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Singing Techniques For Karaoke Vocal Singing

Singing techniques are very useful for any individual who wants his karaoke song to stand out from the rest. There is no difference between singing karaoke songs and other songs. However, the Karaoke KJ can alter the pitch and key of the karaoke song to enhance the performance. You can learn several singing techniques if you go here. You need to make sure that your voice matches the song in a better manner. The best way to achieve this is by employing excellent singing techniques. You need to start by learning and practicing karaoke singing techniques. Practicing will assist you to develop a better range and a stronger voice. You will be in a better position to hit more notes with a lot of ease. Your breath will last for a longer period and you will not have to stop in the middle of a line for you to take some breathe. Also, you will be a more relaxed karaoke performer, and your songs will sound better than ever before.

You will produce a better karaoke performance if you are relaxed. Its good to make sure that you remove any form of tension from your body especially the throat, neck, and upper body. One of the best tricks that work well is lying down if you want to feel relaxed. You can also flex and release each muscle starting from your toes upwards if you wish to release any tension from your body.

Keep your voice box low

You need to learn how to keep your voice box or larynx very low. You can feel this in the front part of your throat or neck. Place your hand on it and try to vocalize a note without allowing your larynx to rise. It may take a while, but you can go ahead to practice your karaoke performance while keeping your voice box down once you accomplish the objective.

Raising your soft palate

The palate is the soft area at the top back of your mouth, and you can feel it rising as you begin to yawn. When the palate rises, it opens up the throat. You should be keen to ensure that you raise the palate as you sing your karaoke songs. This position will assist you to produce an excellent singing voice.

Breathing with the diaphragm

The diaphragm is the region that lies below the cage. Breathing with the diaphragm is among the best karaoke techniques you need to learn if you have to release an excellent karaoke performance. It is nice to understand how to breathe with your diaphragm while singing. Make sure that you expand your lungs using all the space you have to broaden these membranes. You should not push out the air as you breathe out but allow it to escape with the musical notes that you are producing. It is naturally hard to achieve this objective, but constant practice will assist you to gain a strong voice that you can control with a lot of ease.


There is no difference between karaoke singing and other forms of performances. You need to produce a good voice even though the machine can assist you to adjust your pitch and tone. This article focuses on the techniques of enhancing your karaoke singing. Constant practice is the best way of gaining these skills.

Important Reminders When Buying Fishing Equipment

If you are looking to buy the right fishing equipment, it is essential to know what you need. There are many fishing equipment shops online and offline that are stocked with quality supplies. If you are a skilled fisherman, or you are just starting out, it is important to keep some reminders in mind when buying fishing equipment. Let us look at these. Many local stores out there sell expensive and cheap fishing products. However, you need fishing equipment such as a rod and reel that enables you to catch different sizes of fish. You can also go online to buy rods, reels, fishing knives and accessories like hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and much more. Be sure to choose different fishing products for a small lake and river fishing than for sea fishing. At online stores, you can order for fishing tools and supplies for every kind of fishing including ice fishing. Another thing to remember when looking for fishing equipment is the boat you will be using. Pay particular attention to what you will be wearing. Ask yourself if your trip is going to be a long one lasting for days or a short, simple same-day fishing trip. How long you will be staying will determine what you take along. Take appropriate clothing along to keep you warm and dry. You need the proper boating supplies for the waters in which you plan to fish. Therefore, when buying your fishing equipment, look at stores that have all you need. Stores offering discounts for fishing gear in bulk can also be looked at. It is wise also to deal with a reputable store whether online or offline. Stores that have experience supplying fishing equipment deserve your attention. But, you can get more facts about each store from reviews online or you can visit a shop and see for yourself. Check out if fishing equipment prices are alright for you. Compare product quality and always opt for a store that gives necessary supports and has an excellent customer service. It is nice to look at the kind of service you will be given when buying your fishing products. As you prepare to buy your fishing equipment equipment, you would do well to examine options available to you carefully and decide which fishing products will fit your fishing activities. Taking into consideration all reminders in this piece will help you to make the right decision when buying fishing equipment.

Understanding The Hip Hop Dancing Styles

The hip hop dancing style has been around for several decades, and it hits the entertainment scene with a lot of force. The hip hop style is seen as one of the most influential dancing styles in modern days than ever before. The style begun on the humble urban center street corners as street dancers portrayed their moves to passengers who marveled at those great talents. You can look here for more tips on other dancing styles.

The original hip hop dance styles captivated the viewers for a few minutes that made it a routine. This beat was an innovation of individuals who love to generate and move towards a good beat and not professional chirographers. The acrobatics contributed significantly to the development of the hip-hop dancing that popularized break-dancing on the streets of New York. It took a lot of dancing skills to achieve some of the complicated performance styles that were choreographed to urban dancing beats. We currently experience several dancing moves within this genre of dancing. Here are some of the popular hip hops dancing styles in the music industry.

The Locking Hip Hop Dance Style

In this hip hop move, the dancers lock themselves into a particular position before moving out. It does not appreciate the approach of having a smooth transition from one step to another. Rocking has its roots in the early 1960s in the Southern California region. Most of these robotic dance styles originated from the early west coast locking days.

The Free Style Dance Style

In this performance, the dancer entirely relies on the rhythm, melody, and musical beat and other factors attributed to singing that influence the moves and the ultimate routine. The Freestyle hip hop dance assists when you have an arsenal of dance moves to pull out.

The Breaking Hip Hop Dance Style

Breaking is one of the earliest hip-hop dancing styles. The dancing style originated from the humble street corners of the great New York City. This is a physically demanding dance style that requires a lot of coordination and enthusiasm. Only qualified hip hop dancers can perform this type of moves. Some of the breaking hip-hop performances are incredible to watch. You will be left wondering how the dancers make these moves. These dancing moves have a remarkable flexibility, agility, and strength. There is no need no need to fear because you can learn this dance style even if you are a complete beginner. You can join a local dance team once you have mastered some of the simple hip hop moves. Video learning is more efficient if you want to learn hip hop rather than reading from books. You can come across excellent sites that offer hip hop lessons online.

Online hip-hop lessons teens are useful in assisting beginners to learn different dance moves and styles. The curriculum should include clean moves and music to encourage upcoming and young dancers to participate. The course is unique because you are always in full control. You have to pick the combos, moves, and warm ups during the training. Its an excellent dancing style that you can consider investing your time.

7 Best Restaurants To Dine In Newquay

Newquay, the premier holiday resort in Cornwall, is best known for surfing and other extreme water adventures. The beaches are spectacular and the woodlands are also captivating. Families and groups of friends visit the place this coastal resort to surf, swim and hike the Cornish coast. However a holiday wouldnt be a holiday without sampling some of the great local restaurants in this tourist town. And thanks to the quality of its dining establishments, Newquay is becoming a destination itself for restaurant loving foodies. Here are 7 best restaurants to visit in Newquay, Cornwall:

Fistral Beach Stable Many Stable restaurants exist all over the west, but the Fistral Beach place is considered king. The sumptuous food and the overlooking view of the North Cornish coast completes the top notch restaurant experience. So if you're looking for pizza and pie with a delightful atmosphere, go for the Fistral Beach Stable.

The Dolphin Experience traditional and exquisite dining at the Dophin Bar and Restaurant. Their English contemporary cuisine is unparalleled and their service is exceptional, the main reasons why this oldest restaurant still thrives in the business until today. People young and old prefer their seafood and meat dishes, fresh from the nearby farms. The Dolphin is roughly considered a trademark of the true Cornish cuisine.

