The Travelling Psychologist Series 2 – Down in Kampala


Your first site of Uganda is usually Entebbe airport in the far south of the country lying close to Lake Victoria. I had prepared so many documents at the visa office in Beijing (where I travelled from) yellow fever certification, bank statements, photocopies of various forms. After getting in the line for immigration and visa extension I faced a rather large lady behind the bullet proof glass. She said, “passport” Stamp, one month extension, “thank you sir have a good stay” I pushed all the papers at her, she looked at me, no need, bye! I was so disappointed if she had known the sweat and tears getting all that together in China before I came, surely she would just look to make me feel better?


The capital of Uganda is Kampala, sprawling, dirty, on a hill, crowded and downright smelly. Is it exciting for the visitor, are there fascinating things to see, do you feel you are in deepest Africa, perhaps not, but you have just arrived and are starting to discover pavements are full of holes, cracks and uneven. So walking meant a constant eye on your feet, the person coming at you and the many obstacles in your way. I remember seeing a photo of a temple (Hindu), in the brochure from the Ugandan consulate in Beijing, looking so magnificent and white. Yes here it was, dirty looking, damaged in many places and worn down by time. This was to be a common occurrence in Kampala between tourist photos and the real thing, this is a city that is in ruin, and even the new buildings that seem about 10 years old look worn and tired. Damage is everywhere, in the road, streets, buildings and general environment. As a city centre goes it is amongst the worse I have seen. The best thing they could do with the place is tear it down and start again. Can I say anything complementary well to be honest no? However this is East Africa, deserted by colonialism in 1962 and run from tribalism ever since. Where HIV and polygamy are still the main social concerns, where religion is based on missionary zeal and Old Testament hell-fire, where women are still third class citizens in the minds of men, where railways tracks are over-grown and deserted, taxis disguised as buses run around in confusion and terror for both pedestrians and passengers. Suicidal motorcycle riders are everywhere weaving in and out of the chaotic traffic vying to sell the back seat to anyone willing to risk their lives behind them as they try and manoeuvre ahead of the bus/taxi and cars. Every car is scratched or dented in some way, so buying a new car in Kampala is probably not the best decision you can make. The roads have tarmac that is so soft in the heat that much of it just melts down and leaves huge holes in the road breaking down many cars through violent ups and downs as they try to drive over or around the damage. In some places they have what we in England call, sleeping policemen, a hump in the road to calm the traffic. In Uganda these humps are so high and large the bottom of any car with some laden scrapes along the top of the humps with a scream of metal against tarmac. As a passenger in the back seat it means a jump to the ceiling, bouncing your head off and abrupt sit down again. In addition to this they have some parts that have several smaller humps of four together so driving over them is the joy of being shaken to death and talking funny for a few moments.

The wildlife, after all this is Africa is hiding and I am not sure where? Lots of exotic birds are around but not much else. My landlady tells me every evening and morning the monkeys come over the house roofs and chatter loudly. The dogs go mad trying to catch them. However after three weeks I still have not seen them once, despite getting up early with camera in hand to go looking for them. My landlady swears they are there every day – but I am now suspecting the troop has gone on holiday to Kenya for the rainy season. Also a green snake was in the garden but by the time I got there with my camera (seconds) it had gone? The locals tell me that if you want to see the animals now you have to go to the Wildlife Park and pay. I think I saw more wildlife in Shanghai than Kampala. However it is early days and I need to be patient and wait.

My purpose being here is of course is to work. The Uganda counselling association has invited me to give a speech at their conference and a local counselling company has offered me a partnership to help them streamline their operations and bring them up to date. In addition to this I will teach some psychology courses in the local universities. There is a large expat community in Kampala and everyone of course speaks English so unlike my time in China at least I can understand everyone apart from when they talk in the local dialects. I have done a tour of the hospitals here, (very poor quality most built in the 1940’s by the British and then in the hands of the Ugandan government left to go to ruin) most mental patients are locked behind high fences with barbed wire to keep them from escaping. In one hospital the staff told me they were terrified to even go in the mental illness block as the patients are unsupervised and wander around freely. I saw this for myself and thought back to Bedlam hospital in London 200 years ago – and that is here now! No Quaker humanism in Uganda to treat mental illness with compassion and moral healing. I was offered one post in such a hospital in Ishaka, about 5 hours outside Kampala, but the owner had just come out of prison being held on tax-evasion charges and he was so arrogant I decided perhaps not best to get involved. The shame is I would have enjoyed the challenge of bringing the mental part of the hospital into the 21st century and saving the misery of all those patients who are trapped in an endless cycle of 1950’s psychiatric thinking and methods. Drugs, confinement and punishment – still the only thing psychiatry understands. However you cannot help them if the boss is in and out of prison and likely to disappear for good at any moment throwing the whole thing into disarray.

Soon I will have to decide if I will stay longer or move on. I have a two month visa that is about to run out and have to pay $850 to renew for one year. If I do that I will make a three year commitment to improving Uganda’s counselling, training and psychology via the local companies and see how the penny falls.

I cannot recommend Uganda as a desirable place but when you come to a third world country you have to lower your expectations but not your desire to make it better. The days of Idi Amin are long gone, and peace is over the country but like any African state local crime is very high (had my wallet lifted on a taxi/bus already) and you have to be careful of mob-rule here. I will see in a few weeks if I stay or move on – life is about travel, experience and adventure – so live your life do not let life life you.

Eye Muscle Exercise Benefits – Essential Vision Improvement Tips For Detoxification

Your precious eyesight. It’s one of natures greatest gifts. Vibrant living;that zeal and enthusiasm for the things in life you cherish the most- Special family occasions, sporting events, spending quality time with that special companion. Enjoying your favorite sights. Perfect natural eyesight makes these moments unforgettable.

Regardless of your health challenges it is still quite possible to maximize your body’s potential so that it performs at peak levels. The body is an amazing creation. There are continual advancements in science and nutrition. The average lifespan continues to increase dramatically.

A comprehensive detoxification program helps to cleanse the body of toxins. Not only does this improve eye health, but results in additional health benefits-Longevity, Weight loss, greater energy, healthier younger skin and a properly working digestive system.

As far as the eyes are concerned eye muscle exercises can improve the co-ordination of both eyes so that eye imbalances are corrected. Eye muscles respond positively to exercise. Think about it. What happens if you place your arm in a brace for a long period of time? The muscles of your arm become weak as you lose strength in that arm.

