Best Places to Find Help on the Web to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Best Places to Find Help on the Web to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Self-esteem in children 1-8 years | Raising Children NetworkMy son’s self confidence was next to none, I was terribly unsure of what I could do to change that. He had little self esteem and was failing in school. He had few friends and just seemed genuinely unhappy with himself. I didn’t know where to turn, so I started researching on the Internet. I found these sites that literally helped my son become the confident, self-assured person he is today. He is doing very well in school and I couldn’t have done it without these sites to guide me in the right direction. These websites saved my son and if your child is experiencing self confidence issues to any degree they truly will help them too.

The first site I cam upon and which helped the most was It had a Q&A section which I found completely helpful. This site helps you to learn what can causes low self confidence and helps you to build your child’s. There is also a quiz to see if your child is just expressing bad behavior. Tremendous amount of links and tools to help your child. This site gives you tips and advice on building your child’s self-esteem. It shows various ways to appreciate, encourage, praise, respect and ways to deal with failure. It lists factors that affect children’s self-esteem and ways to increase it. This site even recommends books available from This site is very thorough about defining the four conditions of self esteem in children, a sense of connectiveness, a sense of uniqueness, a sense of power and a sense of models. It explains each condition and what children need to feel to develop each condition. It also shows you how to build on each condition which is needed in positive self-esteem. This site is from Mental Health. It is also available for download through PDF. It gives you a number at the bottom of the page if you wish to learn more about children’s mental health. It’s a small informational site but calling the phone number will get you some free publications on children’s mental health. From Women Today Magazine, it provides a short list of four ways to build your child’s self esteem. The author of the article is Gary Direnfeld, a child-behavior expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane from Ontario Canada. Last but definitely not least, another site I used was this one from Family Rapp. It gives you an extensive list of praises that destroy self-esteem, something none of the other sites offered. Also, they list praises that will help to build self-esteem. I would definitely recommend looking at both these lists and especially the list that shows the praises that destroy self-esteem. This will make you stop and think about things you say that could be harmful and not even realize it.

So if your child is experiencing any problems with their self-esteem these sites can really help. There is a vast wealth of information available on the Internet but I listed just the few above which were the ones that really helped me build my child’s esteem the most. Remember it takes love, praise, respect, understanding and of course some patience.…

Weird Science – build your own voice-controlled home automation Avatar

Weird Science – build your own voice-controlled home automation Avatar

Voice Controlled Home Automation - YouTubeLast week, we looked at how far home automation technology has come over the past decade, from using simple light-control devices like the Clapper, to incorporating voice recognition to automate your home. And for all of you forward-thinking DIY home automation geeks–you can take it even further and create a face for the voice.

In this video by Brian Baker, he introduces “Stephanie”, a physical interface or avatar, if you will, that he created to receive his voice commands. She’s an ongoing project  that currently controls various lights in Brian’s room, appliances, window blinds, etc. She also can read off the weather and bus times at the nearest intersection.


He basically took a mask from a hobby shop (Hobby Lobby), the geared DC motor out of a Billy Bass singing fish for the animatronics, and added circuitry. He also utilized Microsoft’s SAPI: an API that reads an XML file of your creation and listens for particular phrases listed in it. When it hears them, it notifies your program, and also does speech synthesis. Brian named his avatar Stephanie because the computerized voice sounds like the female version of famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.

Brian’s website gives a very detailed account of how he created Stephanie–and it didn’t hurt that his father is an electrician, FYI.

The video itself is surprisingly not high tech–but what Brian has done is fascinating.  Stephanie’s not quite Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science – but it’s just a matter of time before someone creates a more life-like version and we’ll have our own walking, talking avatars to respond on command.