Kahuna If you're looking for decadent Asian Cuisine, Kahuna restaurant is the best place to dine. The interiors exemplify modern yet classy design. The service is fantastic. The menu is excellent. They serve Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian food. You can experience the Eastern mix of spices in an order of red mullet and octopus. Your ordinary spring rolls can turn high class at Kahuna. Because high-calibre Asian restaurants are limited in the area, it's recommended to book early.

The Fish House What better way to end your surfing adventure than with a nice meal at the Fish House in Fistral? Their British Mediterranean meals will surely fill you up. The decors inside the restaurant adds to the cheerfulness of the place. The beach view is simply spectacular. Not one customer left with a complaint. In fact, many are still enamoured even on their third visit. Try their John Dory dish now.

Gusto Deli Bar Now for those lovers of fresh veggies and burgers, Gusto Deli Bar is the perfect location for you. For reasonable prices, you get quality food in a box. Many customers set it apart from other chains because of its inviting atmosphere. If you want takeaway food without compromising quality, then this deli is the one for you.

Bush Pepper Craving for homemade style food? Bush Pepper befits your taste. They serve a fusion of cuisines from Mediterranean to Australian. The service, according to reviews, is also above par. You may want to try their crocodile croquettes on your visit to Newquay.

Truscotts If youre on a tight budget but never want to compromise quality, you can dine at Truscotts. Their meals are served in big portions and reasonably priced. People never seem to get enough of their signature fish and chips.

The list can go on, but insofar the top 7 places to dine at Newquay are ready for your visit. Many of these restaurants are located close to Newquays holiday premises, such as the Rocklands Newquay holiday apartments, so they are easily accessible on foot for holidaymakers and tourists.

How To Train Your Dog To Be Civilized

We all adore having pets in our house. A pet is also regarded as a friend animal. Pets tend to provide corporeal and emotional support to their owners. They turn out to be great buddies for those who remain almost isolated from the society in deliberate terms or are made secluded by the combined action of the society.

Breeds of pets

Pets are not of singular kind. In generalized terms, people prefer to keep cats and dogs but some also go for these ones: rodents, rabbits, hamsters, fancy rats, turtles, fishes such as: Gold fish, tropical fish. Frogs and Arthropod pets are also preferred. Techniques involved in Pet Training

Pet Training is not a simple task at all. It involves the expert guidance and few steps that are to be executed for the sake of adequate training. Some of these techniques are discussed herein: Positive Reinforcement- Optimistic reinforcement is very necessary in the act of training a pet. It involves giving the pet something he or she adores. This will improve the possibility on his side to continue performing the good behavior. The next option is negative punishment in which the owner tends to extract something which the pet likes. This is done in order to eradicate the undesirable behavior from the pet.

find on amazon Incentive and Belligerence- Trainers tend to teach the aggressive pets the basic and indispensible behavior which might be absent from them. They also educate them to control their aggression in situations which might trigger their aggressive behavior. No Hostility- It must be kept in mind that even pets have feelings. While training them the trainer must not get aggressive or hurt them. This will make the pet aggressive towards the trainer and will also not be able to learn the desired behavior. Rude behavior might also scare the pet and make the pet dishonest and stubborn. This will hinder the training process.

Rewarding punishment-

Sometimes the punishment is also rewarding. This is done when the pet is doing something which is not desirable to the owner. For example: if the pet is biting on the collar or hand of the owner then he will chide the pet. This will not increase but decrease the possibility of that behavior to occur again. This type of punishment is executed to cut down on the pessimistic and harmful habits of the pet. Necessity of training Training of the pet is very important in order to push up the control on the behavioral issues of the owned animal. This is also exercised so that the pet is able to fit in within the company of its human owners. To train a pet, a professional trainer is to be brought into exercise because a novice individual will be unskilled and wont be able to manage the conduct of the pet.

Types Of Flower Products Offered By A Floral Delivery Service

Flowers have been used for ages to decorate and express emotions. A bouquet of flowers still remains a versatile gift, whether a loved one is celebrating a birthday, wedding anniversary or other special occasions. Flowers also help to commiserate with a loved one who is unwell or bereaved. Whatever the occasion, you need to use a professional florist to get the flower arrangements right. Whether you love lilies, roses, lilacs, poppies, daisies or calla lilies, there is an arrangement to suit your unique taste.

Floral Expertise

These experts guarantee timely delivery because they have the resources. Moreover, their flower products are sourced from highly regarded growers who only deliver quality flowers. If you have an occasion coming up or you are looking for that ideal gift, these flower specialists are well placed to provide high standards of service and the best flower products.

boulder florists

Types of Flower Products

When you visit a flower shop, the feeling you get is overwhelming. The fragrance, the color and ambience takes over your mind instantly. The atmosphere is ethereal and you immediately know you are making the right decision.

Here are some of the flower products you will find at a florist shop:

1. Wedding Flowers

A wedding is one of the most important events in life. It marks a momentous shift in your life and you have to celebrate it in style. To make this day really memorable, you have to embellish it with scintillating flower arrangements. Floral shops offer tailor-made wedding flowers patterns to suit you special requests. You will find the freshest and loveliest arrangements in all colors for any season.

2. Anniversary Flowers

If you have a wedding anniversary, a birthday or any other special occasion to mark a special date, you must celebrate in style. Your florist will provide lovely floral arrangements to reflect this special day. These flowers add a touch of glamour to your event and they help reflect the importance of this day.

3. Funeral Flowers

Losing a loved one is always painful. When bidding farewell, you have to do it in a fitting manner. A florist helps you to make the right choice of flowers for the casket. The choice of flowers can be made based on the taste of the deceased to show respect.

4. Sympathy Floral Arrangements

If a friend of relative is unwell, it is important to show your love. Flowers express your love in the best way. They not only add color to the gloomy situation but your loved one is able to muster strength to get well. It is best to choose flowers based on the taste of your loved one.

Different flowers express different emotions. By using a reputable florist, you are able to buy the right flower bouquets to suit a particular event. Whether you want to gift your mum on Mothers Day or you want to surprise your loved one on Valentine Day, there is a flower for every occasion.

Climbing Frames: How Outdoor Toys Could Win The War Against Childhood Obesity

It's old news by now: Childhood obesity rates have been steadily rising these last few decades. Despite heightened efforts to change the nationwide situation, children still engage in less and less exercise with each passing year and are therefore suffering the consequences, which range from diabetes to mental health and body image issues later in life.

For this, one can blame the high-calorie diet that's readily available to every household. One can also blame the ever-growing popularity of gadgets and virtual applications that are designed to glue children (as well as the adults surrounding them) to their beds and couches seemingly all day, every day. Or, one can blame one's own modern values that allow people to equate lax parenting with good parenting, despite all evidence suggesting otherwise.

While it is true that today's technology has far-reaching mental and intellectual benefits and that children's early exposure to it can only benefit them in the long run, it does not mean one is justified in neglecting the development of their bodies. A healthy body paired with a good mind makes for a balanced, well-functioning adult. Which begs the question - how does one entice an entire generation raised by the Internet to let go of their modern toys and engage in physical activities at least once in a while?

First, you as a parent will have to build rapport with them. There's a good chance these children don't know that consoles, tablets, and WiFi have't always been around. Tell them about what you did as a kid and try to convince them that you had as much fun in your day as they seem to be having now - maybe even more since, for one thing, you actually know how the sun feels like on your skin as you ran and sweated it out. Not only is that kind of memory something to cherish, you've also benefited a lot from the vitamin D growing up.

Introduce them to playgrounds and arcades - though it's hard to imagine how those became so outmoded that they need to be "introduced" - then, if you have free space in your yard, invest in some of the big outdoor toys that they end up favoring.

For example, climbing frames. There are all sorts of models available online and in major department stores, which is great because you don't need to go out of your way to find one. One of the best sources for high quality climbing frames is Northern Ireland Climbing Frames, they make custom frames also.