You recover from a leg injury by undergoing effective physical therapy. This therapy eventually helps you to regain the strength and normal use of that leg so that you can walk again.

The same applies to the eyes. You simply cannot improve your natural eyesight by supporting it through external means via glasses. Eye exercises will help your eyes regain their natural strength. This is accomplished through a series of simple, fun an easy to perform eye exercise techniques. Strengthened eye muscles equal clearer, sharper, natural eyesight.

Freedom from dependency on glasses and contacts. The kind that helps you to enjoy all of life’s activities to the fullest. You should never allow glasses and contacts to cramp your sense of style and fashion. Let your natural beauty shine without them. Let your beautiful eyes sparkle with vitality and health and enjoy the self-esteem boost that such an eye exercise program can give you. After all you deserve it!

There are a number of reasons for poor vision. Stress and tension exerted upon our eyes by too much close up work. Nutritional deficiencies caused by a poor diet. Lack of eye exercise. The buildup of toxins in the body is also a contributing factor.

Not only are the eyes the windows of the soul but they are also important reflections of our physical health. For example, there is a connection between the eyes and the liver. The symptoms of poor liver health include the following-aching eyes and dark circles around the eyes. Oversensitivity to light. Improve your liver health and your eye health also improves.

A good detoxification program that includes the herbs milk thistle, Yellow Dock Root and Dandelion are beneficial. Another resource that is highly recommended is electric life nutrition detox supplements.

Some people wonder why they don’t achieve the maximum benefit from their vision supplements. Toxins in our system are the culprit. We need to cut back significantly on our consumption of sweets, fats, animal foods and alcohol as these have a negative effect on the eyes. replace with dark green leafy vegetables and fruits. 320mg of Bilberry and 15-20 mg of Lutein can significantly boost the results of your eye program.

A poor diet can result in the accumulation of toxins in our system that interferes with the proper absorption of nutrients. This is why detoxification is necessary as it helps your body to effectively utilize the nutrients from your food and supplements for maximum vision improvement benefits.

The Bush Doctrine Works

The Bush Doctrine works – when it is applied properly. It follows in the same path laid out by past US hegemonic aspirations at new world orders. Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy [all Democrats]; and Reagan had their own doctrines. Past calls to reform the world or combat evil in various forms always involved moral clarity; military power; financial resources; and ultimately patience and intelligence. The Bush Doctrine, aimed at fascistic Islam, and ‘draining the swamps’ of the Middle East is no different.

The Bush Doctrine is of course much maligned. Criticism of the doctrine comes from all over the ideological map and most of the criticism is invalid. The media and educational establishments of course rejoice and report every dissenting view – but offer nothing in the place of the Bush Doctrine. The Bush Doctrine is the right way forward – but only if military might is used properly, which for 3.5 years in Iraq [as many of us knuckle dragging 'neo-cons' screamed], it was not.

What is the Bush Doctrine and why doesn’t the media report what the doctrine is, in its entirety?

The Bush Doctrine is based on a realistic assessment of the challenge posed by radical Islam. It can best be summarised by a speech Bush gave on September 20th 2001: ‘We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the twentieth century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value execpt the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends – in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies.’

This is brilliant. In one paragraph Bush summarizes what is at hand with the radical elements of Islam. First, Islam is an ideology of ‘will to power’ [male Muslims must rule, Islam must dominate etc]; and is inherently fascist [no free will]. Second, Islam follows Nazism and Communism in its commitment to eradicate civilisation, justice, morality and the juridical personality. Third, Islam for all its murderous pagan energy, is doomed to failure – as long as we can recognise the ideology for what it is.

This one paragraph is the best short summation of what is at stake.

Now flowing from this rationale comes the Bush Doctrine. The doctrine itself rejects all previously inept and failed attempts to address, appease, rationalise or reason with Islam. For over 50 years, various US policies have tried and failed, to either modernise Islam, contain it, or seek an accommodation with it.

Various ‘isms’ – realism, liberalism, and internationalism primary among them – were tried and they failed. The Bush Doctrine broke with all past frameworks and adopted a new, and singularly logical plan to deal with Islam – use exogenous force to change radical, terror sponsoring Muslim regimes, their society, and ultimately their culture.

By definition the Bush Doctrine is ineluctably a military-based option. Military power, combined with economics, new pluralist democratic structures, and at some level, a new culture, must or at least has the potential to, refashion the states of the Middle East. It does not require a military occupation of every state, but only the key states which will form the basis for regional-wide change.

The Bush Doctrine is bold and risky – but ultimately right. As Bush said numerous times between 2001 and 2004 – usually on deaf media ears – you cannot wait until threats are imminent. By this he meant that terrorists and fascists usually don’t write love letters to their victims identifying the time and place of the next tragic, murderous rampage. They usually just kill and talk later. In a compressed world of lethal weapons of all sizes and shapes, and with inter-continental logistics capability available to even the poorest of states, waiting around until murder strikes is simply an abdication of responsibility and ensures carnage.

The Bush Doctrine then is premised on pre-emptive strikes, an assertion of national privilege and security, and the belief that forcing democratic change onto the fascist regimes in the Islamic world, is the best hope for long term international peace. He is right. Every other policy tried by conservatives and liberals alike in the past 50 years, regarding Islam, has failed.

Realism and balance of power politics [play Iraq off against Iran for example], failed. There are many who whine that the US created Hussein or the Taliban for instance, in the American zeal to counter Russian Communism. Liberal internationalism in the guise of the UN, or endless diplomatic talking shops, have been useless endeavours, never once stopping Islamic terror and violence [see Israel as an example]. Appeasement and isolationism, as witnessed by Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983 after hundreds of US marines were killed by Hizbollah over a 6 month period involving multiple attacks; or Clinton’s cowardly conduct in Somalia and East Africa, only emboldened the enemy.

So what else is left? Not much. You can’t pull up the drawbridge and hide behind porous national borders. Neither can you outsource your foreign policy [as the US State department does] to the Europeans or the UN. Neither is trustworthy. With only a few countries possessing any military with power projection capability[France, Israel and the UK are the others]; the US is forced into unilateral action.

Invading and draining the swamp of Iraq is the right policy. If the US had used proper military force and fought the Iraq war to win, Iraq today would be stable. At least after 3 years they finally got the right ideas and the right generals to do what should have been done from day one. WMD has been found [along with sales of Hussein's stock identified, going to the Russians, various Arab states and Syria]. Iraqi terror financing has been halted. Iraq now has a government that is our ally. And radical Islam has most likely lost 60.000 men killed and scores more wounded. Iraq is a colossal defeat for the Islamists.

