You're a great parent, but if you're seeing this, your browser needs updating... it's probably older than your kids. Upgrade

Magazine Issues

Boy Scout Oversees Donations to Ronald McDonald House

Ronald Charities of Greater Las Vegas is pleased to announce that during this holiday season we have received one of our largest individual donations by a 13 year old Boy Scout, by Phillip Bouchard Jr. Phillip is working towards his Eagle Scout Badge for The Boy Scouts of America. He has accomplished a great feat by donating 1,478 wish list items, as well as over $1,400.00 in gift cards for our RMHC* families. This donation is well beyond Phillips original goal of 800 donations.

Phillip created his very own fundraising website, and personally contacted Walmart Corporation to obtain permission to set up collections sites at 3 different Walmart locations. He also recruited assistance from fellow members of the Palo Verde ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and established a wish list drive, through his church. None of this is an easy task for an 8th grader, when usually these projects are completed by high school graduating Boy Scouts.

Phillip, along with his mother Michelle and Phillip Sr., have been delivering donations to the RMHC house for the past few weeks, assisting with the organization of these wonderful gifts, and even helped to stuff stockings. This incredible accomplishment will help so many of our RMHC families and their ill children receiving medical care, here in Las Vegas.

New Resolution: Quit Smoking

By now, you probably know that smoking is bad for you. Smoking increases a person’s risk for various cancers, heart disease, emphysema, and other health problems. But did you also know that smoking during pregnancy is also bad for your baby?

Smoking during pregnancy poses many risks for pregnant women and their babies. These risks include premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy); low birthweight (less than 5 ½ pounds); and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The harmful effects are directly linked to the amount and duration of smoking during pregnancy.

Studies show that women who stop smoking before or early in pregnancy decrease their risk of having a low birthweight baby to nearly that of women who have never smoked. Women who stop smoking later in pregnancy can still significantly increase their chances of a healthy birth outcome.

Secondhand smoke from someone else’s cigarette, cigar, or pipe is also unhealthy for pregnant women. Being around second-hand smoke during pregnancy can cause your baby to grow slowly and have low birthweight. While you are pregnant, you should stay away from people who smoke, ask people not to smoke around you, and make your car and home smoke-free.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Here are some suggestions that may help:

  • Make a list of the reasons you want to quit. Wanting to have a healthy baby is the best reason of all!
  • Set a quit date. Mark it on your calendar.
  • Think about when you usually smoke. Plan things to do instead of smoking, like chewing gum or taking a walk.
  • Tell your friends and family you’re going to quit. Ask them to help and support you.
  • Get rid of all your cigarettes.
  • Put your cigarette money in a “piggy bank”. A pack of cigarettes cost $5. Babies are expensive. Use the money to buy diapers, crib, car seat, etc.
  • Reward yourself for your successes!
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip. Remember, quitting is hard. Think about your reasons for quitting and try again.

Make sure you talk with your doctor about quitting. He/she can provide you with local resources to help you quit. For more information on quitting, go to or call 800- QUIT NOW (800-784-8669).

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality through community service, advocacy, research, and education. For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Michelle Gorelow is Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes Nevada Chapter. To find out more about how the March of Dimes is working to prevent premature births visit

Family Resolutions for the New Year

The beginning of a new year provides an ideal time to reflect on the past year and plan for the future. Setting New Year’s resolutions—both individual and family resolutions—creates an opportunity for the entire family to come together with a common purpose. In a world that tends to pull us apart, setting goals to fortify our families is more important than ever. Goal setting can strengthen family unity and bonds as each member plays an important role in planning for and achieving success. By setting goals and developing an action plan, parents and children alike have a shared sense of responsibility and a vested interest in accomplishing the task at hand.