Depending on the amount of space you have, climbing frames can be small enough to fit even indoors, or it could be built up into a child's version of paradise. Bridges and walkways, slides and rope ladders help them develop their balance, coordination, and agility, and have pure fun while they're at it - these sectional add-ons to the basic structure (made of wood or sturdy plastic, depending on the children's age and the number of years you expect them to use it) can be made to simulate those digging and mining games they love so much.

If that doesn't capture their attention on the get-go, nothing else might. And if that's the case, you'd have to find another physical activity they could engage in, like a trampoline or some old-school playtime outdoors with other children. Always keep in mind that your investment in their physical well-being today could only give them a much better tomorrow.

Camping Advice And Tips

Camping Tips: General Outdoor Tips The tent is the focal point of most camping trips. If youre a beginning camper, there are a couple of different tent tips to remember.

First and foremost, practice pitching your tent before you head to the campsite. Being able to do it quickly and effectively is extremely valuable. When looking for a place to set up, always look for a natural bed of soft, flat soil but avoid the bottom of hills or valleys. Finally, always set up a tarp below your tent to avoid potential damage or water-logging. Campers can also benefit from a few non-specific outdoor principles. Rule number one, no matter the time of year, is to dress in (or at least carry) layers. Its the easiest and most effective way to control your body temperature. Secondly, learn how to use a GPS or map and compass. No matter how familiar you are with a certain wooded area, getting lost among acres of similar-looking trees is very easy. Finally, practice basic outdoor skills such using and sharpening a utility knife, tying various knots, and building a fire. Its this knowledge that separates the amateurs from the seasoned campers.

What to Bring on a Camping Trip With any luck, each camping trip proves to be a unique experience. There are many wonderful things that nature has to offer. But, no matter where youre headed, a few things should always come with you. Below is the short list of camping essentials that should always be packed. A Tent, Tarp, and Sleeping Bag A pot, pan, dishes, utensils, and fire-starting materials (preferably waterproof matches or a butane lighter) A utility knife and length of rope Plenty of water (get gallon sizes for cooking and cleaning) Energy rich, easily prepared foods and snacks (think items like pasta, beans, ground beef, peanut butter, chicken, trail mix, and oatmeal) Plenty of clothing (a good rule of thumb in temperate areas is enough for two to three layers daily) A tight-closing cooler to store your food items in Hand sanitizer and soap Optionally, outdoor gear like fishing poles and hiking equipment

How to Budget for a Camping Trip Like most anything else, budgeting for a camping trip is easiest when you start big and work your way down. First, decide upon an amount you can afford, and make a resolution not to exceed it. Then, begin to factor in the larger expenses things like food, gas, necessary equipment, and campsite fees. From there, work your way down to smaller items until you come close to the spending limit. As that line is tested, youll have to make the nitpicky decisions that ultimately determine your trips bottom line. For instance, you could eliminate that traditional fast food stop on the way there in favor of pre-prepared sandwiches. Little decisions such as these tend to add up in the grand scheme of financial matters, especially when it comes to discretionary spending. Now that you know the basics of camping, what to bring, and how to squeeze outdoor adventure into your budget, nothing is left to keep you from hitting the woods! Camp life is made easier by gaining experience and learning the tricks. Whether you are a camping novice or a seasoned camper you can never be too prepared. Here are our top tips to help make your first camping experience go without a hitch.

Clever Packing When loading up the car make sure you pack the tent last so its the first thing out when you arrive. This is especially important if its raining as nothing else will get wet! You may also want to pack the stove, kettle and teabags last so you can have a cuppa before unpacking. Store everything in plastic boxes with lids- if it rains cardboard will be useless. Large plastic boxes can easily double up as a table too. Always take spare tent pegs, guy ropes and duct tape. Just make sure you remember where youve packed these! A portable gazebo can be really useful for creating an area to sit in especially if you have a few small tents rather than one larger one. The shade from the gazebo is useful for rain or shine! Check the gas for your stove is full!

Pitching Up Practice pitching your tent in the garden before you go; this applies if its a brand new or old tent. There will be nothing worse than discovering a problem with your tent at the campsite! Choose your pitch wisely. Check for levelness (a slight incline is ok), stones and sticks as these can make for an uncomfortable night and even damage your tent. Never ever pitch you tent at the bottom of a hill, under a tree or next to hedges. If you will be pitching your tent at night, take a headtorch so you can see what you are doing. Condensation commonly forms inside tents. To reduce this make sure all available vents are open and avoid bringing wet clothing into the tent. Try not to touch the inside walls of your tent either as this could cause rain water/dew to come through. Home Comforts Electric hook ups are useful if you have a trailer or camper van but can also be handy if you have a tent. Great for phone chargers, electric kettles and even hair driers. If you cant do without make sure your campsite has electric hook ups before you go. Be Prepared Always do your research on the campsite/area before you go. There is only so long you can play board games in your tent in the rain, so make sure there are activities at the campsite for wet weather or the area has places of interest. Alfresco Dining If you wont have the facilities to keep food cold dont take too much fresh food, instead opt for tinned, powdered and packet foods that wont need to be chilled.

Caravan Holidays In Wales For Exciting New Adventures

When the holiday season kicks in, it seems like everybody is rushing to book a flight or getting the best deal they could find on hotels and resorts before the slots run out. But it may seem like to lack excitement when done year after year. If you are looking for a nice way to shake things up and plan a more unique getaway with your family and friends, perhaps it would be nice to consider going on a road trip. But not just any road trip. Caravan holidays in Wales have been gaining popularity over the past several years and is a great way to get around the country for a vacation that could last weeks, or even months if you are really going to get into it.

A caravan is described as a van or trailer inclusive of all the necessities needed when you are traveling long distances -- a home on the go, as some would refer to it. Just pack your things, stock up on the groceries, tow the mobile home to the behind of your vehicle, and be on your way. There are not tickets or baggage restrictions to worry about.

Although there will be some days when there is a possibility that the caravan park may be fully booked, another perk is that you will hardly need to rely on availability of a room unlike hotels and such, because all you will be needing is a campsite and space to pitch in for the night.

It is a great experience for your family and friends, as well as to strengthen the bond with them. There will be plenty of outdoor activities you can do together, or even just relaxing on lounging chairs and enjoying the view. Kids and teenagers could use that kind of experience to appreciate the world around them, especially since technology is taking up so much of their lives.

You will get the chance to visit some of the most scenic locations in Wales that no other hotel may be able to offer. You will meet new people from all around the country (or even the world) and broaden your knowledge on different kinds of cultures, languages, and food.

Caravan traveling is also relatively cheaper and environment friendly. Other than the gas expenses and the occasional visit to the grocery store, you will able to save a good amount of money if you plan your trip well. However, if you renting a mobile home to bring from place to place still may seem to be a little over your budget, you can always rent out a mobile home at the sites you plan to visit and go caravan hoping.

Caravan holidays in Wales are ideal for short term stays, however, if you are looking to settle down in a certain city for a few years and do not want to spend so much on accommodations, caravan homes are the perfect option. They are available from around £50,000 to more than £250,000 depending on the location and amenities.

Top 4 Fowey Attractions Your Children Will Surely Love

Kids will be kids. And if you are planning a summer holiday vacation for them, it may be a good idea to spend it in Cornwall. This peninsula jutting out into the western portion of the English Channel and washed by the cool waters of the Atlantic Sea has been receiving more than 5 million visitors year in and year out. Its historic landmarks, marvellous Cornish cuisine, hundreds of miles of nature walks, pristine beaches, and plenty of attractions is simply a must for anyone, especially kids.

