decisions can hurt people.
  • Realize that when you use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, you are sending a message endorsing your children's use of these substances.
  • Give children honest praise for their attempts to take responsibility for their own good health.

School-aged children:
The typical school aged child is eager to be independent and grown-up. School opens up a new world to children beyond the closeness of family. As children grow older, friends take on heady proportions, and children seemingly live or die based on their friendsí opinions. Acceptance can be everything. The advent of reading and writing skills will also make your child a global learner. Because peers and reading skills expand your childís world, messages about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs may be conflicting with the oneís you give your child.

As you talk with school-aged children about drug use, remember that children have a hard time focusing on future consequences Ė the here and now is what is important to them. They do, however, understand the reason for rules and appreciate having limits in place. This applies to rules about bed times and homework and to no-use rules about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

  • Without putting your childís friends down, underscore your values and the importance of making decisions that are consistent with these values.
  • Talk with the parents of your childís friends to determine if they are giving their children messages that are consistent with yours.
  • Let your child know what is allowable at home and school and what isnít.

Young adolescentsÖ
Between the ages of 10 and 15, children typically move from having good feelings about themselves and their life at home and school to at least some feelings of insecurity, doubt and pressure.

With the many dramatic changes taking place within them, young adolescents look to one another for support. "The group" defines what they should wear, what music they should listen to and what activities should occupy their time. It can be very threatening for parents to see the peer groupís values assuming such importance in their childís lives. Still, children do not relinquish their powers of thought. They approach problems systematically, try to see things from different perspective, have a marked sense of right and wrong and are ready champions of justice.

When looking at drug and alcohol use, parents must recognize that young adolescents are easily swayed by what their peer group feels is appropriate. Self-doubt can also make youth vulnerable to the "quick fixes" of tobacco, drugs and alcohol. However, with expanding social consequences, young people may view the refusal to use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs as a civic responsibility. Young adolescents are also concerned about their appearance. If they believe drug and alcohol use will impair their looks and health, they are unlikely to be tempted by these practices.

  • Donít abandon your child to the peer group, even though you may feel this is what they want.
  • Base drug and alcohol messages on facts, not fears.
  • Emphasize how drug use affects the things that are important to young adolescents such as sports, driving, health and appearance.

REMEMBER TO LISTEN

Create a climate in which your child feels comfortable. Your non-verbal cues will send messages to your child, so consider the position of your chair, the tone of your voice, eye contact and facial expressions. Although it is essential that the educator provides the child with accurate facts about drug abuse and its side effects, prevention education also centers on listening. Listening carefully and really hearing involve the following:

Listen to the words being communicated, but also be aware of the non-verbal communication that accompanies these words. Non-verbal cues indicating feelings of fear, anger, or guilt are important for teachers to understand if they are to be truly helpful to their students.

Listen by paying attention. Looking directly at a student who is speaking is very confirming. It allows the student to believe what he or she is saying is being listened to, is important, and is being understood. Teachers need to be aware of their own non-verbal behaviors when they listen, such as frowns when they disapprove of something and smiles when they approve.

Listen without interrupting. Interrupting a person who is trying to understand or be understood or trying to express feelings about something very important, frightening or guilt-laden may result in a shut-down at the very moment when an unclear or undeveloped thought is about to be clarified.

Listen without judging. For students to learn through open communication, you must permit them to speak and listen when they are speaking. The very thoughts that might be responded to quickly in a negative, judgmental way may be of great concern to the student.

Listen without giving advice. Giving advice is often an easy way of dealing with a complex problem. Students attempting to cope with the many issues associated with drug use must examine each issue and may not respond to quick and seemingly easy solutions. Communication takes time; giving advice often short-circuits the process.

  • Give your child an opportunity to talk. Stop talking and give your child sufficient time to complete his or her thoughts and process what has been said.
  • Demonstrate interest by asking appropriate questions. Questions can help you clarify your childís thoughts and suggestions. Be sure that you are interpreting what has been said correctly.
  • Listen to the complete message. Listen to the total message before forming a response.
  • Encourage your child to talk. Use door-opening statements ("You seem distracted todayÖ" or "Tell me what is going onÖ") that invite a response.
  • Focus on content, not delivery. Avoid being distracted by your childís poor grammar or manners. It is what is being said that is important.
  • Listen for main ideas. Try to pick out the conversationís central theme.
  • Deal effectively with emotionally-charged language. Be aware of words or phrases that produce anxiety and trigger emotions.
  • Identify areas of common experience and agreement. Note similar experiences of your own or offer a shared point of view to communicate acceptance and understanding.
  • Deal effectively with whatever blocks you from listening. Be aware of personal blocks that may prevent you from hearing what your child is saying.

 

SOME EXAMPLES OF PARENT-CHILD DIALOGUES

Your child saysÖ.

Your first response may be to blurt outÖ

A better response would beÖ
Timmy has started smoking but his parents donít know Iím going to call Timmyís mother. She has to be told and thatís all there is to it. How do you feel about Timmy starting to smoke and his parents not knowing?
Pot canít be all that bad for you because Iíve seen kids who use it and theyíre fine. Itíll be bad for them if they get caught and end up in trouble with the law. Iíd like to share with you some of the information I read about the effects of smoking marijuana over time.
You lived through the 70ís. Why donít you let me live through my decade without your interference. I donít want you to make the same mistakes I did. Sharing my experiences and listening to yours are among the most important things I can do for you as a parent.
Nobody else has parents this strict. Youíre still living in the Dark Ages. One day youíll be down on your knees thanking me. How would you like me to be? What do you think would be most helpful to you?
How can you tell me not to smoke when you inhale two packs a day? Isnít that awfully hypocritical? Donít you dare talk to your father like that. I know Iím not providing you with a good example. Iíd very much like to quit.

