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"It takes only a few hours and it's also kinda, sorta fun."

Summer is here. The season of backyard barbecues, long evenings by the bonfire, and a nagging worry that every parent can relate to — the dangers that come with a swimming pool.

The chances a child will die from drowning are relatively low, according to the CDC. But still — it's great to be prepared to step in and help with CPR, should it ever be necessary.


Actor Ryan Reynolds definitely thinks so.

Reynolds recently went to a CPR training class focused on toddlers and infants.

Reynolds and his wife, fellow A-lister Blake Lively (who also attended the class), are parents to two young daughters: 2-year-old James and 9-month old Ines.

The actor posted a photo from his CPR class to Instagram on June 27, noting how being certified once helped him save a family member's life.

"Years ago, I took a CPR course thru the Red Cross," Reynolds wrote. "And holy shit, I ended up saving my nephew's life because I knew what to do! True story!"

"Yesterday I took a refresher course — focusing on infant and toddler CPR," the actor continued. "It takes only a few hours and it's also kinda, sorta fun."

Lively also encouraged her followers to get trained if they haven't already.

"Google 'infant CPR class near me' and you'll see lots of listings," she wrote.

The Livelys are right: Learning CPR is quick, easy, and certainly worth the trouble.

Nothing can give you the same in-depth instruction as a course taught by a professional (you can easily find an American Red Cross CPR training in your area). But there are still plenty of helpful guides online with free resources you can access to help you get started.

As Lively noted, just knowing you have the know-how to help in a critical moment will let you enjoy those backyard poolside barbecues this summer, feeling a little more carefree.

"For those of you who haven't done it, you will love it," she wrote on Instagram. "It's so helpful by giving you knowledge, tools, and some peace of mind."

Here's an overview on CPR instructions so you can better understand what a training course entails:

This article originally appeared on 06.27.17


Joy

Three cheers for this Dollar Tree worker who saved a mom during toddler's meltdown

Every mom who’s been there feels this kindness in their bones.

@maremare711/Instagram (via Upworthy)

Fatimah's kindness made all the difference for a mom at her wit's end.

You're in the store, trying to gather the last of your items and head to the checkout counter before your toddler really starts losing it. You can see the meltdown coming—maybe you forgot snacks or it's too close to nap time or your wee one is just feeling particularly prickly for no apparent reason—but there's not much you can do other than hope you can get out of the store before the tornado hits.

But then it hits. Your child is wailing, you're already at the checkout, people are staring (while pretending not to stare) and you wish you could just curl up in a ball and disappear.

It's hard to describe the stress and anxiety of trying to manage a toddler in a tantrum while also trying to get through the checkout lane, but it's real. Most moms have been there and know the helpless feeling, which is what makes the simple act of a Dollar Tree employee all the more wonderful.


Mom and Instagram user @maremare711 shared the video showing Fatimah, a Dollar Tree clerk, holding her daughter and letting her help scan her items.

"This ANGEL at the Dollar Tree in West Orange, NJ scooped my daughter up in the midst of an UPPY meltdown," the mom wrote. "She saw my hands were full while we were checking out and my patience was THIN."

"There is nothing more anxiety inducing than a check out line and a screaming toddler," she continued. "She instantly changed our moods for the better. Mare got to feel special. And I got to experience this total act of kindness."

She also shared that that Dollar Tree location was closing and that Fatimah was hoping for a good transfer.

"I never post stuff like this but I just want this woman to have the world!" the mom concluded.

People in the comments were clear about what they thought of Fatimah's kindness.

"People like this make the world so much easier for us moms. Motherhood can feel so lonely and isolating— everyone needs to take note of this lovely worker!! Once I had a Panera worker comfort my screaming toddler and help me walk him to the car. Literally changed the whole trajectory of our day!" shared one mom.

