Swimming : The Fitness Excercise Part – II

Purchase appropriate equipment. You shouldn’t need to spend too much on swimming gear. You will need a good swimsuit––for women, this should be one piece. For men, choose swimming pants that cling, not board shorts or any other type of shorts. If you try to kick wearing flappy swimming gear, you’ll find it tends to affect your kick and can lead to bad kicking habits that only make use of the lower part of the leg. Goggles are also essential for most pools if your eyes are affected badly by chlorine (few people can swim regularly in chlorinated water without goggles on). Other items you might like to buy, hire or borrow include:

  • Flippers/fins for increased speed (some swimming pools provide these free of charge)
  • Hand paddles for correcting alignment and providing propulsion (water gloves are another possibility)
  • Kickboard for holding onto when doing kicking-only laps (some swimming pools provide these free of charge)
  • Some people like to use nose and ear plugs to prevent water going in
  • Water dumbbells for adding resistance for strength training
  • Swimming noodle for tucking under your arms and increasing your buoyancy
  • A swimming cap––although not essential (unless the swimming pool management requires it), it helps to streamline you and can protect hair to a small extent
  • Swimmer’s shampoo and conditioner––again not essential but regular swimmers find that such hair care products can prevent drying out and greening of hair due to the chlorine
  • Towel; while any towel will probably do, some swimmers prefer super-absorbent towels and perhaps a small wipe-down towel for when you jump out of the pool or take a quick bathroom break before hopping back in
  • A water bottle might be handy for fresh water to drink.

Plan to swim regularly. Fitness benefits will only come from regular swimming. While the most benefits will probably result from swimming two to three times a week, even once weekly swims should help to improve your fitness levels. Choose a consistent schedule that you know you’ll be able to meet each week and mark it in your calendar.

Decide on the type of swimming you’ll do dependent on the fitness and strength needs you want to enhance. Choose your swimming strokes according to what you enjoy (an important motivation for staying fit), what you’re able to do efficiently and what brings you the benefits you’re after by way of fitness. For most fitness swimmers, a combination of strokes tends to be the most interesting and useful approach, but it’s not unusual either for some fitness swimmers to prefer one type of stroke over all others. It really depends on your own comfort and needs, acknowledging that the best overall body workout will come from a combination of swimming strokes. Different swimming strokes convey different benefits for your body:

  • Freestyle or front crawl: This is the most popular competitive swimming stroke and if you’re good at it, you can go quite fast. It’s good for stretching your entire body, in particular your shoulders and back, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. But for those with weak arm muscles, it can feel like enormously hard work. Persist though, as this is a good all-round, efficient stroke and it just feels good to go through the water quickly once you’ve built up your speed.
  • Breaststroke: While some say this stroke is the hardest to perform well, it can actually feel very relaxing and easy to do because you get to control the pace and still benefit from it as a workout. It’s a good stroke for in between the faster swimming laps, when you want to keep going but at a slower pace. It’s the ideal stroke for developing all-body strength and increasing your endurance and has the same benefits as freestyle, with the added extra of working out your thighs and pectorals. Be aware that breaststroke may exacerbate existing neck, back or knee pain/injuries––if this is an issue for you, avoid using this stroke until you feel stronger and have the all-clear from your health care specialist.
  • Backstroke or back crawl: This stroke is good for extending your back and shoulder muscles (helping to improve your posture) and for those who like to breathe the whole time they swim, this stroke is perfect! You get to do a lot of staring at the ceiling, so hopefully it’s an interesting one. When doing backstroke, be sure to choose markers above you that indicate you’re nearing the end––it can be really painful banging into the edge of the pool at a fast pace.
  • Sidestroke: This stroke is not very taxing, and is actually intended as a rescue stroke, enabling someone to be able to hold an injured person while swimming them back to shore. It’s a good one to include in a mix of swim strokes, especially if you’re aiming for distance in your swims.
  • Other stroke styles: Butterfly is another possibility, as is “dog paddle”. The former is hard to learn and to physically exhausting to maintain, while the latter is so simple it can soon bore you. However, as part of a mix of laps, these two swimming strokes can be a good way to vary the routine. And to endear you more toward the butterfly stroke, it’s a real calorie burner, burning up about 800 calories an hour!
  • Kickboard laps: These laps are to help strengthen your kick strokes. They can be a fairly restful break in between the harder, faster laps without a kickboard. They’re also a very graceful way to get you started in fitness swimming, as you can do quite a few kickboard laps before feeling too worn out.