What do you think of Stephanie? Useful or overkill? Leave me your thoughts below……

Top Five Gifts for Your Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day

Top Five Gifts for Your Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day

20 Best Valentine's Day Gifts Ideas for Girlfriend and Boyfriends in 2019

Valentine’s Day is one of the most important day for couples. It’s the day to really show your girlfriend that you truly care about her. But that doesn’t mean getting the most expensive and lavish box of chocolate off of the rack. Showing that you really care means putting time and effort into your special gift for lover, not money. So, try out some of these creative ideas!

  1. Balloons

It’s not as easy and simple as it sounds. Us girls love the little things in life, from the cute trinkets to the aroma of Bath and Body Works products. So, buy around a dozen balloons and fill them up with cute little gifts (make sure the gifts aren’t too heavy, so they won’t sink the balloon). Blow them up (yes, with helium) so you can give them to your girlfriend as a bouquet. The best part about this is popping the balloons to see what’s inside. So fun!

  1. Coupons

Not the ones you get in the mail everyday. You can create some handmade coupons that your girlfriend can use any time. These may include a back massage, or a movie night with friends. Remember to keep the coupons neat and organized. Spend time decorating them with glitter, ribbons, etc. to show that you put effort into the present.

  1. Poem

Ok, you probably have heard of this idea way too often. But it’s actually really romantic if you actually take the time to write one. I know my favorite presents are always poems, because they really make me feel special. Think of some creative phrases, and make them giggle every now and then. Who knows. You may even be able to learn a little something for language arts!

  1. Scarf

Guys can knit too. And it’s an even better gift if it’s coming from a guy. Knit a pretty scarf for your girlfriend, most preferably in the colors pink, red, or white. A guy knitting a scarf shows that they have a nice, sensitive side to them, which is always what a girl wants.

  1. It’s Raining Love

Look for some red, pink, and white construction paper. Cut out as many hearts as possible (the more, the better!). On each one of them, write about a memorable occassion, to show that you really care about your relationship. Then, tape some string onto the hearts and string them onto the ceiling so it looks like it’s raining hearts.…

What are Modules?

What are Modules?

Modules tell Joomla where content can be placed in your template.

Joomla needs to know how to display the information on the screen, and the grid of modules within a template gives Joomla the information it needs to lay the information in the correct positions.

The Module Manager

The utility within Joomla that allows the user to tell Joomla how to display module content is called the Module Manager. Each module in the Module Manager tells Joomla:

  • where content is positioned i.e. Module position
  • what content is displayed (many modules have parameters that help you define what is displayed)
  • How the content is styled

Modules for Core Components

When you first install Joomla, it installs modules for the components that are part of the Joomla core. As an example, Latest News is a module that allows you to identify which category of articles can be displayed in a module position on selected parts of the website. We use this module on virtually every website to push promotional information to the home page in a dynamic fashion.

Modules for Extension Components

Sometimes there are modules for extension components that allow you to display component information on a page. These modules are usually available from the same developer as the component, but if one doesn’t exist there, try searching for one made by a different developer. Whether a component has any modules available depends on whether the developer thought it was needed and how much time they have spent in development.

An example of a module for an extension component might be a listed of upcoming events from a calendar. The calendar is a component which you can input upcoming events and group them into categories. After the component is installed, you can view all events in page view. Our favorite calendar component is JEvents, and they have just such a module to display latest events.…

Latest News Module

Latest News Module

The Latest News module is one of the best dynamic features of Joomla. It allows you to dynamically generate a list of the most recent news articles that have been input into your site.

  1. Create a new module

View the Create a New Joomla Module tutorial for instructions on how to create a new module.

  1. Define display parameters

View the Create a New Joomla Module tutorial for instructions on how to define the Details and Menu Assignment parameters on the left side of the screen.