"Gosh, people don’t realize how much moments like this mean the absolute world to us moms out here with littles" wrote another. "When so many feel annoyed by a child’s mere existence, it’s so refreshing to see beautiful acts of kindness, understanding, and patience like this towards our babies. ❤️❤️❤️"

"Hoping this goes viral and this woman get offered a great job where her kindness is valued," shared another commenter.

"If Dollar Tree doesn't promote her immediately we riot," one person quipped, to which dozens of people responded with variations of "Tell us where and when and we'll show up."

Dollar Tree did see the original video on Instagram and commented, "Thank you for sharing this sweet experience! Go Fatimah! Way to go above and beyond. 💚 We'll be sure to share this with field leadership so they're aware of the Fatimah's hard work and amazing spirit."

People like Fatimah truly make a difference in the world, seeing someone's struggle and immediately taking action to try to alleviate it. Many people might want to help in a situation like this but feel awkward about it, like they might be overstepping or something, but this is a good example that when the intention is sincere and there's something we know we can do, it's best to at least try.

Thanks for the heartwarming boost of faith in humanity, Fatimah.

Family

Therapist shares science-backed phrases that parents can use to gently defuse a meltdown

It's perfectly natural to want to raise your voice when a toddler is having a tantrum. But experts say there is a better way.

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Finger pointing is actually NOT one of the suggested strategies

When your toddler has a meltdown, it's perfectly natural to want to fly off the handle.

There's nothing more infuriating than a small human repeatedly demanding something that's physically impossible for you to give them, or wailing because you had to punish them after repeatedly telling them to knock it off.

"I CREATED YOU, YOU LITTLE MONSTER. I CAN DESTROY YOU," you might want to say (though you never would). You love your kids — of course you do — but damn if they aren't the best at pushing you to your breaking point.


As tempting as it may be to raise your voice, yell, and keep ramping up the punishment to ridiculous levels, some parenting experts say there's a much better option.

Vanessa Lapointe, a mom and professional psychologist, suggests something called "discipline without damage."

Lapointe defines this practice, sometimes called "compassionate parenting," as an intervention that reinforces connection, not separation — in other words, staying calm and kind while setting firm boundaries for kids in a way that doesn't dampen their spirits or preach obedience above all else.

This isn't just some new-agey, feel good stuff: Lapointe says it's all based on science and the way children's brains develop.

"Our job as parents is to grow up children who are hardy. Not children who are hardened," she explained in an essay for The Huffington Post. "Children who are hardy can weather the storms of life. Children who are hardened cannot, and instead tend to shut down and have ineffective coping strategies."

Lapointe recently released a nifty "Discipline Cheat Sheet" that offers some simple changes to the words we use when faced with a meltdown that can completely change the tenor of the situation for the better.

The Discipline Cheat Sheet: An Infographic

drvanessalapointe.com

Here's how this technique might play out.

Say your toddler colored on the wall with bright green crayon.

Instead of screeching something along the lines of "What were you thinking?!??!" Lapointe recommends using a kind and compassionate tone and saying something more like, "You know I don't want you coloring on the walls. We need to get this cleaned up."

"No!" your kid might respond, with a stomp of a tiny foot. "I don't want to!"

"Come on," you say, keeping your voice calm. "I'll show you where the cleaning supplies are and help you get started."

Now, ideally, that would be enough. Your toddler would calm down and gladly help you clean the walls. When it comes to toddlers, however, parents know things are rarely that easy.

What if by then he's too upset and has thrown himself to the ground in protest, banging fists against the floor? Instead of finally breaking and losing your temper, it's time to try a different tactic from the cheat sheet.

"I can see this is tricky for you. We're going to solve this later. Let's get a drink of water," you can say.

He may agree or not. But eventually, he will calm down (every parent knows that they always do), and you can show him how to get the crayon off the wall.

When the wall is finally clean, turn to him and say, "Let's find a better place to keep your coloring supplies so this doesn't happen again."