Along with the occupation of Afghanistan some notable things have happened. Iran is now encircled making an invasion certainly easier and quicker. The ‘winds of change’ are slowing blowing throughout the Middle East. The Arabs and Muslims now comprehend that the US is in the region to stay – and to reform. This significant fact means that further societal, cultural and economic changes will surely follow. The fight against Islam has been taken to the heartland of the Arab cult. The pschological effects on Islamic populations, of winning in Iraq and Afghanistan and challenging Iran directly, will be enormous.

Liberal internationalism, and the cult of politically correct Marxism, is a scam. There is nothing intelligent in ignoring reality and pretending that the world is a multi-cult paradise and that Islam means peace. Preposterous. It is also morally hypocritical.

US ‘allies’, excluding Britain, but including the weak militaries of most of the EU, and Canada did not join the US invasion of Iraq with any degree of force or military power, for the following reasons: 1. They possess no military. 2. The EU, Russia and China had business interests, including oil rights, worth billions per annum that could not be disturbed. 3. Iraq was the UNO’s largest ever revenue program and the UNO stole about $21 billion in monies from this program over 10 years; and 4. Domestic politics in the socialist and relativist nations [each with sizeable Arab and Muslim lobby groups], means anti-Americanism pays off at the polls and in election campaigns. The opposition to the Iraq invasion was not based on moral grounds.

Islamic terror necessitates a multi-level, and complicated response – but it is still, as in times past, primarily a military and financial response which will ensure victory. Diplomacy without strength is useless. Since 9-11, 60.000 people have been killed in acts of Muslim violence and 90.000 wounded. This excludes Darfur and Iraq. The Bush Doctrine of 2001-2002 was right. Islam is the natural heir to the fascist-totalitarian ideologies of Nazism and Communism.

In the Middle East and elsewhere Islam has proven itself a failure and if not reformed, Islamic doctrine will only produce more fascist tyranny, hopeless economies and hate sated youth dying for martyrdom. Smashing directly or indirectly Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia which spend each, $500 million; $ 1-2 billion; and $3-4 billion respectively per annum in sponsoring terror and fascist Islam around the world, should be the number one foreign policy mandate of the West, after stabilising Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is nothing wrong with a crusading, imperialist policy. Especially if our national security is at risk. After all the Arabs under the banner of Islam, have been waging war against ‘the others’ for 1400 years. Acting like children will not make the nightmare go away. The Bush Doctrine is the mature and responsible heir to policies espoused by Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Reagan. There is no other option.

Marketing – The Secret to Expanding Your Customer Base

If you want to expand your customer base, a good place to start is by asking yourself if your marketing is clear, sound and persuasive. Does your marketing convince skeptical customers that your service is the one for the job? If not, it may not be working to your advantage.

An image overhaul is the first step, including a newly revamped marketing plan. Consider what has worked and not worked in the recent past and also consider future plans for the company. Here are some more tips:

  • Make deadlines and timetables for making sales: treat the sale like any other task in your ‘to do’ list with step-by-step plans to completion. Mark tasks, starting with initial sales calls, and map out step-by-step follow up-plans, ending with closing the deal.
  • Don’t discount the little things or the more classic and traditional methods – not everything has to be new fangled and fancy. A solid and information-rich, easy to use website; or brochures and flyers still have credibility. Employing both the classics and the trends can broaden your target audience and generate the maximum amount of business.
  • Include more customer-friendly information such as testimonials, guarantees, feedback, referrals and surveys that offer real life ‘proof’ to your advertising campaign. Plus you can align yourself with recognisable groups that stand for solid and sound business to classify your business as trustworthy and secure.
  • Never let your own belief in your product falter – stay enthusiastic and find ways to truly believe in what you are offering. Upgrade and maintain your service levels so that you always feel that what you are offering is honestly the best product for the job. Potential customers can see right through an insincere sale and will look immediately to the competition.
  • Look into offering specialty services, or find a hole in the market that might need to be filled. Engage your employees with these challenges by offering incentives or recognition for instigating new strategies or generating new business.
  • Don’t discount the continuous exposure that advertising can provide. Try something new and venture into a niche previously ignored. Be creative and think outside of the box on how your service or product can benefit non-traditional markets and venture into them with zeal.
  • Successful marketing comes from a clear understanding of your unique core differentiator – that’s what differentiates you from your competitors. If you aren’t sure about the compelling reason why your prospective customers should be contacting you then it might be a great time to contact a professional adviser. An adviser experienced in small business marketing should have a tried and tested process to ensure you can develop this essential marketing ingredient before you waste precious marketing dollars.

As a normal part of monitoring your marketing activity you should be mindful of the leads being generated by your various marketing channels. Ensuring you are aware of each channel’s Return on Investment will also ensure you make the best marketing choice in your business and can spot any changes in the responses from each sector.

With this knowledge you can constantly review your marketing spend to ensure you receive maximum exposure from your target market.

Parenting Essentials AKA The 30 Commandments For Parents

Whether we are soon to be parents, new parents or have been parents, we want to do the best job possible at raising our children. Children don’t come with instruction manuals and parenting doesn’t come with a manual or infallible guide. Every situation and family is unique. We as individuals are different. There are different parenting styles and variations. There is varied parenting education and knowledge which we utilize and process differently. We basically parent with instinct, knowledge and wisdom. At first, we usually parent with instinct and our personal experiences. This is usually what we learned (consciously and subconsciously) from our parents, family members or others. We also parent around our beliefs, morals and values. Many new parents and even seasoned parents undergo parenting training and education. This knowledge is a very valuable tool, as it teaches parents how to be effective parents and helps them cultivate their parenting skills. Parenting is a very extensive subject with a vast abundance of information and opinions. Even with proper parenting education, we need to be naturally adaptive, resourceful and I provisional. Good parenting will produce good individuals, who will continue a positive cycle when they are parents.

So what does it take to be a good parent? From what I have experienced and learned so far as a child, person and a parent, I created a list of things which I believe to be essential for being a good parent.

Be dedicated and passionate. Good parenting definitely takes dedication. Dedication and passion comes from the love for our children and drive to put their well being first. Being dedicated takes a lot of sacrifice. As parents, we need to sacrifice a lot of our time and personal lives.

