As I sat outside my son’s swim class the other night, I started thinking about the difference between the positive and productive exchange of ideas and plain old gossip. My grandfather once told me that when people started to talk about others in front of him, he always left the room. Sage advice. I couldn’t leave this room. I was stuck in it for another half-hour. In those 30 minutes, I learned that a woman I had known many years ago had just suffered a severe stroke, and was undergoing invasive life-saving surgery. I became aware of many other gory details regarding the woman’s health, her current work status, her husband’s job, and which school her son was attending.
Because of my line of work, overhearing this discussion made me think about the importance of being discreet. What if the person talking were a co-worker of the woman she was talking about? What if the speaker were to make disparaging comments about her company in a room full of people? How far can the law go to address this the behaviour of employees who are not at work?
Recent case law addressing whether social media comments by employees when they are not are work should be disciplined is helpful. The law emerging in this area suggests that what you do (or tweet and/or post) while you are not at work may affect your employment status. Is it any different at the swim meet? At the hockey arena? Should your conduct be regulated there as well?
In a recent case in the UK, a newly appointed police commissioner was fired for tweeting distasteful comments about local youth who worked in the local pizzeria, including their supposed inability to speak “proper English” and making other racist and homophobic comments. Beyond that being in bad taste, this was a case where the employee eventually had to resign.
Tips and Principles on Discretion
- Make sure nothing you say could affect your employer’s reputation in the industry.
- Never discuss medical information, marital status or anything related to someone’s finances or children in public.
- Don’t try and convince others not to work for your employer because of how badly they treat you.
- Don’t share trade secrets or other confidential information, including information about how you think the company is doing.
- Never make racist, sexist or other distasteful jokes. Ultimately, they aren’t funny, and you never know who may be listening.
- Use your common sense. If you wouldn’t want it said about you, chances are you shouldn’t say it about anyone else.
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Spring has sprung, fruits are abundant and it is very important to stay hydrated, nourished and healthy. Smoothies are a great way to pack in the nutrients in a delicious and refreshing snack. Here are my top ingredients to put in a smoothie and two delicious smoothie recipes to get you started.
- Kale – Kale is a superfood full of nutrients and minerals. It really is among the most highly nutritious vegetables of all time! It is an Excellent source of vitamin c, b6, and manganese, copper, iron, and calcium. A great source of fibre, incredible vegetarian source of calcium and iron and extremely high in chlorophyll. Kale also contains INDOLE 3 CARBINOLE, which helps the liver breakdown excess hormones. It is cleansing and detoxifying.
- Chia Seeds – These little seeds are an incredible source of omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and a complete protein! They contain essential minerals. They also make you feel full and allow you to have incredible bowel movements.
- Strawberries – Antioxidant powerhouse! Full of anti-aging properties, packed with vitamin C and incredible for glowing skin
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon’s best medicinal effect is that it helps to balance blood sugar, therefore aiding in weight loss. Studies have shown that 1 tsp of cinnamon taken daily helps to prevent diabetes by decreasing fasting blood glucose levels. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, improves circulation and is a digestive aid.
Dr. Jodi’s Power Smoothie
- handful of kale
- 1/2 pear
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup of almond milk
- 1/2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
Blend together and enjoy!
- handful of strawberries
- handful of blueberries
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- ½ tbsp of ground cinnamon
- ½ cup of water or ice
Blend and enjoy!
This has been my favorite grain salad for years. Couscous needs no cooking and can be ready in five minutes. Couscous also doesn’t absorb much dressing so only 1 tbsp of oil is used. You can now buy whole grain couscous or feel free to substitute quinoa, millet or barley. I like to serve this grain with a protein such as grilled chicken or fish. In that case you can always leave out the chick peas since this is another form of protein. Orange juice concentrate can be used frozen and placed back in the freezer for the next time you’re cooking.
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
¾ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¹/³ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped green onion
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp grated orange rind
3 Tbsp liquid honey
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
- Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat. Stir in the couscous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and cool.
- Stir the chickpeas, cranberries, green onions, red peppers and basil or parsley into the cooled couscous.
- To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, orange rind, honey and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the couscous mixture and toss to coat.
Nutritional Analysis per Serving
Calories 235 * Protein 6.2 g * Fat 3.2 g * Saturated Fat 0.7 g * Carbohydrates 45 g * Cholesterol 0 mg * Sodium 204 mg * Fiber 3.7 g
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Make Ahead: Prepare up to a day in advance and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs ever. Despite our paid job status, level of stress at the office, nothing can really come close to the amount of joy and worry which accompanies being a parent.
There are many different types of parenting. Some more authoritative styles allow very little room for compromise or promotion of independent decision-making in our children. At the other end of the spectrum, the more permissive parent often sets very few limits for their child. Parenting styles from both ends of the spectrum do not teach our children to regulate their own emotions and have shown to interfere with their ability to form healthy relationships as adults.
Somewhere in the middle of the continuum is a more fair and flexible style of parenting, where we are able to hear our children and provide them with choices, but simultaneously set the right limits and teach them self-control. Let’s be honest, despite our best efforts, do any of us ever attain this perfect balance of empathy and discipline? Probably not.
In times of frustration, when we are feeling completely overwhelmed by our responsibilities and everyone’s expectations, we all make plenty of parenting errors. We want our children to grow up feeling good about themselves and the decisions that they make. Yet how many times do we as parents regret what we say as soon as we say it? We need to be careful of the messages we send our children.
Common Parenting Errors and How to Remedy Them
- Keep instructions limited and concise – Parents must limit the amount of talking they do if their intention is to teach or provide consequences. Let’s face it, parents talk a lot, often too much. Children can only focus for so long and this includes listening to their parents. Do not be surprised if after speaking for 5 minutes straight, your children have no idea what was said in the last 3. This does not mean they are ignoring you. It just means they do not have the capacity to focus for such an extended period of time. We must keep instructions and directions kids simple and concise so there is no room for misunderstanding.
- Follow through on consequences – Parents provide way too many warnings. Our children are smart. They know how far they can push us. They know that when we say it is our last warning, that we really mean we will give three more. In an effort to keep control of a situation, we continually nag our children in the hopes that they will have empathy and see a situation the way we do. As parents, as difficult as it may be, we need to be prepared to put our money where our mouth is and follow through on consequences. Otherwise, how can we ever expect our children to take us seriously?
- Stop using shame and guilt – We must stop using shame and guilt to get compliance from our children. Children learn empathy as they grow up, as they witness the empathy they receive from their parents and from others around them. So is it fair to expect our children to see things from our perspective? Are they really not cooperating, or are they just not providing the level of ‘compliance’ that we want from them? Children internalize negative labels that parents use in moments of frustration. We must remember to focus on the behavior, which might be unacceptable, and not erroneously label the child instead.
- Actively listen – Do we really listen to our children? We expect our kids to be respectful of others and to learn proper means of communicating. The best way to teach this is by modeling it ourselves. Parents need to be attentive to their children, and not interrupt them when they are talking, no matter how preoccupied we might be. Listening effectively to our children includes maintaining eye contact, and ‘actively listening’ to them, which is a skill where we are able to convey our understanding by paraphrasing what has just been said and by being able to reflect their feelings back to them. If our children learn that what they have to say is important to us, they too will learn to respect what we have to say to them in return.
All this being said, communicating effectively with our children takes time and can be emotionally draining. But certainly well worth the effort. Children whose parents are respectful, engaged and provide consistent disciplinary tactics themselves learn to regulate their own emotions, feel better about themselves and grow up to have loving relationships as adults.
Until next time,