When you visit Cornwall, make Fowey your base as the surrounding area has a high density of superb attractions to visit. There are plenty of Fowey cottages, hotels and guest houses to welcome family holidaymakers to the tow. The following top four Cornwall attractions great for kids are located within just five miles of Fowey.

Established in 1952, Fowey Aquarium showcases marine and aquatic life that can be found not only in and around Fowey but elsewhere in the entire British Isles. Perfect for kids to learn about some of the worlds most fascinating water creatures, the Fowey Aquarium maintains an old batch of water tanks that is pumped with fresh seawater with the daily rising tide facilitating the addition of tube worms and sea squirts onto the different tanks containing crabs, starfish, Conger Eels, lobsters, and other British marine creatures. Children love getting into the touch pool to really get up close and personal with these marine animals.

If you want your kids to learn how to properly take care of their pets, Wingz Bird and Animal Sanctuary is a good place to start. Located just 3 miles from Fowey, this sanctuary aims to conserve some of the worlds rarest bird species in an effort to educate people, especially kids, everything about these birds as well as other animals they have on display. Wingz had been breeding some of the more vulnerable species to help improve their population. Their educational talks and petting sessions can give kids the perfect introduction to the world of birds and animals.

Tired of seeing the same old stuff? Venture 5 miles off Fowey and you will treat your kids to one of Cornwalls best playcenter, the Kidzworld Indoor Play. This is no ordinary play center as it boasts of more than 50,000 square feet of all-weather fun and adventures. Kids can get to play in an indoor climate-controlled playzone and climb the famed DigiWall or take on the fast slides. Kidzworld has an outdoor activity area as well where kids can explore and play pirates at the Smugglers Cove and traverse wobbly walkways. As there are no height restrictions, the whole family can have great fun.

Want your kids play the role of Gulliver? Polperro Model Village, just 5 miles from Fowey, is the place where your kids can literally become giants for a day. The entire village of Polperro has been miniaturised told in 7 fascinating stories about local folklore, Cornish myth, and other interesting facts. Kids will love the tiny features while grownups will surely appreciate the attention given to detail.

Kids will be kids. Taking them to these places in and near Fowey will help them gain a better understanding of the rich heritage of Fowey, Cornwall, and the rest of Great Britain.

Hobbit Costume Party Cracker.

The Hobbit, which was published in 1937 and its sequel trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, which was published over the course of a year, between 1954-1955, were written by JRR Tolkien nearly 100 years ago. The books have entertained and delighted young and old for decades, being transformed into video games and epic fantasy films. The Lord of the Rings is, in fact, one of the best-selling books of all times with over 150 million copies sold worldwide.

Is it any wonder then that Hobbit costumes based on the characters of these great books have become so popular. From The Hobbit, which follows Bilbo Baggins, a quiet hobbit who likes his food and his routines as he is sent on a quest by the determined wizard Gandalf the Grey. He is accompanied on this quest by several dwarves most notably, Thorin and Balin who wish to reclaim the Kingdom of Erebor. The story unfolds in Middle Earth and you follow Bilbo as he is led through lands filled with the terrors of Orcs and Goblins where he meets Gollum and escapes the dragon Smaug.

The success of the 2012-2014 is seeing Bilbo Baggins becoming a more popular costume amongst fans. As the quiet respectable hobbit, with his fine suits is hired as a burglar to steal from Smaug. He returns from his journey more confident and much wiser but also the new owner of the magical ring.

The trilogy, The Lord of the Rings follows the story of Frodo and his faithful friend Sam Gamgee both hobbits as they struggle to destroy the One Ring, thus thwarting the Dark Lord Sauron whilst their friends, Gandalf, Aragon, Legolas, Gimli, the hobbits, Pippi and Merry try to buy them time by drawing Saurons eyes away from Frodo. Some of the other main characters in this trilogy are the Lady Galadriel, the elf maiden Arwen, her father Elrond, Gollum, the Ringwraiths, Uruk-Hai, and Sauron.

The successes of the 2001-2003 films have made these characters popular. Frodo, Sam, Pippi, and Merry are favourite hobbits to dress up as. Sam, faithful and trustworthy and always looking out for his master. Frodo who bears the heavy burden of the one ring to the fun loving Pippi and Merry.

There are numerous companies online which sell costumes based on The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring characters. The Hobbits, in particular, make ideal costumes character hobbit costumes to dress up in. From the branch of man but separate, they bear many similarities but also many differences. Humans and Hobbits are referred to as the big people and the little people. Although introduced as a comfortable, quiet and shy people who lived in the Shire in The Hobbit, their traits werent fully explored until The Lord of the Rings. They are small, generally between 2 and 4 foot tall. They enjoy bright colours favouring yellow and green. On the main they cant grow beards but their feet are covered in curly hair with thick leathery soles.

Open G Guitar - For The Blues And More

Joni Mitchell once said that she used abut 50 different guitar tunings in her performances, which is quite a lot for any guitarist. I wouldn't like to tune up and down several times in any one performance. Of course, it's best to have several guitar on hand for different tuning and styles, but not 50! It's probable that they were subtle variations on the basic open tuning patterns open D, open G and open C, which originally came from the Delta blues men in the deep south of the United States. The first guitars were not that great quality, even you got hold of a factory made one (guitars were often home made).

The Sears company revolutionized shopping with their mail catalog which happened to include basic Stella guitar models. They cost just one dollar, but even this was a stretch for many in the black community after the ending of slavery. The weather in the Mississippi Delta was hot and humid, a disastrous combination for an instrument made of wood, which tended to expand and contract making it very difficult to keep in tune. This is one reason why open G was popular. If one strummed the fingers across the open strings, then a G chord sounded. Similarly, if frets 5 and 7 are barred, a different chords is formed, and using these three, a basic blues could be created.

A favorite technique was to use a bottleneck or metal slide and slide it up to the required note with a little vibrato created by wobbling the finger holding the tube. This created a nice sound and also gave a little leeway to search for, and find, the right note without it sounding amateurish. This is how the typical delta blues sound was created. Other kinds of songs can be created by finger picking open G, but other chord shapes need to be learned as the ones used for normal tuning just won't do - see it here.

Three of the main exponents of this style (although there were many) were Robert Johnson, Son House and Muddy Waters. Muddy Waters later was a major force in Chicago style electric blues, but in his earl Mississippi days he was fantastic at playing bottleneck, claiming to have been playing 'Walking Blues', made famous by Robert Johnson, before Johnson himself recorded it. The older Son House was an obvious inspiration for both men and his powerful singing style coupled with the ringing bottleneck sound if his National Steel guitar was an incredible experience.

The Fast Approach To A Well Trained Dog

Training your dog is important for a wide variety of reasons, including safety and health concerns, among others. Whether you plan on training your dog yourself or taking the animal to a professional trainer, the following tips can help you to end up with an obedient, well-behaved pet.

If you don't have the time, money or inclination to take your naughty dog to a professional trainer, you can obedience train your pooch at home to turn him into a well-behaved family member by following a few simple tips. Within a matter of weeks, your dog should be able to "sit," "stay," and "come" on demand. Some dogs learn at faster rates than others, but prepare yourself to be patient. Use positive reinforcement in the form of praise and treats to reward your dog each time he listens. If he makes a mistake, correct him in a firm voice without yelling. Limit your training to a few short sessions per day, approximately 10 minutes each. Make sure you are in a quiet room or yard with no distractions. Be consistent with your hand signals and verbal instructions. Once your dog has mastered these simple commands, it's time to train him how to fetch your slippers and bring you breakfast in bed!

Use the right size crate for effective crate training. As your dog gets older, he will probably grow larger. Select a crate that is large enough for them to fit in when they are older. The ideal size would be one that doesn't make your dog crowded when turning around or laying down.