Get started. Push yourself to do a lap of your favorite stroke to begin with and see how it feels. If it’s okay and you think you can do more, keep going until it’s too difficult. If it proves too hard to complete even a single lap at the beginning, do what you can and take rest breaks as often as needed––in fact, deliberately build in some rest breaks, as well as allowing yourself unscheduled ones. This isn’t a competition––building up your strength and endurance will take time but you will also find that with regular workouts, you’ll improve quickly. The idea is to try and swim for 10 minutes the first few visits and to gradually build up to 30 minutes each visit. When you’re comfortable at that level, 45 to 60 minute swims can then be considered, depending on what time you have available and how much you feel additional time is benefiting you.

  • If you’re in really poor shape, swimming might not be the ideal way to begin. There is no harm in starting slowly and building up––simply walking or jogging in chest-high water can be a good way to begin your fitness in the water. Walk forward and backward, as well as from side to side. As you do so, swing your arms.
  • Don’t be surprised if the first few laps feel really hard at first. Keep pushing yourself because soon enough they will seem easier, allowing you to push through to the next few laps and so on.
  • Use the kickboard to help you get started and remain motivated––you’ll be buoyed up and you won’t have to work as hard to begin with.
  • Regularly increase the amount you’re doing each week––it’s a good idea to push yourself just beyond what you think you can do each time.
  • Learn to keep a record in your mind as to how many laps you’ve done––good for your memory and vital to ensure you’re not under- or over-doing the laps.
  • Consider water workout methods as a complementary to your swimming.

Plan fitness workout routines. Initially, you’ll want to get into a rhythm of turning up regularly and getting moving. However, within a short space of time, it’s important to establish a routine. Rather than simply lapping up and down the pool without a focus, develop a workout plan that gives you something to work towards and beyond, focusing on the fitness and speed you’re trying to achieve. There are many possible workout programs, and what you choose is dependent on which strokes you like and will be of benefit to you. Some pools will provide suggested workout programs––if you can’t see any (often placed on laminated sheets or on the wall), ask at the counter for suggestions. Other sources of workout plans include reputable swimming sites online and swimming workout books which you can borrow from the library or purchase.

  • When selecting a fitness plan, focus on what it will do for you. Do you want to increase your speed, improve your endurance or simply unbend that permanently knotted shoulder area?
  • A very basic starter routine would be something like: 2 x laps freestyle; 2 x laps backstroke; 2 x laps breaststroke; 2 x laps with kickboard; 2 x laps freestyle; then do a swim-down. This would provide a complete body workout at an easy pace which can be doubled, tripled, etc., as you improve over time. It can also be easily varied to accommodate preferred strokes or strokes that are having a clear benefit for your fitness.
  • Change the workout routine when it becomes clear that the existing one has outlived its usefulness, namely when what you’re doing feels “too easy.”
  • Consider asking fellow swimmers what their approaches to fitness swim workouts are. They might have some great tips for you.

 

Swimming : The Fitness Excercise Part – I

Among many benefits, swimming for fitness can improve your sleep patterns, lower your cholesterol levels, improve digestion and keep you well toned. Swimming can also build cardio-respiratory fitness and muscle mass, help those suffering from asthma or arthritis, help you to lose weight and be used for injury rehabilitation. And for those worn out by constant interruptions, you can’t swim with iPods, cellphones or any other electronic gadget, leaving you to your own thoughts and improving your mental clarity. Swimming for fitness is something that’s ideal for a wide group of people––water buoyancy is very forgiving of weight, injury and weakness in the human body, offering a low-impact exercise choice. Moreover, the gentle but effective resistance provided by water (12 times the resistance of air) can provide an all-round workout without the same level of exhaustion or pain that might accompany fitness exercises performed out of water. If you have easy access to a suitable pool or swimming area, then staying fit by swimming might be an ideal choice for you.