Each year, 45% of people set New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% of people actually follow through with them. So what’s missing? The word resolution means a firm determination, tenacity, perseverance, and a course of action. Therefore, when setting New Year’s resolutions as a family, it is important to create a list of goals based on what the family values so each member remains committed to achieving those goals. Another way to frame goals is by asking, why is this goal important and what value does it hold for the family? For example, a family goal may be to eat dinner together three nights per week. However, when asking why this is important and what value it holds for the family, you may realize that the primary purpose is to spend quality time together. Thus, the goal may be changed to spending quality time together as a family and sharing highlights of the day over dinner. When life gets hectic and busy, it is easier to stay dedicated to the heart of the goal, which is really staying connected as a family, not just sitting down for dinner at the same time.

Goal setting should be a family affair where children are involved and their opinion counts. Each family member can create a list of the five things they value the most, creating two personal goals and three family goals. After each person comes up with their list, the family can come together and discuss their ideas for family goals and pick the top three to work towards in the New Year. When finalizing individual and family goals, put an action plan in place and ensure the goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).

S: Who, what, where, why?
M: How much? How often?
A: Is the goal reasonable? Can the goal be accomplished?
R: Does it seem worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does this match the family values/needs?
T: When?

Once the specifics are outlined, put the goals in writing, have each member of the family sign the list, and keep the goals posted in a visible location. Revisit your goals often and adjust the action plan as necessary. At the end of the year, review previous goals, what went right, what worked, what didn’t work. Use successes and misses as a learning tool for the next year. Most importantly, have fun with New Year’s resolutions and celebrate your accomplishments, big and small!

Dr. Stephen Fife is an Associate Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at UNLV. Christel Vincent is a former graduate student in the MFT Program. E-mail Dr. Fife at

Yes, Parents are Role Models

Your children model your behaviors in many ways. Whatever you do, your children are watching. You know the old saying “do as I say, but not as I do”. As parents you know that this is not a realistic goal for your children. Your children are more likely to do as you do, since you are the first and most important teacher in their life. You want your children to model your good behaviors, and only the good ones, right? Your children look up to you as their parent, their guide, their hero, and their mentor. If you around fighting with your neighbors , friends, and family, or ignoring rules, or even giving your middle finger to those who offend you, that is behavior your children will see as appropriate when they are interacting with their peers. Your children are watching when you think they are not!

On the bright side, you can take comfort in knowing that you are teaching positive behaviors. Don’t forget that you serve as role models not only through direct interaction with your children, but also though example shown with your attitude and behavior when you interact with others. There are no perfect parents; therefore, as parents you will have shortcomings in your parenting roles. It is up to you to take personal time out when necessary, to avoid negative interaction. Your children will admire this behavior. It is okay to make mistakes as long as you do not keep making the same mistakes. Your children are like sponges, they will soak up all the good behaviors and the bad behaviors too. Be sure to set more good examples. It will be healthier for you and your children. Don’t forget, you are the most important person in your children’s lives.

Icia Reid-Sandulak M.S., LMFT intern, has been working with children for the last 20 years. Presently, she is the Director of Apple Grove Foster Care Agency and invites anyone who aspires to be a foster parent to contact the office for information 702-992-0576.

Take the Polar Bear Plunge?

Get ready to “bear” the ice cold water at Whitney Ranch Aquatic Complex, 1575 C Galleria Dr., at the City of Henderson’s Polar Bear Plunge. The all-ages event takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 10. Admission is $5 per person. Admission applies to each person wishing to take part in or watch the event. Register online at (activity code 136708) or at any recreation center or indoor pool.

Brave participants will ride down the slides of the unheated outdoor activity pool and plunge into the icy water below.

Brave participants will ride down the slides of the unheated outdoor activity pool and plunge into the icy water below. The event also includes winter treats, a bounce house and a variety of hands-on activities. Prizes and goody bags will be given to the first 100 participants to enroll.

The Polar Bear Plunge is not recommended for those with heart conditions or high blood pressure. Children under the age of 8 must be supervised by a parent/guardian within arm’s reach at all times, including in the water. All pool rules apply.

For additional information, visit or call 702-267-5870.

« Older