When you are training your dog, make sure you are very patient. Different dog breeds learn at different rates. One dog can learn quickly while another dog will take a long time. If you are impatient you will stress your dog and he will be resistant to your best training efforts.

Try to schedule each training session at roughly the same time each day. You want your dog to get into a pattern where he know's it's coming and is excited for it. If your dog is excited for it he's much more likely to succeed, just as if humans are excited for something they're more likely to succeed.

You need to leash train your dog. Think of the leash as a safety requirement.

Dogs usually respond well to physical rewards when being trained. Almost all dogs have an extremely large capacity for love. That makes them respond very well to rewards like belly scratching, back petting and brushing. Your dog wants to be loved and greatly appreciates you giving him affection. Show your happiness with his success this way.

To prevent your dog from chewing, you should apply a smelly substance on objects that your dog is not supposed to chew. Buy some chew toys for your dog: some dogs chew because they are going through teething, and some use chewing as a way of releasing stress caused by loneliness.

Stimulate your dog every day to help prevent nuisance behaviors, such as barking. A bored dog is more likely to bark continuously in an effort to gain attention. If you get your dog out for regular walks and exercise, you may find that this behavior stops. You will have a happier dog, and be a happier owner.

A dog needs to be trained from the outset. You and he will find it much easier to learn how do the right thing than unlearn the wrong. To avoid begging at the table, avoid giving the dog food off the table to begin with.

When deciding to train your dog, make sure that you have patience towards your pet. All dogs are unique and learn at different paces. To be effective in training your pooch, make sure you have the patience to see it through. Treat your dog with kindness even if he or she may try your patience.

Dog training tips

To succeed at dog training, it is necessary to commit yourself to a regular schedule of training sessions. You will teach your dog by being repetitive and doing things on a consistent basis. Taking the time to bond with your dog will prove to him or her that you are worthy of their love and loyalty. Doing these things for your dog will ensure your place as the pack leader.

Dog Trainer

When looking to hire a dog trainer, finding someone who uses positive training techniques can be very beneficial. Your dog will respond better to praises, treats, and encouragement than to physical or mental agitation. Negative training methods can be very ineffective and cause harm to the animal as well.

These tips help to explain why it is necessary to ensure that your dog is properly trained. Even if a professional trainer teaches your dog how to behave, in the end, your dog has to listen to you, the owner. By following these tips, you can make sure that your dog always knows who's in charge.

A Few Thing To Know About Parrotlets

There are many people that love to have parakeets, pigeons, and a wide variety of other birds for pets at their home. One of the more popular species right now are those that originate out of middle and South America called parrotlets. Touits, Nannopsittaca and Forpus are part of the many generas that are available, each possessing a very stocky build with short tails. In nature, they traveled together in flocks, with as many as 100 birds and tend to choose lifelong mates. These birds of the smallest to be bred in captivity, and there are many places that they can be purchased. Let us look at a brief overview of these beautiful birds and why you might want to own one for yourself.

An Overview Of Parrotlets

Parrotlets are about 5 inches in length, look very similar to parakeets, but are much more distinct in color. Probably the most popular one, the Pacific parrotlets is also one of the most common of this species, originating from central America and even Mexico. Part of the family of parrots, with their blunt tail and stout bodies, they tend to have a blue streak near their eyes, rump, and also have a distinct green color. You can tell if email from a mail because of the lack of blue coloring and sometimes the absence of the blue streak which is typically near their eyes. One of the reasons for their popularity other than their appearance is that they are perfect for people that live in homes or apartments where having little noise is always appreciated. Parrots are known for their very loud voices, yet parrotlets are extremely quiet. Despite this, they are also able to learn simple phrases, and will repeat words that they are taught. They can also become aggressive if you do not pay enough attention to them, and they have a very strong beak, and aspect of the species that many people forget until they are actually bitten.

Behavior And Personality Traits

These birds have a very distinct personality, one that is typically not submissive. They can be affectionate, yet they are extremely willful and feisty birds, and are great companions for people that enjoy hand feeding their birds on a regular basis. Studies have shown that the more handling that these birds have with humans, the more likely it is that they will become extremely tame and docile. However, they are seldomly recommended as the perfect pet for kids, making them very much a bird for adults that have time on their hands in order to handle them with care.

Places To Look To Find Parrotlets For Sale

Although you can find parrotlets at many pet stores, you might want to consider researching to find where the best prices will be finding parrotlet birds for sale online. The amount of money that you spend may dramatically shift once you have found a company that regularly sells birds at a discount, and you will be able to take advantage of their low prices. Make sure that you choose one that has what appears to be a more gentle disposition before bringing it home, giving you a higher chance of being able to handle the bird without incident. They are very beautiful animals, ones that you should certainly own if you enjoy parrots, or similar birds, a pet that you will certainly be proud of.

Bamboo Fibre Is An Environmentally Friendly Choice For Clothing

Bamboo is a pretty amazing plant. The entire plant, including leaves and stalks, can be easily turned into soft, silky bamboo fibre. Bamboo is found in many places and there are 1,250 different species. Most of these are found in the tropics, altho China has a number of species as well. China is the largest bamboo producing country in the world. Bamboo is used for a variety of purposes and is one of the most sustainable materials available.

Bamboo is used as food with shoots that are very edible and widely exported. Bamboo is also used in construction, both as a flooring material and for timber. It is often used to create decorative items that may be utilized both indoors and outdoors. One of the most popular uses for bamboo is to create fibre which is then turned into clothing and linens.

When bamboo is harvested to make fiber, the bamboo is usually four to five years old. Once processed, the material has a silky feel but is much more affordable than traditional silk. Bamboo fiber is also easier to care for than silk, dries quickly, and is resistant to wrinkling. Bamboo material is also great for baby clothes because it has some SPF components and is naturally anti-bacterial.

Bamboo material comes in two types. There is degummed natural bamboo and regenerated bamboo. Degummed natural bamboo is created with no chemical additives and results in a non-cotton vegetable fiber. Regenerated bamboo is produced either chemically or mechanically and is considered to be a man-made material.

Another way to process bamboo is through the Lyocell process. This process is seen as environmentally friendly and more sustainable than other types of chemical processes. During production, almost 99.5 percent of all chemicals are trapped and recycled. All of these processes produce a material that can be used to make clothing and other types of products.

Bamboo is considered superior in both durability and strength to cotton. It also dries much more quickly than cotton and is especially useful for making sports and active wear. The bamboo fabric naturally helps evaporate moisture, wicking it away from the body and helping keep the body cool.

Bamboo fabric can be produced in ways that are very environmentally friendly and which are sustainable. This makes bamboo fibre a good choice when purchasing new clothing. Its added benefits of being strong and durable, as well as silky smooth, make it an even better choice for garments and linens such as bamboo running socks.

How To Train Your Dog To Be Civilized

We all adore having pets in our house. A pet is also regarded as a friend animal. Pets tend to provide corporeal and emotional support to their owners. They turn out to be great buddies for those who remain almost isolated from the society in deliberate terms or are made secluded by the combined action of the society.

Breeds of pets

Pets are not of singular kind. In generalized terms, people prefer to keep cats and dogs but some also go for these ones: rodents, rabbits, hamsters, fancy rats, turtles, fishes such as: Gold fish, tropical fish. Frogs and Arthropod pets are also preferred.

Techniques involved in Pet Training

Pet Training is not a simple task at all. It involves the expert guidance and few steps that are to be executed for the sake of adequate training. Some of these techniques are discussed herein:

Positive Reinforcement- Optimistic reinforcement is very necessary in the act of training a pet. It involves giving the pet something he or she adores. This will improve the possibility on his side to continue performing the good behavior. The next option is negative punishment in which the owner tends to extract something which the pet likes. This is done in order to eradicate the undesirable behavior from the pet.