BLANK, Is What I am!

This might be one of my most negative or rather I say the only negative article I’ve ever written. Times are such. There have been instances where I don’t know who I am, who I want to be, who I should be or where I am & many such thoughts. It gets me all wondering. Right now also, I’m kind of clueless what to write on or what about. Being blank is normal. When no one or nothing seems to be there in the head. I do go through this pretty often but not on the serious note. It’s mostly that I’m angry & have fought that I end up this way. I’m sure many of you guys to do. Tell me about it, is what my clichéd answer is. Anyway, to be really honest, no one is ever absolutely blank. It is about someone or something you are thinking of that makes you forget the others & constantly ponder over it. Trust me, it’s always that way. So, whenever next you are blank, do this. Sit outside in an open area, with a cup of coffee in one hand & ipod in the other. Believe me, it helps. Does wonders. Tried & tested method. Feel free to ask if any querries! 🙂

Admitting To Cheating In School

Get it off your chest! If you have cheated on a test in the past, this might be a good time to come clean.

Feel guilty about it. This is extremely important. You just got an undeserved grade, and a class rank that wrongly puts others below you, affecting them. Colleges receive your transcripts where a bit of a mark fluctuation MATTERS. Bottom line: it was wrong. Feeling nice and guilty?

Put on a song you like but with a theme for your purpose. Recommended songs: “Just Feel Better” Steven Tyler and Santana, “Breaking the Habit” Linkin Park, “Learning to Fall” Boys Like Girls, “Damn Regret” Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and “Chasing Cars” Snow Patrol,” or “Move along” by the All American Rejects.”

 Understand why you did it, while listening to the songs. Be completely honest with yourself. You’re the only one listening anyway. Were you forced to do it? Was it just an impulsive thing? Did you want to prove something? Were you really desperate for that A? Were you too lazy to study? Did you have a lot going on at the time? Did a member of your family or a friend of yours or your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend die?

Keep on listening to music until you have a good and honest idea of why you cheated, before the next step. If you can’t decide, play more themed songs until you get something in your head. If you’re honest, you shouldn’t take more than 2 songs to gather your thoughts together. This should get you in the mindset and build up the courage to go confront your teacher.

Understand that you are willing to accept the circumstances. It is very important to be okay with your punishment, it is not something to be afraid of. People have cheated before, its common and besides, it is NOT a hideous crime. So you fell for it, once. Tell yourself even if the worst happens (think of the worst, it’s one situation where it pays to think negatively) you can handle it. Maybe you’ll get suspended or expelled. If you get suspended apply to a 2 Year College, but if you get expelled go to Adult Education.

Tell yourself that even though it’s just a first time offense you’re going to get expelled and when that happens sign up for Adult Education and once you’re done with Adult Education get a job.

Prepare for the worst, but don’t walk into your teacher’s room feeling defeated. Go in with strength. Being caughtcheating is bad, owning up to cheating is somehow more respected.

Relax and be strong. 4 Year College applications don’t ask “Have you ever cheated?” (Mostly), they ask “Have you ever been suspended, expelled, or put on probation?”. If you have, don’t apply to a 4 Year College because they’ll reject you. Apply to a 2 Year College with an Open Door Policy instead or enroll in Adult Education.

Go to your teacher and begin by saying something like “I have done something I am not proud of/something I regret”. Don’t just blurt it out. Then take a deep breath and explain everything, including the intentions identified during your music musing.

State that you are willing to accept the consequences of your actions (even if scared to death inside)before your teacher can respond. Also say that you would be okay with that particular grade being slashed if you can still make up for it with extra credit. Also restate that you’re really sorry that you disappointed the school.

Wait for the teacher to respond. They will not be happy so don’t expect it. But again, you own up to it, which matters. See if you can work something out. Resign yourself to some sort of punishment but show that you are earnest about correcting your mistake. Volunteer to help around school or do extra work.

Remind yourself that if you are honest with them, the teacher should understand that it was just a mistake and although you will get some kind of punishment it should not be that severe.