  1. Define Latest News parameters
  2. Count: How many articles do you want to display in the list?
  3. Order: In what order should the articles be displayed?
  4. Authors: You can narrow down the articles to a specific author.
  5. Front Page Articles: Do you want to display articles that are shown on the home page? If you select hide, only articles that are NOT shown on the home page will display in your latest news list.
  6. Section ID: You need to go to Content > Section Manager to find the section ID that you want this list to be narrowed down to. You can find the Section ID in the far right column of the Section Manager list
  7. Category ID: You need to go to Content > Category Manager to find the category ID that you want this list to be narrowed down to. You can find the Category ID in the far right column of the Category Manager list
  8. Module Class Suffix: Do you require a module class suffix to stylize the module the banner is placed in? If you are unsure, check with the developer of your Joomla template.
  9. Click save to save your work.
Creating New Joomla Modules

Creating New Joomla Modules

  1. Open the Module Manager

Go to Extensions > Module Manager.

  1. Create a new Module

Click new in the top right corner of the Module Manager.

  1. Select module type
  2. Click the radio button for the module type you want to create.
  3. Click the ‘Next’ button in the top right to continue.
  4. Define Module Parameters

Each module type has a different parameters screen. The following screenshot shows the Polls module parameters screen.

The left side of the screen is the same for every module. The right side of the screen will be specifically for that module type. Look at the tutorial for a specific module type for instructions on parameters for the right side of the screen.

  1. Title: Put in the title of your module here.
  2. Show Title: If you want the module title to show when the poll is displayed on the site, select ‘Yes’. This has nothing to do with the Poll title that you put into the Poll component.
  3. Enabled: Do you want this module to show or be hidden? If you want it to show, select ‘Yes’.
  4. Position: This is the module position on your template. If you are not certain of how to find the module position, read How to Preview Your Joomla Template tutorial.
  5. Menus: This tells the system what pages on your site you want the module to appear. You can have all pages, or you can select specific pages. Note that the pages are based on menu items that you created.
Using More Than One Template on a Site

Using More Than One Template on a Site

It is possible to use more than one template on the same site. This is commonly used to keep the same design theme between the home page and internal pages but allow different modules for content on internal pages. It may also be that you have different divisions for your company, and you want a different design for each division.

Templates are assigned to pages by way of their association with a menu. (Joomla creates a unique URL for content in the process of linking the content to a menu. See Step E in Chapter 4 on page 53.) The default template is used for all pages that aren’t assigned a different template.

To assign a template, other than the default template, to a menu item or series of menu items:

01Login to your Joomla administrator backend.

02Open the Template Manager

Click on Extensions and then click on Template Manager.

03Assign templates to menu items

Click on the name of the template that you want to assign to specific menu items.

  1. Click on the radio button titled “Select from List” in the menu assignment area. This will activate the pick list underneath.
    b. You can use the Control key in combination with your mouse to select multiple menu items for the template selection.
    c. Click Save when you are finished.

04Assign to non-default pages

If you want the default template to apply to the menus you did not select, there is nothing else you need to do.

05Assign other templates

If you have multiple templates to apply, repeat this process until you are finished. The default template will apply in all other situations.…

What are Components?

What are Components?

Components are like mini-programs that can be added to Joomla to do something specific on your website.

For example, perhaps you want:

  • a calendar to track upcoming events
  • an image gallery to organize and share photos
  • an online document management system
  • a way to organize and display FAQs
  • a shopping cart for an e-commerce site

Who creates components?

There are standards for developing Joomla extensions, which gives developers guidelines for creating these mini-programs. Some components are very robust and trouble-free, and some may be problematic. This is why it’s important to review all extensions in the Joomla Extension Directory when deciding whether to install on your site.

The most popular shopping cart component is VirtueMart. It is an example of a robust component. It is an “industrial strength” “killer app” in its own right, and has many supporting extensions that extend its functionality. It has a licensing fee and is developed and supported well.

Other types of components don’t require as much technical time to develop and are usually done by people as a hobby.…

Adding Text to Joomla Articles

Adding Text to Joomla Articles

When you place content into your article, you need to consider how it will be displayed on the current site.Unfortunately the editor for articles does not present the text as it will really display on the site. This takes some adjusting for people because it’s not a real WYSIWYG editor (what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor).