Incentive and Belligerence- Trainers tend to teach the aggressive pets the basic and indispensible behavior which might be absent from them. They also educate them to control their aggression in situations which might trigger their aggressive behavior.
No Hostility- It must be kept in mind that even pets have feelings. While training them the trainer must not get aggressive or hurt them. This will make the pet aggressive towards the trainer and will also not be able to learn the desired behavior. Rude behavior might also scare the pet and make the pet dishonest and stubborn. This will hinder the training process.
Rewarding punishment- Sometimes the punishment is also rewarding. This is done when the pet is doing something which is not desirable to the owner. For example: if the pet is biting on the collar or hand of the owner then he will chide the pet. This will not increase but decrease the possibility of that behavior to occur again. This type of punishment is executed to cut down on the pessimistic and harmful habits of the pet.

Necessity of training

Training of the pet is very important in order to push up the control on the behavioral issues of the owned animal. This is also exercised so that the pet is able to fit in within the company of its human owners. To train a pet, a professional trainer is to be brought into exercise because a novice individual will be unskilled and wont be able to manage the conduct of the pet.

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What Are The Different Types Of Blues Guitar Music?

Historians believe that the first music that could rightly be called blues appeared in the Mississippi Delta in the Deep South of America in the late 1890s. African slaves would sing or chant so-called 'field hollers', which were often in the call and response format and these songs helped the work flow. This type of song was closely linked to spirituals sang in the Churches at that time and were not often accompanied by any kind of instrument.

The very first guitars and fiddles were home made and not very high quality. This fact, and the humid weather conditions were major factors in the creation of bottleneck blues, where the guitar was might be tuned down to open G or D, for example. This kind of song was often very basic, with just four lines of verse and no chorus. Very often, the first three lines of the verse were identical, and the fourth brought in a small variation.

In normal guitar tuning, a particular fingerpicking style developed called 'monotonic bass' and was common throughout all regions. The fingers generally picked melody on the treble strings, while the thumb hit one or two bass notes to keep the beat. The string was damped or muted heavily just after sounding, so that it became more of a 'thwack' than a musical note. It was a lot like a drum beat and this theory makes a lot of sense, as drums were actually outlawed for the black community in the early 1900s.

In the early part of the century piano music became popular but was obviously restricted as pianos are much more expensive than guitars. A young brothel pianist called Scott Joplin created highly syncopated piano instrumentals and called it Ragtime, probably after the type of dance popular among the Negro community at that time. A particular feature of ragtime piano music is the bum-chick sound of the left hand bass patterns. Some guitarists realized that this could be simulated using the thumb alternating between the bass strings of a guitar and ragtime blues or Piedmont style was born.

The very best guitarists took both of these styles and combined them, creating some very exciting music indeed. Such players would alternated their thumb across the basses, but could switch to monotonic bass when required to produce the desired musical effect. Many took the style even further and used the thumb to pick any string at all. The thumb is truly king when it comes to fingerpicking the blues, whatever style is played.

Hiring A Bounce House For Leisure

Bounce house hiring for leisure is an increasingly popular option with people for any number of reasons, ranging from whimsical exercise to needing to entertain children at a party to adding a bit of fun to a charitable event. Hiring a bounce house has gotten easier in recent years as these portable attractions have gotten cheaper and easier to manufacture and set up nearly anywhere, allowing for more companies to get in on the action. But what is hiring a bounce house and why would anyone do it for no reason beyond simple leisurely time spend jumping away in an inflated enclosure.

A bounce house is a type of enclosure made out of heavy duty materials but ultimately hollow within. Typically these structures are made out of the most durable PVC or nylon and vinyl combinations and inflated with a gasoline or electric powered blower. Constructed to ensure that small punctures are not a massive problem, these enclosures also include inflated walls three days, and sometimes mats outside the entrance to ensure that jumps who tumble out of the bounce house do not hurt themselves stepping out of the house. Other models of these massive toys are enclosed with thick netting allowing adult supervision to see inside as well as keep users from tumbling out of the device and hurting themselves.

Some of these devices are small enough and easy enough to inflate that they're sold as high end appliances on the mass market, sometimes even at a size small enough to fit into a large room while fully inflated. Others, however, are simply too large to reasonable fit in most people's homes and must be kept outside in the yard. Most bounce houses for rent fall into this size category and as such generally mean that these portable attractions must be used outdoors, usually when the weather is accommodating of such things such as in the spring or summer season, as well as on a bright, clear day. While a large gymnasium might be able to hold one of these devices, by and large, hiring a bounce castle requires setting aside a section of space outdoors for their use.

Hiring one of these attractions is usually as simple as looking up local rental services specializing in inflatable attractions and examining consumer reviews online. Given as these devices are quite popular for a number of purposes in a great many local areas, there are likely to be a number of services in an area offering an array of bounce houses. In some areas, these devices go by different names, which could require you to do some digging. Other names bounce houses go by are inflatable castles, moon bounces, soft play hire, moonwalks and brinca brinca in areas with a high density of Spanish speakers. While arranging for the hiring of one of these devices can of course be a hassle, the chance to bounce away on one of them without a care in the world is a simple, uncomplicated thrill unlike any other.

New To Dog Training? Consider This Advice!

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Sometimes training your dog can seem downright impossible, especially if the strategies you are using are not working and your pup seems to be more hard-headed than ever. However, there are ways to break through and get real results. You can use the advice in this article to start a dog training program that will set you on the path to success.

When you are training your new dog or puppy that will be living indoors a good thing to do is the crate training. The dogs first impressions of the crate are the most important. Try putting some dog treats around the crate and leading into it so that they can walk around and inside the crate. Make sure that you are positive and upbeat so that they know it's a good thing.

Enforce the commands that you give your dog. Do not let up until they complete the task you have asked them to do. If you are not serious about making them do what you have commanded, then they will learn that they don't have to do it. Follow through is key to training.

Reward your dog for obeying you, but only occasionally. Rewards like treats and excessive praise can be useful tools when training your dog. Just be careful that you do not condition them to expect this every time they do as they are are told. Reward them for following instruction, but do so randomly.

Timing is everything in dog training, and you need to make sure you don't overdo it. Start out with a small training session and up the time every day. Watch to see if the dog's attention begins to fade during sessions.

Food and treats can be your ally in training your dog to seek out his crate. Allow your dog to find strategically placed bits of food and a few treats every once in awhile when he returns to his crate. He will make it a habit of checking the crate out more regularly just in case something else has miraculously appeared there.

When training your dog, use the dog's name when you want their attention. This ensures that you will have good verbal control when you go outside your home, and good verbal control is absolutely vital to responsible pet ownership. Never call your dog to you in order to dish out punishment, as this will create a negative connection.

Make your dog training fun for both you and your animal. If you are not having fun then more than likely, your dog is not either. This can lead to you both having a bad experience. The more fun you can make your dog training the faster it will go for both of you. Try to look at dog training as a game, and not as a chore.

Use your dog's name often to get and keep his attention. When you first get a dog it is important to say his name often, so that he will associate it to himself and will be more apt to pay attention to you when you call it. Choose a shorter name that can stand out from other terms.

The type of leash, collar, and harness are very important to take into consideration when training a dog. The bigger the dog the more secure these items will need to be. Also if one has a dog that pulls on the leash a harness should be used to control the animal opposed to a choke chain or collar. The right equipment is essential to dog training.

A great dog training tip is to get rid of your dog's food dish. Dogs like searching for things. They like to explore, and they like using their nose to locate goodies. By losing your dog's food dish and by hiding dog food throughout the house, your dog will become much happier.