How You Can Annoy Your Teacher

Copy your teacher’s behavior. This is the single easiest way to annoy your teacher. Most teachers have some distinctive talking style, may pronounce some words outlandishly, use certain gestures etc. and emulating them in front of them in a discreet way will surely upset them.

Make funny noises. You should do it when the teacher is writing on the black board, for example, so that you don’t get caught. If your antics make the class rock in laughter, its an added bonus.

Sabotage Equipment. If you have projectors in your school, that are used for presentations, etc, get hold of a remote that can pause, freeze or turn off the projector. It drives the teachers crazy. Just make sure you hide your weapon well!

Talk while she/he is talking. When your teacher talks try to talk to your friend really loud, try to get some one to laugh or try to correct her/him, you could also try to get your teacher to ramble off on a different topic not only will this annoy your teacher but you waste class time and get out of there earlier.

Sleep in class. This works best if you are either in the back of the class or if you guys are watching a movie in class; all you need to do is put your head down and close your eyes soon enough you will fall asleep.

Throw stuff in her class. Throw things at her/him or at other students such as erasers, paper, pencils, chalk, or you can get creative and throw books, shoes, newspaper, markers, crayons, and anything else that can be thrown.

Say bad things. Act out, if your teacher says something you don’t agree with then say so and try to be rude about it.

Stay off task. While she/he is talking try drawing pictures or anything on desks or paper.

Write stuff about her/him. Pass notes in class about her/him saying anything you want really.

Shut her/him up. When you and the get into an argument in class, outsmart her/him and get their point to sound dumb.

Ask incessant questions. Usually asking questions isn’t a problem, but it will be very frustrating if you can’t understand a math equation and ask your teacher to explain it to you for the tenth time. This also works with unimportant questions such as “What color was Mahatma Gandhi’s hair?”

How To Be Kewl At Skool

Here are a few steps that can make you really cool;

If you are a total newcomer, try to find people who have similar interests to your own, which will provide an easy icebreaker conversation. Being new is a benefit, because (unless you were very popular at your old school) you’ll have a whole new, fresh start and a chance to get a new identity.

Try to identify who’s where on the social ladder, but on the first day, just try to get settled in! If you are new, your main goal on the first day should just be to make friends! Be friendly and socialize with as many people as you can without getting them mixed up. Do nottry to be friends with them only because they are “popular.” However, after you’ve been in school for a while and are settled in, you can befriend one of the nicer popular people, they’ll be your ticket into “the group.” At the end of your first year in the school, try to have found some close friends to regularly spend time with. Having a wide variety of friends helps a lot.

Avoid being a bully and avoid becoming the victim of one. Don’t be mean to other people in your school just to make yourself seem cooler. In fact, people generally hate bullies. Also, don’t let bullies push you around. It’s easier said than done, but in school, using your sense of humor and good social tactics are key.