When I am dedicated to my child’s life, I know that the sacrifices are priceless investments and for an extremely important cause. I have known many parents who could not sacrifice their pleasures for their purpose. Children tend to view that as selfishness or weakness. These characteristics are learned and absorbed. With this said, it’s important to be our best as individuals and to be good examples as parents.

Practice self discipline. We teach our children to be well behaved and disciplined. We teach them to be honest and trustworthy. We teach them many things to help them be healthy, happy and productive now, and into the future. We use discipline to ensure all of these things and more for our children. If we want our children to be well disciplined, we must be self disciplined. In addition, we should expect the same from ourselves, if not more.

We must remember that we can (and often do) lead more by our example than by what we say or instruct. We must practice what we are teaching. I know that when I am peaceful and positive, calm and strong, I am at my best. My children see this. I know that when I am frustrated and negative, out of control and careless, I am at my worst. My children see this. This is how I know self discipline is extremely important in parenting. It is best to control your emotions (especially anger) and learn how to deal with stress.

Discipline your children. Discipline does not only mean punish. Discipline means to teach. It is important to teach them to learn from natural consequences. They will also learn this naturally. I personally prefer to use the word consequence instead of punishment. I found it very important to set fair and logical consequences (punishments). This will keep the child focused on the lesson and make it less likely that they will be distracted or focused on their emotions, anger and resentment.

It is also important to set guidelines and expectations enforced by a rewards and consequences system. This can consist of simply rewards and incentives for good behavior, and consequences and corrective action for bad behavior. Make sure to be consistent in your parenting.

Be a good and positive example to your children. Children have many influences. We can be responsible and be an icon of positive influence to our children. It’s important to understand that it is not only what we say that influences. Our vocalization is not the only message we send. Relaying our intended messages can be difficult. Most of the time, people need to make personal changes when they become a parent. They find themselves changing how they react to things or express opinions and feelings.

Always use communication. Be an active listener. This will enable you to be more effective and productive at being a parent and solving problems. This is when children learn and also when parents learn. It’s very reciprocal. I found that my children teach me a lot about my parenting. It should be assertive and constructive communication. You shouldn’t use criticism, contempt, aggressiveness or defensiveness. Passive-aggressiveness is also very counterproductive. Communication should be used for conflict resolution and problem solving. During communication, everyone should express their feelings openly.

Show you children respect and teach them to respect others. Just you showing them respect will automatically teach them to have respect for others. I know that when children are shown disrespect, they can learn to not respect themselves. If they don’t have respect for themselves, it is likely that they will not have respect for others. I’m sure that we can all recall a situation where we were disrespected and lashed out at others because of it. It’s the same for children and they can form habits (good and bad) very easily and quickly.

Respect your children as individuals. They have their own minds and lives. The will have their own personalities, ideas, and feelings about the world. Always remind yourself that they are individuals, and they are their own person. They are not you and may have different thoughts and actions. Always respect their dignity. We must be very careful not to oppress our children. We should treat them how we would like or expect to be treated.

Instill happiness and self worth in your children. Show them positivity, not negativity. Be careful and thoughtful of your children’s feelings and needs. It’s terrible when parents inflict damage on their children’s psyches. It’s not fair to children. Oppression is wrong. Many children carry these emotional damages well into their adult lives and even spread it to their own children.

We need to make our children feel loved, wanted, needed and useful. This will give them a sense of importance and self worth. We equally need to encourage them and teach them to be confident and love themselves. We should always want to lift them up when they are down. We need to be an inspiration to our children.

Do not humiliate your children. We want our children to be proud of themselves. At time, children make mistakes or do things that are not good or shameful. We should still treat them with dignity as we teach them right from wrong. Humiliation and shame are painful emotions for children to deal with. Our main focus in our disciplinary tactics should not be to make them feel ashamed of themselves. This can permanently damage their confidence and self esteem. I like to use privacy and confidentiality when disciplining a shameful act.

Give your children praise. Compliment them. This will encourage them and let them know when they are doing the right thing. It is also important to receive praise well. This will show them how to react to praise. This is simple because we all like to make our children feel good. It makes us feel good. It’s wonderful when all family members are happy together.

Teach your children good values and morals. This goes along with teaching them right from wrong. Teach them the importance of honesty and fairness. These traits can stay with them for life.

Teach your children self control. It’s important that they can express their emotions, but there should be limits and a level of control. This is especially critical to children who act on their emotions. In essence, you are teaching them to control their actions. Teaching them self control will greatly benefit them throughout life. Teaching patience and control of anger are popular lessons for young children.

Teach your children to be kind, gentle and empathetic. Teach them to be understanding, patient, accepting and tolerant. Teach them about social awareness, social injustice, differences and diversity. Teach them about giving and taking (reciprocation) and the rule of action and reaction. Teach them that what they do as an impact on other people or things.

Instill a sense of purpose, duty and citizenship in your children. This will help them be, and feel like a good member of society. All their lives they will be around other people and have to properly function in a society. We like to see our children to grow up to be helpful and prolific people. It is good to teach children to get along with others and to work as a team at an early age. Recreational and community activities can be great ways to learn these values.

Teach your children responsibility and a good work ethic. Most parents do this by assigning chores to their children. It’s good to hold them accountable for their actions and to make them responsible for things in their life. As children grow, we should give them more responsibility and further their understanding of the importance of having a good work ethic. My children may groan about a certain responsibility they have, but when they complete it, they feel happy and proud. Chores and responsibilities will give them a sense of duty and usefulness.

Teach your children the importance of education and learning. Starting at an early age is ideal. Implement a study time for them, as well as times to read. I started reading to my children regularly when they were very young. It as proven to be very effective in helping them develop a love and an interest for reading and learning. I also set up reading and study times for myself, as this provides a good example. It is also pinnacle to monitor and be aware of what your children are learning and being taught. A quality education is essential and is something every child should have access to.

Teach your children about finances. This goes along with lessons about how the world works. Children are born into a world that has systems already in place. One of the most important and powerful systems is the economic system. Most civilizations were built on money and are controlled by money. I feel that it is very important to educate children about economics and finances. We want our children to know how to control their money and lives so they won’t be controlled by money or those with money and power. I have read many studies regarding children whose parents did not teach them these skills. The studies showed that those children had significantly higher odds of having financial difficulties as adults. When lecturing about basic survival skills, it is necessary to include modern day survival skills.