 

TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT MARIJUANA

Is Marijuana Really a Problem?

Teen marijuana use has surged since the start of the Nineties. Between 1992 and 1995, the number of 12- to 17-year-olds using marijuana doubled. And the younger the age group, the greater the percentage of increase.

Each year, the University of Michiganís Institute for Social Research queries 50,000 high school students about their drug habits. In 1995, 28.7% of tenth graders reported trying marijuana at least once. In 1991, just four years earlier, that same survey found that only 16.5% had experimented with marijuana. For eighth graders, the percentage of students trying marijuana went from 6.2% in 1991 to 15.8% in 1995.

Teens themselves put the number of adolescent marijuana users much higher. Typically, they estimate that three out of four high school students have tried marijuana and that at least one teen in four is a regular user. While these estimates have little statistical value, they indicate how teens view their peers.

Should You be the One to Talk to Your Child?

It is clearly established that parents are in the best position to talk with their children about drugs. While the schools have an important role to play, they cannot do the job alone. The choice to use or refuse drugs is heavily steeped in values. You alone are in a position to make sure your child knows what you think is important. Teachers can provide information, but it is a parentís job to provide a context in which this knowledge can be applied. Parental ideas and discipline do more to shape the views of children than any other influences in their lives.

Although many parents have no problem talking to their children about such highly addictive drugs as cocaine or crack, they have a difficult time discussing marijuana. This is because the case against harder drugs is clear-cut. One would be hard-pressed to come up with an argument justifying the use of these substances. Marijuana, however, is a different matter. For many parents, it is not in the same category as cocaine or crack. Moreover, marijuana is something many parents have themselves experienced.

This raises two issues. First is the question of risk. Is marijuana all that harmful? After all, you yourself may have smoked marijuana and are none the worse for the experience. Second, but perhaps more important, is the question of hypocrisy. Isnít it hypocritical to warn children against a drug that you yourself have used?

Letís address the second issue first. If your approach is, "Do as I say, not as I do," you are indeed being hypocritical. However, if you openly discuss your experiences with your children, you are being honest, not hypocritical. All of us have done things we regret. Offering children an opportunity to learn from your experiences is a wonderful part of being a parent. Moreover, seeing you in human terms makes it easier for your children to relate to you and the message you are giving them.

Of course, you can relate just as well to your child even if youíve never smoked marijuana. After all, you didnít have to burn yourself on the stove in order to teach your toddler not to touch it.

Is Marijuana Really Harmful?

Now letís consider the issue of marijuanaís harmfulness. If you ask most teenagers, they will tell you that marijuana is safe to use. Though school drug education programs have been telling them since the fourth grade that marijuana can have serious side effects, many teens believe the dangers are greatly exaggerated. "No one has ever died from pot," is a common teenage rationale for using marijuana.

True, people arenít likely to die from an overdose of marijuana. However, marijuana is whatís known as a gateway drug. This means that those who smoke marijuana are predisposed to go on and experiment with more powerful and dangerous drugs. The first drug experience of most users is not likely to be shooting up heroin or smoking crack.

In addition, teens who use marijuana are also more likely to use alcohol and cigarettes. And the combined use of these substances has more serious health consequences than the use of any one of these substances alone.

Moreover, marijuana itself is not the harmless high many teens and parents think it is. For one thing, it is not the same substance young people were smoking in the Sixties and Seventies. Todayís marijuana is far stronger. This means that it is both more potent and has longer-lasting side effects. Consider the following facts.

  • Marijuana impairs short-term memory and the ability to concentrateóabilities we all recognize as important for success in school.
  • Marijuana slows reflexes and coordination and also impairs the ability to judge distance, speed, and time óabilities essential to safe driving. Many teenagers, who would never drink and drive, think nothing of driving stoned.
  • Regular use of marijuana causes such respiratory problems as bronchitis, sore throats, and coughs.
  • Because marijuana is typically inhaled deeply, many experts believe it may cause more long-term damage to the lungs and heart than cigarettes.
  • Marijuana contains more cancer-causing agents than cigarettes.
  • While marijuana is not addictive in the way that cocaine and other more potent substances are, long-term use can lead to compelling dependence.

One final fact you should know is that the age at which children first try marijuana has been dropping sharply. Thirty years ago, many youngsters who tried marijuana did so as a symbol of rebellion and unity with the youth movement. Todayís reasons for youthful experimentation are not much different. Rebellion and a desire to be "cool" still prompt a good deal of marijuana use. Thirty years ago, however, most users were in their late teens or early twenties. Today, survey data puts the mean age of first use at barely 14 and preteen use has become commonplace. Obviously, the younger the age of first time users, the more immature and less capable they are of making responsible life decisions.

What to Say

Here are some questions you might discuss with younger children:

  • What is marijuana and why is it illegal?
  • What are the side effects of marijuana?
  • What are the rules at home and school about marijuana use?
  • How do movies, books, and music sometimes show marijuana in a favorable light?
  • How can you pick supportive friends who are not into drug use?

For teenagers, you might want to discuss these topics:

  • The effects of marijuana on school work, driving, and attitude
  • Marijuana dependence
  • How to resist peer pressure
  • How to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Dealing with stress without drugs

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Some of the articles contained herein describe illegal activities, which may not be clearly identified as being illegal. It is the responsibility of the individual reader to verify the legality of any actions described in these files. It is not recommended that any of the activities described herein actually be carried out. These files are provided FOR INFORMATION ONLY.  For additional information contact the Phoenix House American Council for Drug Education 164 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023, 1-800-488-DRUG (3784), www.acde.org

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