 Remember as confusing as this next sentence will sound, think about it. Don’t care about what you think other people think of you. Just go with the flow. If you know for sure someone is judging you you can voice it, then just act like you don’t care…because you don’t. Practice thinking this way and your confidence will improve via self-acceptance. People at school will start wondering where you got all this self esteem!
Have your own sense of style. Discover the clothes you prefer/like to wear and create your style. Wear those clothes to school and be unique, but try to know what’s fashionable and be up-to-date! Be ahead of the pack. Be a leader, not a follower; thats what makes you cool. Don’t worry about the people who judge you about your clothing. Hang out with friends who like your personality, sense of fashion, etc.
Be independent. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be cool. Only go out with someone if you actually like each other, don’t just find a boyfriend/girlfriend who is popular, so you will seem cooler. Love isn’t about popularity. Actually if you become close friends with a guy/girl then it might even be more fun going to dances, hanging out, you don’t exactly NEED to be in love. If you have a secret crush, try getting really close to them then eventually they might even fall for you too!
Be open-minded. This is very vital. Some people have different opinions and tastes so don’t go gossiping about them just because they don’t agree with you.
Respect people. Respect others beliefs and cultures.
Smile. Don’t put a fake one too. Try to keep it natural. Don’t be sarcastic to people until you’re on good terms with them, don’t act like you need attention, and don’t look like you’re trying too hard. Be patient. Keep doing your thing. Someone’s bound to notice.
Have a nice hairstyle. Try a buzz cut or laxer flow if you’re a boy, side bangs if you’re a girl. Straightening or perming your hair is also very cute! Or at least find a cute hairstyle that fits you face, and your fashion.
Be fit, clean, and smell good. The first two are compulsory. Brush your teeth, exercise, etc. The third, you don’t have to smell nice, just don’t smell at all. Deodorant and a bit of perfume over that is good. Not too much. Or just deodorant. Just don’t smell bad. It will make your rating go way down.
Always remember that attitude is a key factor in how people look at you. Have a great personality: be talkative, nice, and have charisma!Try to notice the people who are soulful and soulless you don’t want to hang around the wrong people they will get a bad image.
Make funny jokes! But it isn’t cool when you make jokes about your friends. It’ll hurt their feelings. Being cool doesn’t mean being naughty. Behave in class. Sometimes it’s time for jokes, sometimes it’s not. Don’t be too cocky or too much of a show-off. This will make your rating go down.Don’t make rumors because that may make people hate you too.
Don’t ever talk back to teachers. It is disrespectful, makes you look bad, and they will watch you from then on.
Just because some popular girls like bad boys, a lot of popular girls also love cute, funny, neat, polite boys. It’s your choice though.
Don’t be fake. One thing a lot of kids hate or like is being fake. Think about it. If you have a good friend that is not exactly popular, don’t ditch him/her for some fake show-off that fills the hallways of school getting attention for having too much make-up. Maybe that friend that you just gave up on would have been your best friend! People can tell if you’re fake or not. Just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are fake. Look at people from the inside.

Asprin: The Myth Of Good Health

Aspirin may not be healthy for the DIGESTIVE TRACK it can also sometimes cause serious bleeding in the upper GASTROINTESTINAL tract. A study director of medicine said the risk of bleeding is directly related to aspirin. She also stated that 1/4 of an aspirin is good for a day (about the same amount of a baby’s aspirin). Another thing she stated was that if you are taking aspirin for arthritis it may cause severe bleeding. Late last moth in a journal called Lancet , Lancet compared the use of aspirin among 550 people admitted to the hospital with serious bleeding from the stomach or DUODENUM with the aspirin-taking practices of 1,202 non hospitalized people from the same communities. An aspirin-induced ULCER  or gastric-an inflammation of the stomach lining  is the cause of such bleeding that typically results in vomiting blood. In virtually everyone who takes aspirin the aspirin may cause MICRO BLEEDING. The more serious bleeding is rare however it is death threatening, Especially if the person has any other medical problems or has lost a lot of blood quickly. In a survey 19 per 100,000 people had the serious bleeding. It is precisely the power of the aspirin that makes it effective against heart attacks and strokes that are caused by clots.

I think that you should not take aspirin for preventing any heart attacks or strokes or etc. for a reason and that reason is that it may cause another hazard upon you while you are trying to prevent one happening to you.

Sadness Vs. Depression

Feeling sad, down, or discouraged are natural human emotions. They’re reactions to the hassles and hurdles of life. We all feel this way at times.

We may feel sad over an argument with a friend, a breakup, or a best friend moving out of town. We might be disappointed about doing poorly on a test. Or perhaps we feel discouraged if our team can’t seem to break its losing streak. The death of someone close can lead to a specific kind of sadness — grief.

Most of the time, people manage to deal with these feelings and get past them with a little time and care.

Depression is more than occasionally feeling blue, sad, or down in the dumps, though. Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.

Depression affects more than a person’s mood. It drains the energy, motivation, and concentration a person needs for normal activities. It interferes with the ability to notice or enjoy the good things in life.

People with depression tend to have negative and self-critical thoughts. They may believe they are worthless and unlovable — even though that’s not true. Depression can cause someone to think that life isn’t worth living. That can lead people with depression to think about harming themselves or about ending their own life.