Shy dogs benefit from re-socializing. Oftentimes, dogs have behavioral incidents with certain situations, certain people or other dogs, that go unnoticed by us. We might not realize, but these interactions have given our dogs a sour taste about these circumstances. Re-socializing your dog to the stimuli he's upset by, can help him overcome his anxiety.

It's maddening to come home to a house full of chewed up couch cushions and tipped over waste baskets! If you have to leave your pooch alone all day, he can become bored and lonely. Try exercising him more in the morning and at night when you get home. You may even consider a pet walker to walk him during the day if finances allow. You can sometimes train your dog to stop destructive behavior just by tiring him out!

Feed your dog twice per day (or number of times your veterinarian recommends), and then take the food away after 15 minutes. When giving treats, ask your dog to sit or lay down, so they understand treats should be earned. When your pet understands you are the food provider and treats are not simply free, they see you as the leader.

Each dog will respond to different training methods. A loving dog will more than likely respond well to positive reinforcement. On the other hand, an aggressive dog may respond well to negative reinforcement that shows him your alpha position. When training isn't going as planned, try a new method.

Your puppy or adult dog should always be deterred from chewing on his leash. Not only is this behavior potentially unsafe, but it may stem from the dog being frustrated by being on leash in the first place. Distract the dog and reward any times he isn't chewing. Using his other commands is useful in times like these!

Training your pup isn't impossible, even though there are times when it can seem that way, there are things you can do to get over those tough hurdles. Make sure that you start with these tips and hunt out other such tips from the internet, so you can get off to the best start to successfully train your dog.

Parenting the Challenging Child

Given that having children isn’t a prerequisite for having strong opinions about childrearing, it’s not remarkable that when we do have children, we can be overly defensive about our parenting style.

This is true even when it seems to be working well; but what if our child’s behavior seems particularly challenging? Because we take our responsibility seriously, we may focus on who or what is to blame, rather than on what we can do to improve the situation. We may even wonder whether it can be improved. Is a non compliant toddler doomed to become a challenging adolescent? Worse, if we have a defiant teenager—one who refuses to comply with requests or follow rules of conduct—do we have any real chance of producing the result we want for him or her?

To answer this question, we first need to know exactly what result we want. We may have a general idea: happiness, success, physical and mental health. And we all want to be able to communicate well and enjoy a positive relationship with our children, which offers more than the immediate reward of a peaceful household. After all, teenagers who communicate well with parents tend to share the family’s values in key areas. But what do these admirable aims mean in terms of concrete skills and abilities?

In studies looking at countless families and teens, researchers have identified five core competencies that lead to favorable life outcomes: a positive sense of self, the ability to practice self-control, effective decision-making skills, a moral system of belief, and prosocial connectedness. Although additional attributes could perhaps be included, the consistent message of existing research is that adolescents who demonstrate high levels of these five key assets are better equipped to become happy, productive adults.

For a few fortunate parents, laying the foundation for these skills seems to go fairly smoothly. But if you are one of many who find themselves with challenging children, your family may have become locked in patterns of interacting that make communication difficult. Parents may wish they could stop the endless nagging, but they may also have a hard time picking out any positive aspects of their child’s behavior to focus on instead. As children become more sullen or confrontational and no one can remember the last warm hug or affectionate banter, some parents may come close to giving up and Googling the nearest boot camp for troubled teens.

If any of this sounds familiar, take heart: there are viable ways to begin engaging with your challenging child, whatever his or her age. If you are willing to consider a few strategies that may not seem quite natural at first, you may be surprised to find how much more effectively you can begin to communicate, even with teens whose behavior is very defiant. Fortunately defiance is not a permanent trait but a behavior—and behavior can be changed through positive interactions.


The place to start is with the understanding that your teen needs you and craves your approval, whether it appears so or not. The human brain is wired to connect, especially with caretakers and parents, and this is true even of adolescents. But in addition to your approval, love and affection, they also need you as a teacher, role model and support scaffold as they learn to navigate the conflicts and barriers they will encounter in the world around them.

Like you, they blossom when they can contribute in a positive way and are recognized for it, and wilt under constant negativity and criticism. Common sense alone should tell us this, perhaps; but a large body of research also confirms that positive reinforcement is far more effective than negative feedback in bringing about changes in human behavior. Negative feedback does have its place, of course. Unfortunately the human brain is generally better at noticing when things are going wrong than when they are going well. This is just as true of a parent’s brain as for that of a child or adolescent. As a result, our challenging child—whom we love and who craves our love and approval—almost certainly is going to receive a higher percentage of negative than positive feedback from us and is going to notice our negative feedback disproportionately as well. The attention our child craves, then, is most often being paid exactly when it is least effective, and in the form that is least effective. A cycle is born because our child fails to respond, so we ratchet up the negative feedback. Inevitably, if somewhat irrationally, we’re surprised when the negative behavior also escalates.

Complicating matters, teens soon become aware of negative expectations held by other adults in their sphere. “There is no doubt that there is an overwhelmingly negative stereotype attributed to adolescence in our society today,” writes Oxford University researcher John Coleman. “The negative stereotype has a number of unfortunate consequences. For the great majority of law-abiding and hard-working young people it means all too often that they find themselves treated by adults as if they were trouble-makers. . . . For parents it means that expectations are created about the teenage years which focus predominantly on the problems.”

How do we break the destructive negative cycle once we’re caught up in it?

An important orienting principle is the goal of helping your children internalize the core competencies referred to earlier. If you think back to when you taught your children to walk, you remember aiming for a balance between controlling and neglecting them; encouraging them and discouraging them. At first you supported them almost completely while they practiced taking steps and praised them effusively when they succeeded. When they failed, you didn’t scream at them but encouraged them to get up and try again. Gradually you allowed more autonomy until they were standing on their own feet, taking steps without holding your hand. This approach comes fairly easy to parents when faced with teaching toddlers physical skills, but it’s much harder to judge the right balance in scaffolding as children grow older. We sometimes misjudge their capacities, which can have one of two consequences: we may overestimate some, which leads us to overreact to the “falls” that help them perfect their skills; and we may underestimate others, which leads us to control more than we need to, discouraging them.

It’s not always easy for parents to transition between wielding all the power and allowing teens to wield some. But, Coleman reminds us, “parents have to develop a flexibility and willingness to move to new ways of interacting with their adolescent sons and daughters if serious clashes are to be avoided.”

If serious clashes have become the norm in your household, however, it is not impossible to turn things around. But you’ll need to do whatever you can at first to increase the likelihood of compliance so there will be some positive behavior to reinforce. Once the pump has been primed for positive interactions, the cycle will become almost as effortless as the former negative cycle. Both parent and child will enter into interactions expecting a positive outcome—and expectations have a strong effect on how people respond to one another.

Clinical child psychologist Alan E. Kazdin, director of the Yale Parenting Center, specializes in helping parents of children with severe conduct problems. His evidence-based techniques do not include prescribing drugs or humiliating teens by making them stand on a street corner wearing their failures on a sandwich board. Kazdin’s toolkit offers what he calls the ABCs of parenting. As parents, he says, we can learn how to effectively use A, antecedents; B, behaviors; and C, consequences to change children’s behavior.


To replace a negative pattern with a positive one, we need to consider the circumstances that typically lead up to the problem behavior: its antecedents. Perhaps a father has asked his daughter to clean her room; she shrugs and continues what she’s doing. The antecedent here was a prompt: she has been asked to do something. This may be one of the most common tools parents use to elicit certain behaviors from children, because it’s very direct. However, a child’s willing response to prompts can be increased when parents supplement them with other types of antecedents.