Teach your children to be skilled decision makers and problem solvers. I encourage my children to make decisions and solve problems on their own. I even use simulation to enhance their skills. If they are unable to solve a problem or need guidance, then I step in and help.

Teach your children to be independent and self sufficient individuals. Most children love to do things by themselves. They are full of zeal to learn and experience. We should always encourage them to do things on their own, as long as it’s safe and within their capability. We should also instruct them on how to do things on their own. As long as it’s reasonable and completely safe, I tell my children, “Think about it and figure it out” or “Try to do it yourself.” This challenges them and very rewarding when they acknowledge that they did it themselves. It also shows them that you trust them and have faith in them. Children and people alike need to feel that others believe in them. Encourage your children to be free thinkers, think for themselves and not just always believe and think how others think or tell them to think. Encourage them to question things, research for answers, investigate, seek the truth, stay true to themselves and to their beliefs and morals. Also encourage them to always defend and stand up for the truth as well as their beliefs. Individual autonomy is something that should be taught. They should also be encouraged and warned to think about things rationally, realistically, and carefully. This will help them make better choices and decisions in life.

Guide your children well. Give them good guidance to help them live and think in a positive and constructive way. Be careful not to misguide them or misinform them. I always encourage my children to research and investigate to figure things out for themselves. I also encourage them to ask a lot of questions and even question a lot of information. I encourage them to be autonomous (a free thinker).
We teach our children to walk, talk and think. We then teach them to restrict movement, words and thoughts. We need to be careful not to prevent or stop our children from developing their minds, curiosities, creativity and passions. Of course we should be reasonable, but we should let them explore and experiment to learn about the world around them. We should let them ask many questions. When we answer, we should answer well and let them form and cultivate their own thoughts and understanding. It’s unfair to deprive them of that.

Encourage your children’s interests, talents and skills. Encourage them to follow their hopes and dreams. Support them in their activities and ambitions. Support them throughout their development and phases, as they are finding their sense of self. Encourage them to set goals and strive to achieve them. Motivate them and help them keep their momentum. I find myself lecturing with what I learned from not doing something more than what I learned from trying something or achieving something.

Be a dependable and reliable parent. Be there for your children no matter what. Help them when they need it. Never abandon or forsake them. Be in their corner and at their defense. Our children will face a lot of adversity and learn disappointment and disgust from disloyalty and mistrust. It shouldn’t come from us too.
Show them stability, as this is greatly needed in their lives.

Spend time (quality and quantity) with your children. Play with them and have fun with them often. Fun parents make happy children. Create fun activities and traditions. We are parents, teachers and authority figures, but we can also be fun friends. Cherish the times that are spent together. This will create memories that will last in the hearts and minds of them and you for life.

Be attentive, vigilant and observant to your child’s life. If you see problems or potential problems early, they can be more easily corrected. Teach them those skills to use in their own life. Prevention is usually easier than resistance or correction.

Keep your children safe. Provide them a safe environment. Protect them at al costs. There are many dangers and threats, especially when they are young. Be observant and aware of your children’s surroundings. When my children were young, I was often referred to as worrisome. But I always believed in being passionate about my children’s survival and well being. Like the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Teach your children about self preservation. Children develop natural survival instincts, but it is important to explain to them the physical dangers in the world. It’s also important to teach them about the limits and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I taught my children at a young age about their anatomy. I also taught them about unnecessary risks and dangers. Examples of unnecessary risks would be: Riding on motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, and other dangerous/risky activities for thrill only.

When children get older, then it’s important to teach self preservation in many forms from keeping themselves alive and healthy to maintaining all aspects of their lives.

Take your children’s health seriously. Keep a healthy environment for them. Be an advocate for health. Be weary about what your children eat and drink. Healthy habits are learned as children.

Be extra attentive to your children’s physical and mental health. I have had many experiences with physicians and health care professionals either overlooking or misdiagnosing health problems or disorders. We often need to be proactive and research and examine things ourselves.

If a health problem is discovered, have it treated with the best course of action. Take it seriously and work diligently to solve and correct the problem. Be thorough and comprehensive. Seek the best health care possible and never procrastinate. With serious health problems, time is of the essence.

Teach your children to love and enjoy life. Teach them to be happy and positive throughout various circumstances. Help them learn to be resilient and persevere through difficult situations. Help them learn how precious life is. Help them learn that it is best to make the most out of life and to enjoy life to the fullest. Teach them to be grateful and appreciative. Help them to possess peace of mind and know how to find and keep happiness and comfort in their own mind.

Learn from your experiences and the mistakes you make as a parent. Also, learn from the mistakes of others. You can learn the right way to do something from someone who did it wrong. Learning from other people’s experiences and examples can be a great teacher and help you cultivate your parenting skills and ideas. Your children can also be great teachers. Listen to their words and think about their reactions. Be observant and receptive. I once wrote a questionnaire for my children to answer. It pertained to my parenting and how I was doing as a parent in their minds. Some answers were funny and unrealistic. Other answers were very interesting and gave me some good insight. Over all, it was very informative and beneficial.

If we are making parenting mistakes, we can make changes now. When we realize a mistake, we should change that way of parenting immediately. We must be assertive while making sure not to make the same mistakes again. We need to take the most important job of parenting seriously, while having a lot of fun at the same time.

Love your children unconditionally. Love them regardless of the mistakes they make or who they become. This comes naturally, but children really need to know it. The first sentence in this paragraph could then be; show your children unconditional love.

Tell your children that you love them on a regular basis. Children need to feel love. Tell them that you are proud of them. Make them feel loved and proud of themselves. Tell them that they are great children and people. Make them feel important and needed. Give them lots of hugs and kisses. Make them feel safe and comforted. Let them know that you will always be there for them and that you will always love them.

The order in which I listed these attributes has no significance.

Most of us are already doing these things and striving to be the best parents possible. I hope that I provided some good insight into what it takes to be a good parent. I also hope that I provided helpful information to those seeking good parenting advice.

Many would say the meaning of life is to reproduce and continue humanity. We produce children who are the continuance and future of humanity. We want the continuance and future of humanity to be bright and positive. Parents have a huge impact on the lives of our children, as well as on humanity.

Self-Efficacy Is Important to Understand the Value of Self

Are you self-efficient?”