  • Low energy and motivation. People with depression may feel tired, drained, or exhausted. They might even move more slowly or take longer to do things. It can feel as if everything requires more effort. People who feel this way might have trouble motivating themselves to do or care about anything.
  • Concentration. Depression can make it hard to concentrate and focus. It might be hard to complete schoolwork, pay attention in class, remember lessons, or stay focused on what others say.
  • Physical symptoms. People can feel depression in their bodies as well as their minds. Some people have an upset stomach or loss of appetite. Some might gain or lose weight. Some people notice headaches and sleeping problems when they’re depressed.
  • Social withdrawing. Because of feelings of sadness and low energy, people with depression may pull away from friends and family or from activities they once enjoyed. This usually makes them feel more lonely and isolated. That can make the depression and negative thinking worse.

Chivalry- R.I.P

We live in an age where the brutality and the vigilante justice of the knight errant is no longer acceptable for people with positions of stature in society. While courage and honor are still praised by society, one rarely finds a man true to his word regardless of cost. Chivalry towards ladies is sometimes mistakenly decried by those supporting equality for women. And Courtly love, in it’s modern form, is frowned upon. Those who might have a keen sense of justice often have only indirect methods of fighting for the right — legislation just can never be as satisfying as clouting a knave over the head with the flat of a blade. It seems that justice in American society is often tempered by compromise, rather than a blacksmith. Skill at arms is more often attained as an exercise, rather than a useful tool, and strength of body, while glamorized, is degraded by large numbers of “men of the mind.”

Chivalry is a lot like ethics; it is a governing principle concerning fair play as far as medieval combat among your peers was concerned. Do not attack an unarmed knight – allow him to arm himself first, if you unhorse your opponent and your opponent is still able to fight, get off your horse to fight, etc. – fair play with honor and respect. At the end, there still was a winner, and the winner ended up with more respect and admiration from those concerned that had he fought without chivalry. What am I getting at? Capitalism can be much the same way. American businesses have taken advantage of this system though, a system that one can cheat in and get away with, instead of being honorable and respectable institutions that children could look up to. So many things are like this that I just shake my head and sigh when I think about them – is American just a scam? Where did all the honor and respect go?

In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Gawain made a promise to the huntsman  to give him whatever gifts he received that day in exchange for whatever gifts the huntsman received that day.  On the third and final day of Sir Gawain’s visit, he received a green girdle from the huntsman’s wife, who was his secret lover.  The only reason that he accepted it was because he, like Lancelot, had fear in his heart;  only Gawain’s fear was dying.  The huntsman’s wife told Gawain that the girdle had magic powers and would protect him from his fate, for the next day Gawain was going to fulfill a promise that he had made to the Green Knight and get his head chopped off.  At the end of the day, when Gawain met the huntsman to exchange gifts, he did not give the huntsman the girdle, and broke his promise so that he would fulfill his promise to the Green Knight.  He, like Lancelot, betrayed the code of chivalry for their own purposes.

The most prominent example of Arthur’s “great” honor is depicted in the story “Day of Destiny.”  In the story King Arthur and his knights have one the arduous battle against his half son Mordred’s army.  The only one’s left standing on the field is King Arthur and two of his knights Sir Lucan and Sir Bedivere.  Lucan says to Arthur “sir, let him be,”… “for he brings misfortune.  And if ye pass this unfortunate day ye shall be right well revenged.  And, good lord, remember ye of your night’s dream and what the spirit of Sir Gawain told you last night, and God of His great goodness hath preserved you hitherto.  And for God’s sake, my lord, leave this battle field, for yet be here three alive, and with Sir Mordred is not one alive.  And therefore if ye leave now, this wicked day of destiny is past!” Arthur’s response to Sir Lucan’s speech is “Now come death, come life,”.  What this proves is that Arthur shows his honesty and loyalty to his promise;  the purpose of the killing was to kill Sir Mordred and that exactly is what transpired in the end.

In the movie “Excalibur” that we had viewed in class, Lancelot attempts to be honest by refusing the love and attention of Guenevere.  Nevertheless he becomes enchanted by the beauty and charm of the lady and he falls for her.  Although obviously disobeying the Knights code of honor he continues his affair with Guinevere.  Although people always endeavour to be as honest and just, a honourable knight cannot afford to deceive anyone, because consequences could have an adverse affect on them later.