In his Everyday Parenting Toolkit, Kazdin looks at a few that are known to be especially effective. Having made the behavior more likely, we can then respond with positive consequences that reinforce that behavior. With enough repetition of this cycle the behavior will be internalized; we’ll be able to withdraw our scaffolding—the antecedents and consequences—without losing the behavior.

In terms of antecedents, Kazdin and his team encourage the use of setting events, choice and high-probability requests. Setting events include anything that sets the stage for a behavior; choice refers to offering two options acceptable to the parent. Admittedly, as parents we might feel that we shouldn’t have to pave the way for obedience; we are in charge, right? Then again, it may be helpful to reflect on how we like to be treated. Are we more likely to listen to someone who shows us they care about our feelings, or someone who steamrolls over them? There are certainly parenting gurus who promote military-style discipline that will make children “draw into a quiet shell and obey,” but there are also plenty of firm but gentle tactics that encourage obedience.

So how does one use antecedents to make a desired behavior more likely? Let’s say your toddler resists bedtime. Is he generally doing something stimulating right before bedtime? Wrestling with Daddy, playing with a favorite toy, chasing the cat? A setting event sets the stage either positively or negatively for a desired behavior. Stimulating activity is a negative setting event in this case; it doesn’t set the stage very effectively for sleep. A bath and a quiet story, on the other hand, would be positive setting events for bedtime compliance. Choice can be another helpful bedtime antecedent. Not choice about whether or not to go to bed, mind you, but a choice of stories or bath toys or which pajamas to wear.

You can also use high-probability requests to increase the likelihood that your toddler will respond to your bedtime prompt. “People do some things more readily than others when requests are made of them,” Kazdin explains. “‘Please come here and hug me,’ for instance, or ‘Please help me finish this leftover apple pie.’” If you’re trying to get your toddler to bed, of course, eating apple pie may not be a good setting event, but a hug would be. How about, “May I have a hug? Thank you! Will you please choose a bedtime book from the shelf and bring it to me?” The point is, offering a couple of easy prompts before the tough one makes compliance more likely. This is a principle so well proven that it is used in a range of applications from couple’s therapy to sales to hostage negotiations. Each time your child complies with your high-probability request, you’ll respond with positive reinforcement—a delighted thank-you, a smile and a hug—which will encourage continued compliance when you get to the target request.

It should go without saying that the tone of voice used when making requests or giving feedback is very important, as is the social setting. If you’re in the presence of other adults, school friends or siblings, prompts and reprimands should be delivered up close and quietly, not from across the room. A public display of your displeasure prolongs the negative cycle because it humiliates; but more importantly, research demonstrates that the closer you are to someone when you deliver a prompt, the more likely he or she is to comply. A gentle touch on the arm or other small display of affection can also help.

A common mistake is to imply from the outset (with phrases like “or else!”) that you don’t expect to be obeyed. “The most effective antecedents are delivered calmly, without harshness, with ‘please’ and the promise of flexibility in one’s request, which implies choice,” says Kazdin. “If that strikes you as the kind of wimpy parenting advice that has led to moral decline in our formerly moral nation, think of it this way: a parent who pours on the harshness and coercion is broadcasting a signal that she’s not confident that her commands will be obeyed; a parent who’s confident of the outcome can afford to be relaxed about a prompt.”


Behavior, the B of Kazdin’s parenting ABCs, is perhaps our central focus most of the time. It’s the thing we’re trying to change, right? But wait. What we really want are those core competencies, the building blocks of good character and lasting happiness. Does that mean addressing every little behavior one by one? Not exactly. Did we teach our children a different way to walk on the sidewalk versus on the grass, or did they show themselves able to apply the walking skill to different surfaces and circumstances? We won’t need to teach every individual expression of kindness or each form of self-control. So to inculcate an overall idea of “kindness,” we start by shaping specific behaviors, beginning with one or two that occur most often. Identify the positive opposite, the behavior you’d like to see in place of the one you’re seeing now. For instance, the positive opposite of a tantrum (one of the easiest behaviors to eliminate, says Kazdin) would be the ability to express frustration calmly, without screaming or throwing things. The opposite of defiance would be respect for family rules and requests and even the occasional expression of love and concern. Sometimes the behavior we want is actually a set of behaviors, in which case we need to break it down to its components.

Once we’ve identified a positive behavior to build, we can use simulations, shaping and jump-starting to turn it into a habit, depending on the child’s current level of success with that behavior. Simulation, as the term implies, is used when you aren’t yet seeing any of the behavior you want. It involves practicing the behavior under artificial conditions, which may be presented as a game of “pretend” for young children, says Kazdin, or as practice or role-playing for older children. The point is to reward the practice with positive consequences, whetting their appetite. Shaping is used when you’re seeing bits and pieces of the behavior you want, but not in its entire form. You shape the behavior by rewarding the small bits the child currently does and gradually upping the ante, expecting him or her to go a little further each time until you’ve “shaped” the complete behavior. Jump-starting may not be required as often as shaping, but it’s particularly useful if a child is already fairly competent in a behavior but not necessarily consistent. Jump-starting simply involves priming a behavior—doing the first steps with the child, for instance, knowing that once the first steps are taken the child is more likely to complete the behavior.

Each of these behavior-building techniques rests on a well-proven concept: when a child repeatedly reaps positive consequences for a behavior—in the form of positive interaction with you—he or she will begin to internalize that behavior. Researchers call this “reinforced practice,” but the important aspect is the positivity of the cycle. Rather than reinforcing a cycle of negative behaviors and negative consequences, you’re developing and reinforcing a cycle of positive behaviors and positive consequences. It’s important not to withhold praise until your child has reached all of your expectations. Again, think back to when your child learned to walk. Teaching is about building success a step at a time, and if we don’t recognize that our first step is headed toward success, we won’t take the second (see “This Is My Beloved Son . . .”).


This brings us to the C of Kazdin’s parenting ABCs. The concept of consequences is familiar to most of us; as parents we may have given a lot of thought to negative consequences, or punishment. But have we given equal thought to the range of positive consequences available? There are also neutral consequences, where ignoring a behavior is called for, but for now we’ll concentrate on positive reinforcement because it is most effective in turning around negative patterns of relating. By far the most important form is positive attention, including praise. A point system can also help, and Kazdin offers detailed instructions for using one effectively. But the most powerful tools parents have for positive reinforcement arise from their natural love and affinity for their child. If a point chart is used, says Kazdin, it should be an addition to praise and attention, not a replacement.

When Kazdin writes of praise and attention, he means pointing out behaviors and expressing verbal approval along with an affectionate look, a smile and a touch. But statements of praise can be counterproductive if delivered only in general terms. Be enthusiastic, certainly—especially with younger children—but be specific. “Of course, it’s OK to say ‘Good job’ (enthusiastically), if it’s followed by statements of exactly what the job was and what made it good,” says Kazdin. The specifics are important, but the key is to be sure the reinforcing attention follows the behavior as directly as possible.

As well proven as these principles are, reinforcing positive change does require time and patience. Some families may even want outside help to become consistent in their efforts to change long-standing patterns. If the atmosphere between you and your teen has been negative for some time, attempts at positive expectations and affectionate support may seem unnatural to both of you at first. But it’s important to persevere until it feels natural. And it will, because the rewards you reap from each step will keep you—and your child—moving forward.

This is not to say you can expect a relationship that is forever afterward free of conflict. The human brain is subject to conflict, and unless our fundamental nature undergoes a complete transformation, we will always have challenges to overcome in our relationships. But we can ease the emotional distress that permeates families when we fall into negative patterns of relating. If we are willing to commit to making positive changes in our approach as parents, there is no need to give up hope of having deeply rewarding relationships with our children—not only through adolescence but far beyond.

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