Answering the inner questions that life has posed on individuals, places all in a quandary of trying to explain the various aspects of living; not just breathing but believing in the art of existing. The competency and tendency to achieve and reach self- made goals, proves that the presence of efficiency is not merely in the word but a performance related to independency, proficiency, adequacy and propensity action.

A more fruitful personality is the element of feeling alive and for bearing a positive attitude arising as a product of self-reliance, and is a motivational factor for living life to the fullest. Experience the need to fulfil the various demands of the self and society as a whole, with an optimistic approach that executes the concept and idea of a complete being. The idea of self-efficacy manifests itself as a driving force for sustenance and maintenance of task-driven thought process and implementation. The know-how of the worth of self and the levels of realising and working towards one’s dream is the basis on with the effectiveness of the individual personality lies. Be self-efficient and appreciate the widespread success it usually generates.

I, Me and Myself

Is it not correct to indulge in the aspect of appointing the well-known facet of character to assess the hold on life at its best? The perception of self is an in-depth analysis of subsistence pointing to a varied outlook on what is life’s contribution to the world. The concept of` I’ is perceived to influence the development standards of an individual and in turn affect the society, in general. The `Me and Myself’ factor vis-à-vis the stance taken to mature as a person, is conceived in the deep recesses of the mind and is a dynamic thought that spreads its outreach on the entire community. There is however, a thin line dividing the contemplation of the `I’ with its counterpart `we’. The energy of good and wrong it generates is the aspect of thought that requires the analysis of mind.

Working for others as an outreach of the self is an efficient form of converting thoughts into actions, thus providing a positive output of the realisation of the self. The more self-contained worth of the efficacy involved however, strives only through the motives of selfishness which neither benefits an individual or the social order of the world. Letting go of a person’s individualism is not the answer that is needed to proclaim the work done for upliftment and progress. The co-existence of both sides of the coin is based on mutual understanding of the` I ‘and `we’, that is a continuum equation at the rate of which rests the reason for survival.

Order of the Universe

The universal order of living belies the reason for availing the nature’s gift for integrating civilisation into a world pact that firmly establishes the elements of the paradigm shift of knowledge of the collective identity as a group or person. The influence of self-effectiveness is manifold and is the core reason for persuading and manipulating events of change. There are several signs of character maturity that results in overall distribution of world-changing feats that expresses itself in an overwhelmingly understandable way. The effect of a single budding individuality is the seed for universal uprising of an entire world community. In the different concepts of personality trademark exists the reason of uniqueness and individuality.

  • Self-esteem: The many avatars of formulating personal techniques for inserting values of good opinion and high regard into lives are the basic tendency to establish oneself into the realms of respect. The admiration garnered via confidence building measures are vital sources of encouragement that helps reach individual goals and aspirations.
  • Self-assurance: The attributes of assured living is the opinion of a personal support that upshots the aspects of the ability to lead and excel. A secure person manages dreams by working on ideas and implementing it.
  • Self-confidence: The buoyancy of the bounties of nature has incorporated its roots in the sub-conscious self and thus, manifests its growth in the form of protected and built-in elements of total control and inner-security. The output is a confidence personality whose actions reflect the inner sense of belonging and fitting in.
  • Self-belief: The most vital facet of a being is the need to believe in oneself that includes the belief of imparting individual and universal changes, and accepting the alteration posed by such decisions. Deal with limitations and negativity to establish the rule of trust-oriented approach, to answer life’s questions thrown with a pinch of constraint.
  • Self-reliance: The independent nature that is an urbanized element of human reality is the basic requirement of evolution. A glance into the psyche of personality development reveals the necessity to amalgamate certain values of trust, confidence and dependence. The ensuing debate epitomizes the necessity to be reliant and confident for better quality living and distribution of the right concept of living to others.
  • Self-determination: The tendencies of humans to manifest their lives for betterment and abetment of life-enhancing methods that determine a positive outcome, is a trait unique to distinctiveness. Motivation is the key that opens the treasure chest of emotions ranging from strength of mind and power of resolve, to the poise of fortitude.
  • Self-regulation: The focal point determining the mind-set of a person displaying strong gestures of goodwill and composure is the important feature of regulating dynamism and mannerism. The behavioural constituents arising in lieu of constant exposure to society notions and aims, attributes the growing penchant for zeal in life. The self-capacity to interpret and incorporate decisions is the essential agreement with which we participate in the way of sourcing livelihood.

The Way of Life

The situational study of `how we live’ and `what we live for’, puts forward innumerable questions with the answer lying in the two-word `self-help’. The efficacy of our life system is a part of the universal appeal to co-exist not only as a mere number but providing a solution for the existence of that numeral.

  • Contributing by getting into the feel of the situation.
  • Spreading the matured wings of aid through help providing modus operandi.
  • Efficiency within and meeting challenges outside.
  • Self-motivating to achieve goals and make others reach theirs.
  • Determining the regulatory aspects of the settled mode of thinking without a restless attitude of unfinished work.
  • Overcoming unhappiness and welcoming hope.

Life is full of hurdles and what better way to counteract the few ills that come along the way, than by fulfilling dreams and ambitions. The explanation lies in resolution and motivation by helping the self to achieve and in turn impart the knowledge of such an existence to the surviving others.

The Boundless Ecstasy

The ripple sea and lagoon shelter of Caribbean Islands has always been a source of joy and happiness to Mr. Arnold Gibson and Ms. Joyce Gibson. They enjoyed their periodical business trips in perfect environments. They hold the strategic planning session along with their board of directors on their luxury yacht. The registered name of the yacht was Polaris. The yacht was tastefully designed and fitted with modern and state of the art communication and navigational facilities. Besides, comfort and luxury were catered and managed professionally. Mr. Gibson was of the opinion that business with pleasure always pays rich dividends. Joyce was very beautiful and delicate lady yet she was a very tough and hard task master in the boardroom. She was a shrewd business woman and a versatile person. Her foresight and assessing the market mood was par excellent. Arnold was a brilliant man and possesses the greatest quality of listening to others with abundant patience. He always remained accessible to his staff; he guided and encouraged them whenever the opportunity arises. The most admired quality of Mr. and Ms. Gibson was their kindheartedness and magnanimity. They believe that life is an open conduit, and people should tap its resources to the benefit of mankind. They had cultivated this wonderful quality through honesty, sincerity and working smart all through their life. Although it sounds sweet and wonderful, yet they have gone through hardship and miserable childhood. Some bitter memories of their past gave energy to obviate the foreseeable difficulties and challenges in their life.

