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9 Childhood Rules Best Forgotten by Adults

9 Childhood Rules Best Forgotten by Adults

I recently read a story about how we get pulled into yesterday each time we follow the sage advice of our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Do you ever find yourself — at 30, 40, or 50 years of age — still carrying through on that advice?

For the longest time into my adulthood I didn’t go outside for fear that I’d “catch my death of cold.”  Same with going outside barefoot in the winter.

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To this day I still want to throw salt over my right shoulder (or is it my left?) after knocking over the salt shaker because Grandma said it would keep evil spirits away.

I wonder what Grandma would say about the salty evil spirits I’ve consumed?

How about the universal rule that you shouldn’t wear white before Easter or after Labor Day?

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Or–you’ll go blind if you sit too close to the “television set,” but maybe that had something to do with picture tubes.  (Blindness is also attributed to another rite of childhood, but we won’t talk about that one here!)

There is no denying that we bring the yarns of youth with us into adulthood.  The question is, how much do we allow them to influence our adult lives?

Do you follow along because “it’s always been done that way?”  Or, do you plow a new field of independent thinking?

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Here are nine old wives’ tales that have been debunked over the years.  You’ve probably heard them all, and may even know they are untrue.  But do you still practice them?

    1. Never go swimming after eating.

    Truth: The American Red Cross reports that there is no increased risk in cramping if you’ve consumed food prior to swimming.

    1. Chocolate causes acne.  Truth:  No food type causes zits, although too much of any food is not good for the body.
    2. Eat carrots, have great vision. Truth: I can speak to this one directly. Mom fed me so much baby carrot food that I turned jaundiced. And I’ve worn glasses since the 4th grade.
    3. If you crack your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis. Truth: Not true, although my thumb joint wonders sometimes . . .
    4. Eating spicy foods can cause ulcers. Truth: Spicy foods CAN irritate ulcers (again, the voice of experience), but not cause.
    5. If you touch a toad, you’ll get warts. Truth:  Nope . . . warts are caused by viruses, not critters.
    6. Coffee stunts your growth. Truth:  While kids shouldn’t have caffeine in their diets, it won’t stunt your growth.  Oddly, my grandfather told me it would put hair on my chest–that’s not true either!
    7. If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way. Truth: Why kids do this is really beyond me, but again, not true. Misaligned eyes is called strabismus, but crossing your eyes does not cause the disorder.
    8. Feed a cold/starve a fever. Truth: Wrong in both cases. It’s never good to deprive your body of nourishment when you’re sick nor is it advisable to overeat simply because you’re sick!

    Knowing they’re not true, have you spoken any of these tales to your  children or grandchildren?  If you haven’t, congratulations!  If you have, you might want to think about how you allow your past to influence your presence AND what message you’re sending to your kids.

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    Words are powerful and teaching them to make good decisions based on facts rather than falsehoods is a tremendous gift to developing minds. Food for thought for the next time it rains, or you encounter a toad or the kids want to go swimming.

    (Photo credit: Art via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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