The whole conflict may take a while, and you may have to go back to the cheat sheet to try many of these different techniques, but in the end, you get what you want (a clean wall) without yelling at, frightening, or physically forcing your toddler to clean it up. At the same time, your kid learns that their actions have consequences.

The reality is that most toddlers are nearly psychologically incapable of impulse control. No amount of yelling or being a strict disciplinarian can change the wiring of their brains. And though the phrases in the chart above are best for young children, the same principles of compassionate parenting apply to older kids, too.

The chart has been shared far and wide across the web, though Lapointe's approach isn't without its critics.

Some parents worry that her recommendations feel an awful lot like "helicopter parenting" and isn't strong enough to teach kids about independence and feeling the consequences of their actions.

Lapointe says these people are missing the point. She spells out the difference:

"The hoverer is worried, nervous, and uncertain, and prevents their child from ever having to come to terms with the things in life that simply cannot be. The provider is confident, all-knowing, and in charge, and supports the child in regulating around their upset in coming to terms with the things in life that cannot be. "

She urges parents to remember that kids are kids and not to expect them to understand the world as adults do.

Compassionate parenting is more than just a few handy phrases.

The phrases on Lapointe's cheat sheet are a great first step for reframing the way we react when our kids start misbehaving, but they're not the only tool a compassionate parent can keep in their back pocket. For parents looking for an alternative to punishment and escalating behavior, however, Lapointe's cheat sheet could be just the help they need to stay calm in the face of a toddler tornado.

Though easier said than done, a simple, "Come here, I've got you," could be exactly what your kid needs to hear.


This article originally appeared on 07.21.17

Leila Danai doesn't need you to approve of her hair.

A video of a preschool-age girl is capturing hearts because of the incredibly confident way she responded to a boy who didn’t like her hair. Leila Danai, who was 3 and a half when the video was taken, is one of the only Black children in her school, and her mother, Mildred Munjanganja, prepared her for comments people might make about her hair.

In the video, Leila tells her mother that a boy in school said he didn’t like her hair, "I said, 'I like it!'" she responded. “He said, ‘I don’t like that hair — it’s crazy.’ And I said, ‘My mommy made it. And if you don’t like it, I’ll keep it for myself,” she continued.


Leila then showed off her beautiful smile.

“Oh, baby! I’m so proud of you,” her mother exclaimed. “You stood up for yourself. That’s what matters. What matters is that you like it — it’s your hair.”

@leiladanai

I love hearing about Leila’s day! Today she shared how her classmate didn’t like her hair and she replied ‘well I like it!’ - I have never been more proud! I am glad she didnt need anyone’s validation to feel complete, she knew she loved her hairstyle and that’s what mattered. She stood up for herself, she confidently and honestly communicated her point of view and she didn’t allow someone else to affect her self confidence. I am so proud of her - at 3.5years she stood up for herself and didn’t allow the ent to affect her. We will continue to have a democratic household where her opinion matters! We will continue not forcing to do things she does not want to do and allowing her to speak her mind. I will continue to listen, to guide and be an excellent example. I am so proud of Leila! Strong women, may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them! . . . . . . . . . #kidsselfconfidence #diversity #blackhair #blackkidshairstyles #toddler #momanddaughter #toddlerlife #modelface

Munjanganja explained her parenting philosophy in the video’s caption.

“I am glad she didn't need anyone’s validation to feel complete. She knew she loved her hairstyle, and that’s what mattered,” Munjanganja wrote. “She stood up for herself, she confidently and honestly communicated her point of view and she didn’t allow someone else to affect her self-confidence. I am so proud of her. At 3.5 years, she stood up for herself and didn’t allow the [comment] to affect her.”

Mother and daughter were applauded in the comments.

"We should all have this type of self-esteem. A beautiful young lady. I love her hair!" Armando Lopez wrote. "She is beautiful and will be a fierce force as she grows! Go Momma!!!" Rugby added.