The Gibson grew in a small town and belonged to lower middle class families of coal mine labourers. Arnold’s mother was very bold and dreamt to see his child go through college and become educated and knowledgeable. Joyce was an orphan, and she was brought up by her grandmother. She was a brilliant student and an extrovert since her childhood days. She possesses a great quality of remembering numbers and incidents and a keen observer. She used to analyse the situations and probe all the time until she got a convincing and satisfactory answer. She did her business management degree and became a prominent entrepreneur. The successful and great business empire built by Mr. and Ms. Gibson has a mind development, motivational and inspirational stories for the present generation. They become the legend of their era and an icon in the business circle. It reminds many poor and underprivileged people to follow the footsteps of Gibson to achieve the remarkable feat.

It was the period of hardship for most of the dwellers of a small county as inflation has hit the roof, and survival has become next to impossible. Mr. Richard Anderson, a small business man has decided to leave the town and looking for someone who was interested to take over his business. It was, at that crucial moment, this young lad Arnold went across to his home and offer a solution. He was just finished his undergraduate degree in economics and looking out for some opportunities to make some fortune. He suggested him that he will take control of his business and if became successful in his absence then he would like to own seventy five percent of company share. The businessman was desperate, and finding impossible to sell and near total loss in winding up his business, has accepted Arnold’s offer. After completing legal formalities he handed over the complete business to Arnold and departed.

Arnold started studying the minor intricacies and analysing the roadblocks of the business. After a week of serious involvement, he found the loophole and started damage control. Many workers have already left their job barring few. He asked the remaining staff to assemble in the conference room. He arrived and started his maiden speech; the first to its kind with confidence and authority. The feeling of owning a company has made a profound impact on his personality. He started his speech in an exemplary manner effectively delivering the aims and objectives distinctly and clearly.

My dear fellow workers,

We are assembled here to understand and know the facts and figures about our company. I have taken over this company with a confidence and determination to make it a profitable organization. This Herculean task is possible only through participation from every single member of this company. The meaningful result oriented interaction and smart working culture will surely make sufficient headway in a desirable direction.

At this juncture, I want to make a historic announcement that from this moment, every single individual will be a partner in this company. The share of this company will be distributed as per every individual’s status and expertise. However, we all will be the owner of this company. All of us can produce wonders by working smart and visualizing the bright future. Our sincere and dedicated Contribution can generate profit and achieve recognition of the company in the corporate circle. All legal formalities will be completed, and we will start working without wasting any time from this very moment.

I conclude my speech and thanking everybody and also emphasized that their serious and sincere involvement reflected the untiring efforts and cooperation of their families. God blessed our company and its members.

The last words were reverberating in everybody’s ears leaving positive imprints on their minds. Every member went home with zeal and energy and returned to work with confidence. While Arnold’s efforts were showing positive effects and the company was making inroads in the difficult areas of the corporate circle. He met Joyce in the church, and it was the love at first sight. Arnold informed her synopsis of the past events and offered her to join him. Joyce agreed and suddenly all of them realise the potential of Joyce, which has catapulted the company ahead of other organizations. Her negotiation expertise has made tremendous effect in the market and immediate recognition.

At the end of fifth years, the company in its regular general body meeting has announced the results. The profit was distributed to every individual as per the promise, and their families were given a memento in support of their spouses. On this historic occasion Arnold proposed to Joyce to marry him, and she accepted with a smile. The arena was filled with roaring clapping and joy. The marriage was solemnised in a simple way yet the company people and their families were present to share the happiness and joy. As promised, in a decade Arnold and Joyce turned the insignificant company into a giant corporation, and every individual has become rich and wealthy.

The promise kept by Arnold has paid rich dividends and the progress of the company took leaps and bounds and become a giant corporation. Arnold asked his attorney to locate Mr. Richard Anderson and extend an invitation to join him in the Caribbean islands as the chief guest. Richard accepted his offer and reached the destination on the appointed day. Arnold and Joyce thanked him and extended every possible honour and dignity to make him feel comfortable. He presented him the agreed twenty five percent of profit and once again thanked him for showing confidence and giving an opportunity to do justice to the company. Richard thanked him and returned the amount requesting Arnold to start a trust towards the benefit of the needy and destitute families. Tears were rolling the cheeks of Arnold and Joyce as they were moved by Richard’s humility and magnanimity. He told the couple that he admired the guts, confidence and determination to fulfill their promise. He also showered praise for their act of philanthropy as all the workers become devoted to the company and became financially sound. The most important aspect was the happiness and sense of belonging in every individual worker. He transferred the entire share to Arnold and Joyce and wished them all the success, prosperity and happiness and departed. Arnold and Joyce thanked God in unison and promised to fulfil the desire of the original owner. For Arnold and Joyce, it appeared that God was showering His abundant choicest mercies on them.

Fun Activities For Toddlers

Every child undergoes various stages of child development starting from infancy, to toddler and then to teenage. These stages of childhood are filled with loads of fun, entertainment, learning and multitude of activities.

Each child is born as an active learner in a world of competition and challenges. The early formative years or when the child is a toddler is the best stage where he can learn the maximum. All that your child learns at this stage of life is carried along with the growing age. Toddlers often learn through their bumps, discoveries, falls, relationship and numerous other activities.

There are ample of fun activities for toddler that you can enjoy with your child. Through these activities you can help your child grow physically, emotionally and socially. So, keep your child involve in various activities that can encourage the zeal of learning, discovering and social interaction.

Here are some of the most amusing and entertaining toddler activities for your child:

Fun with Household Objects

Leave your child with some household object. Ask him to pick up one object and you explain him the essentials of that particular object. While picking up the object your child will also discover the image of that object. This kind of discoveries become a vital part of toddler’s inquiring mind and stimulates his drive towards learning and accomplishment.

Fun with Bean Bags

Toddlers enjoy tossing the bean bags. Provide your child with ample of old socks and dried beans. Ask them to fill the dried beans in the old socks and prepare interesting bean bags.

Funny Flashlights

Let your child enjoy the flashlight game. Take a torch or any other source of flashlight. Take the light to different objects in your house and ask your toddler to name those objects. You can also tell stories and make shadows using flashlights.

Visit a Museum

Toddlers enjoy learning new things and visiting new places. Take your child to a museum where he will discover various kinds of art pieces, games, toys and many other things that can help stimulate the power of brain and your child’s learning skills.