Honor is not a virtue. It is the essential quality that accrues to a man when other people view them as being virtuous-i.e. they honor them. The drive for honor earns a knight or man-at-arms renown, his fame, his good name. It is always a very strong motivator for some soldiers. Honor in a personal sense is often confused with such ‘public’ honor, but I say rather that this is not honor but integrity.

Chivalry is a romantic ethic, doomed to failure; Arthur fails because he had too much pride in himself although his heart was in the right place his mind never was. But I come away from good events with a heart full of courtesy and generosity, with a strengthened sense of my own honor, and with a little more courage and persistence in the face of a less than ideal world. That is the reason that during the Middle Ages warriors and rulers at their leisure turned to dreams. That is the reason we today are drawn to these virtues of chivalry. We may never live out a romantic ethic, but it is a food as nourishing as any at the table, and a wealth as dear as any coin of the time…

Talk With Parents, Yeah Sure!

You probably talk to friends way more than you talk to your parents. That’s natural. Even if you and your parents have a great relationship, you want to find your own path and make your own choices.

Still, most of us want a parent’s help, advice, and support at times. But talking to the adults in your life can seem difficult or intimidating — especially when it comes to certain subjects. Here are some tips to make it easier.

Talk About Everyday Stuff — and Do It Every Day

The more you do something, the easier it gets. Talking to the adults in your life about everyday stuff builds a bond that can smooth the way for when you need to discuss something more serious.

Find something trivial to chat about each day. Talk about how your team did at the track meet. Share something one of your teachers said. Even small talk about what’s for dinner can keep your relationship strong and comfortable.

It’s never too late to start. If you feel your relationship with your parents is strained, try easing into conversations. Mention that cute thing the dog did. Talk about how well your little sister is doing in math. Chatting with parents every day not only keeps an existing relationship strong, it also can help a frayed relationship get stronger.

When parents feel connected to your daily life, they can be there for you if something really important comes up.

Raising Difficult Topics

Maybe you need to break bad news to a parent, like getting a speeding ticket or failing an exam. Perhaps you’re feeling scared or stressed about something. Or maybe you just really, really want to tell your parents about your new boyfriend or girlfriend, but you don’t know how they’ll react, how it will feel to tell them, or how to find the words.

Here are 3 steps to help you prepare for that talk.

Step 1: Know What You Want From the Conversation

It takes maturity to figure out what you want to get out of a conversation. (Most adults aren’t so good at this!)

What you hope to achieve can vary. Most often you’ll probably want the adults in your life to do one or more of these things:

  • simply listen and understand what you’re going through without offering advice or commentary
  • give permission or support for something
  • offer you advice or help
  • guide you back on track if you’re in trouble — in a way that’s fair and without harsh criticism or put-downs

Why think about this before you begin talking? So you can say why you want to talk in a way that communicates what you need. For example:

  • “Mom, I need to tell you about a problem I’m having, but I need you to just listen, OK? Don’t give me advice — I just want you to know what’s bothering me.”
  • “Dad, I need to get your permission to go on a class trip next week. Can I tell you about it?”
  • “Grandad, I need your advice about something. Can we talk?”

Step 2: Identify Your Feelings

Things like personal feelings or sex are awkward to discuss with anyone, let alone a parent. It’s natural to be nervous when talking about sensitive topics.

Recognize how you’re feeling — for example, maybe you’re worried that telling parents about a problem will make them disappointed or upset. But instead of letting those feelings stop you from talking, put them into words as part of the conversation. For example:

  • “Mom, I need to talk to you — but I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you.”
  • “Dad, I need to talk to you about something — but it’s kind of embarrassing.”

What if you think a parent may be unsupportive, harsh, or critical? It can help to defuse things by beginning with a statement like, “Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m not proud of what I’ve done, and you might be mad. But I know I need to tell you. Can you hear me out?”

Step 3: Pick a Good Time to Talk

Approach your parent when he or she isn’t busy with something else. Ask, “Can we talk? Is now a good time?” Driving in the car or going for a walk can be great opportunities to talk. If it’s hard to find a good time, say, “I need to talk to you. When is a good time?”

Difficult conversations benefit from good planning. Think ahead about what you want to say or ask. Write down the most important ideas if you need to.