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Parents, leave your bad mood at work

[APRIL 19, 2003]  URBANA -- Parents who bring a bad day at the office home with them should realize it affects their children, said Angela Wiley, an expert in family relations at the University of Illinois. All too often, a bad day at work can turn into a bad evening at home.

Wiley pointed to the work of researcher Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute in New York. Galinsky found that almost half the parents she studied sometimes felt too tired to interact with their children or allowed something that had happened at work to affect the way they behaved with their child.

Children are very sensitive to their parents' moods, and they routinely play detective to figure out what kind of mood their parents are in when families are reunited at the end of the day, Wiley said.

In Galinsky's book "Ask the Children," the author mentioned one child who actually called her parents at work to see what kind of mood they were in so she could decide whether to clean the house before they came home.

UCLA researcher Rena Repetti says that children are quick to understand when their parents are stressed and to adapt to the situation. She found that children tried to be on their best behavior, whined and cried less, and even tried to cheer their mothers up. "But children shouldn't regularly have to tiptoe around a parent's bad humor or feel that they have to make things better for the parent all the time," Wiley said.

Wiley said that parents should be able to show children how to cope with having a bad day. She recommends building a toolbox of strategies to help parents buffer the impact of a bad day at work on themselves and their children.

Many parents use a commute to distance themselves emotionally from work even as they distance themselves physically. Some people find that listening to relaxing music or inspirational tapes on the way home helps, while others find that choosing less traveled, scenic roads helps them to relax.

She also recommends cognitive reframing, trying to find the positive aspects of a situation and focusing on them. Here's an example: "When my boss said those things, it hurt, but I know that she's a fair person and I'll have a chance to improve my performance."

Or, "There are definitely things about my job I don't like, but even the bad points have a flip side. I'm going to concentrate on those now."


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Visualization is another tool that parents can use to leave stress where it belongs. One parent Wiley talked to visualizes hanging a bag of work issues on a tree that she passes on the way home. She picks them up again as she goes to work the next morning.

Wiley likes to visualize constructing a fire wall between the "fires at work" and family time at home. "But there needs to be some degree of permeability in the fire wall," she said.

"It isn't necessary for your kids to see you happy all the time, and it isn't necessarily bad for kids to know you've had a rough day. In some ways, that knowledge protects them because they know what's wrong and they don't automatically assume your mood is their fault," she said.

"If you can go home and say my boss yelled at me and I need to take 15 minutes for myself to unwind, that's positive. If you don't take the time to make the transition, the danger is that your mood will stay with you into the evening and unconsciously influence you to be distant from your family. Then you're not there to listen to them about what's happening in their world," Wiley said.

Parents shouldn't hide all negative emotions, but they should avoid flooding their children with out-of-control emotions. "Our job as parents is not to be infallible but for them to see us constructively dealing with our emotions," she said.

"It's appropriate to be hurt and angry if your boss yelled at you, and it's certainly appropriate to be sad sometimes if there are other stressors in your life. But children need to know that you're handling your emotions, that you're not going to careen out of control. The message should be: Yes, you're sad, but you're going to be okay. You're their stability, and when you lose your equilibrium, it's a scary thing for them."

"It's important that we be able to talk to our spouses, our friends or maybe even a clergyperson about our problems at work. But avoid using your child as a confidante and making her responsible for comforting you," Wiley said.

[University of Illinois news release]

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IEPA to host household hazardous
waste cleanup in Springfield

[APRIL 12, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- Homeowners with household hazardous waste will be able to safely dispose of it in Springfield, according to state Sen. Larry Bomke. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Sangamon County Department of Public Health and the city of Springfield are hosting a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in Springfield on Saturday, May 3.

Bomke, R-Springfield, urges area residents to take advantage of this valuable program and clean out any hazardous materials from their homes.

"Common household items such as paints, pesticides and chemical cleaners tend to collect in our garages and sheds over the years," said Bomke. "These items can be dangerous if they are not stored and disposed of properly. I urge homeowners to check the expiration dates and drop off any of these materials that may have become hazardous or that they simply won’t be using in the next year."

Items accepted include oil-based paints, household batteries, paint thinners, used motor oil, herbicides, drain cleaners, insecticides, lawn chemicals, pesticides, solvents, old gasoline, antifreeze, pool chemicals, hobby chemicals, cleaning products, aerosol paints and pesticides, mercury, and fluorescent lamp bulbs.




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Latex paint, agricultural wastes, propane tanks, business and commercial sector wastes, smoke detectors, explosives, farm machinery oil, fireworks, fire extinguishers, lead acid batteries, institutional wastes, and medical wastes will not be accepted.

Items may be taken to the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Lot 21 (enter gate 11 at Eighth Street and Sangamon Avenue) on Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the IEPA, more than 262,100 households have participated in 292 events, collecting more than 53,765 drums of material since 1989.

For more information, visit www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/index.html.

[News release]

Animals for Adoption

Animal Control open Saturdays 

[APRIL 18, 2003]  Beginning April 28, Logan County Animal Control is experimenting for 60 days with Saturday hours. The new hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Only registration, payment of fines and animal pickup can be accomplished on Saturday. Adoptions must take place during the week.


At Logan County Animal Control —  (Updated 2/1/03)
Big to little, most of these dogs will make wonderful lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid, steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.

Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.

[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  


[Hi!  I'm Mike!  I'm a 2- to 3-year-old male looking for a family.  My favorite activities include watching my breath and licking your face.]

[This is Jeff.  Jeff is a 1- to 2-year-old mixed breed looking for a good home.]

[Just look at those faces!  These 9-week cuties love to roll and tumble and play.
But don't let their small size fool you.  They are boxer-collie mixes, so they'll get quite a bit bigger!]

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Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog

 1.  I'll bring out your playful side!

 2.  I'll lend an ear to your troubles.

 3.   I'll keep you fit and trim.

 4.   We'll look out for each other.

 5.   We'll sniff out fun together!

 6.   I'll keep you right on schedule.

 7.   I'll love you with all my heart.

 8.   We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!

 9.   We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.

10.   We'll be best friends always.

[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  


In the cat section there are a number of wonderful cats to choose from
in a variety of colors and sizes.

Farm cats available for free!

[This big boy is Sam.
Sam's a little pushy, so no small kids, please.]

[This fine looking girl is Snake.  She's just a kitten, and she's ready to slither her way into your heart.]

[Snowball and Sunshine, a beautiful girl-boy pair, can't wait to bring joy and warmth into your home.]

These animals and more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.

Fees for animal adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female. The fees include neutering and spaying.

Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:

Sunday  –  closed

Monday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday  –  8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday  –  closed

NOTE: Beginning April 28, hours will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays
and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

Vickie Loafman, animal control warden

Maurice Tierney, deputy animal control warden

Tammy Langley, part-time assistant

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