Fun with Water

Toddlers enjoy having fun with water. Take a tub full of water and give your child containers of different size. Let him or her play by pouring water from one container to another. This is a fun game and will also help your child develop hand and eye coordination.

Connecting Dots

Make dots on a large piece of paper in a way that it resembles some cartoon character. Ask your toddler to join the dots and recognize the character produced.

Shape Hunt

Take a piece of paper and draw different shapes. Pin point one shape on the paper and ask your child to hunt or search for an object that has identical shape to what you pointed.

Toddler Rhymes

Sing melodious tunes of rhymes to your toddler. These melodious tune and lyrics will help your child to calm down.

Hide & Seek

Hide and seek is one such game that almost all toddlers enjoy. You don’t need to gather a good number of people for this game. Convert your house into a fun playhouse and enjoy playing hide and seek with your toddler.

Coloring Activities

Toddlers love colors. The best activity every toddler enjoys is scribbling with colors on a piece of paper. Don’t bound their imaginations and allow them to explore their creativity to make something colorful and beautiful.

Puzzle Games

Puzzle games can be fun as well as educational. There are various kinds of puzzle games like matching, taking a child to his home, and various other kinds that they enjoy solving.

Halloween Crafts

Halloween is a day of fun, celebration and entertainment. Toddlers have great fun making unique and beautiful Halloween crafts. Halloween crafts like bags, faces, crown, hats, witches hand, spiders and skeleton. The most popular craft among toddlers is pumpkin carving.

Advantages That Educational Games Hold For Your Kids

Sports and games are integral part of childhood. Informative games allow your kids to play, exercise and release the stress they collect in school. Absence of learning games can put the physical and mental health of your kid at risk. It may lead your kid towards obesity and depression.

Children games are essential to lessen the stress level among kids and ensure that they completely enjoy their vacations. However, stiff competition among kids and recent transformations in academic pattern has necessitated the need of unique children games that offers your kids an excellent opportunity to play and learn.

Yes, that’s true, kid’s educational games and toys are selling like hot cakes. The demand for such games is on the rise as it performs the dual function of entertainment and learning. These learning toys are developed to ensure all round speedy development of your kid. This concept is fairly new but has received appreciation from parents and teachers alike.

Educational toys will enable your kids to learn various basic concepts with absolute fun. They are designed and developed to make sure that your child understands everything in an easy to understand way. Learning games are intended to teach your kids various academic things in a fun-filled manner and ensure that everything is easier for them to grasp. These games are also helpful in ensuring that your kids stay in the pink of their health. Educational toys will provide extensive resources by which you can teach your kid the necessary skills needed by him to tackle different situations in life.

Learning games are both fun and challenging and enable your kids to gain information about different colors, shapes, numbers and alphabets. It will go an extra mile to improve the sensory skills of your kid. Most of the children games that you will come across on the internet utilize both colors and counting to teach kids in a fun and entertaining way.

More advanced educational games will also utilize sound and movement to ensure better understanding and accelerate the learning process among kids. Make sure that you buy the toys or games that are appropriate for the age of your kids and perfectly suit their learning style. These play sets will instill the feeling of confidence and analytical skills in your child. It will help them to carry out difference activities with full zeal and enthusiasm. These games will enable you to develop a healthy relationship with your kid that you can carry for the rest of your life.

AP Courses – Gateways to College for Lifelong Learners

A growing trend in high schools across America and globally is the endorsement of Advanced Placement (AP) courses as integral to student success at the collegiate level and beyond. Available in 33 different content areas, AP courses aim to provide ambitious and intellectually capable students with a more rigorous and uniform curriculum than a typical high school course-load.

AP courses feature large quantities of reading and writing, with a focus on critical thinking. They seek to mimic the type of assessments and higher-order skills students will encounter in college. They require significantly more work, independent learning, organization and dedication than regular courses. The payoff for a student’s hard work is two-fold: a chance to earn college credits with a high score on the final AP Exam, and the prestige of listing their enrollment in such courses on résumés and college applications. Striking a balance between these two aspects is essential to all students, especially those applying to American universities from abroad.

Approximately 1.8 million American students were enrolled in AP courses in 2010. If the former members of the AP European History classes I taught were any indication, then many of those 1.8 million enroll in AP courses for one of two reasons. Firstly, a number of students I have taught genuinely relished the rigors of the AP curriculum. Students like these thrive upon the challenging atmosphere and expect that the skills they acquire will pay dividends throughout their life. Frankly, many former students from this group seemed indifferent to their final test scores and college credit.

Second, another faction of students concentrates on a much more concrete objective: AP courses as a springboard to college admissions and credit. These students do still value the educational experience itself, but as secondary to how their AP performance will improve their value in the eyes of college admissions boards. This parallels the mentality of many secondary schools. The more students enrolled in AP courses, the greater the reputation of the school. Further, high test scores and high percentages of college acceptances (especially to elite universities) are additional feathers in the cap. The danger here is a “quantity over quality” approach. An open-door policy to students into AP-level courses may be in the best interest of a school, but can result in a student struggling with work far above his or her abilities.

It is a reality that college admissions boards look favorably upon a demanding high school course-load. Students who have proven their ability to succeed in the most challenging of academic environments — whether AP, International Baccalaureate or actual college courses — are prized by the most elite of universities. However, this “ability to succeed” should be weighed when determining how many AP courses one should undertake. A student who has received A’s and scored “5’s” on a handful of AP courses and exams will have a much more impressive transcript than one who has completed a plethora of AP courses but with merely mediocre grades. Students should strive for the most rigorous curriculum they can successfully complete. By enrolling in AP courses in subjects of strength and interest, students can ensure this.

From my experiences as both a former AP student and instructor, this requires the attention of secondary school administrators and teachers, students and parents, and the educational community at large. Whatever the particular vision schools embrace for their students, a common element should be balance: balance on the part of students in viewing AP courses as privileged learning opportunities with inherent long-term benefits that should not be overlooked for the short-term rewards they might find on applications. School administrators need balance in making these opportunities readily available to those students who exhibit both a zeal and aptitude for the subject. A precarious balancing act is needed from teachers, to prepare their students above adequately for the AP Exam while also promoting a forward-thinking and progressive learning environment. Yes, AP courses can ease a student’s transition into the college of their choice and yes, they should be catalysts for lifelong learning. What all interested parties should consider is the best way to synthesize these concepts.