When building your articles, click the Preview link to open a tab that displays your site so you can view the pages as you put them together.

Add text to an article:

  1. Go to the Content menu and select Article Manager 
  2. Select an article to edit

From within the Article Manager, click on the name of the article you wish to edit. You can use the drop-down menus or filter box to narrow your search for a specific article. Choose one of the articles that you linked to in your dummy framework. Clicking on the name of the article opens it up so you can edit it.

  1. Add article content
  2. Either type directly into the article editing panel, or copy and paste the text from a document on your computer.
  3. If you copy and paste the text, especially from Word, it may retain some of the formatting from the originating program. In order to erase the formatting, first click the paste as plain text icon and paste your text into the pop-up window. This will paste the copy into your article and and assign it the paragraph format, and it won’t bring in any of the styling from your editing program.
  4. When you’re adding content, if you’re not comfortable with the small window size, you can drag the bottom right corner to make the window bigger. You can also click the toggle full screen button for editing, then click the same button again to bring back all the article parameters.
  5. Remember to periodically click Apply when working on your articles. This will save the work done so far, but not close the article screen.
  6. Click Save when you are done. This will save all your work, close the article and take you back to the Article Manager.
  7. Create a Style Guide for formatting text

Your template will come with some built-in styles which allow you to format and space your text without having to utilize the additional formatting buttons. It’s important to use these styles in order to retain consistent design across the site. We suggest creating a style sheet so you can see the styles that are available in your template.

  1. Open one of your dummy articles that you created in 3: Create the Framework, and input the text shown.
  2. Then highlight each line of text and use the Format drop-down menus to select different styles for the text.
  3. Now save your article, and click preview to view the page on your site (you may have to navigate to the page since the preview button automatically takes you to the home page).
  4. Now take a screen shot of this page. On a Mac, click command+3 and a screenshote will be saved on your desktop. On a PC, press the Print Screen button, then open up Word or similar program and select Paste. Your screenshot will be pasted into your document.
  5. Now you have a visual style guide to use when formatting the rest of your articles.
  6. Using the tools to format text

You can use the following tools to format text in your articles. Just remember to always start with a style from the Style drop-down menu, and then customize from there. That way if you bring in a new template, the type will adopt the new styles from the new template.

  • Emphasis
    To bold, italic or underline, highlight text and click the appropriate button.
  • Headlines
    To create headlines and subheadlines, select the type you want to turn into a headline, then choose the appropriate style from the format menu (see “Using Styles to Format Text”). For usability purposes it is better to break your content up into headlines, subheadlines and short paragraphs since this allows the user to scan the page.
  • Bulleted Lists
    Highlight the copy you want to bullet, then click the bullet icon at the top of the screen.
  • Font Style, Size and Color
    Do not use these drop-downs if you want your content to conform to your template styling. Once in a while when you need to add emphasis they are okay, but if you use them throughout your site, it will be very laborious to make sure everything matches. Much better to use the format drop-down and use the pre-defined styles so that everything across your site will match.
  • Alignment
    If you want to center or right justify your content, highlight the text and click the appropriate button. Note that the justify button does not work well on the browser side, and it can create some pretty odd layout issues, so avoid using the justified alignment.
Joomla Article Parameter Definitions

Joomla Article Parameter Definitions

Global Parameters and Menu Link Parameters

Parameter Name description default
Unauthorized Links
If you article is set to only be viewed by registered users, then this parameter can overide this. In other words, if Show Unauthorized Links is set to yes, then all links that are suppose to be viewable by registered users only, will be viewable by anybody who visits your site. No
Show Article Title If set to yes, the title that you put into the Title field will show at the top of the article page. Yes
This parameter applies when you link to a group of articles. If set to yes, all articles listed on the page will have linkable titles which lead to the full article. No
how Intro Text This option has to do with setting up a “Read more…” link. You are able to indicate the introductory text that should appear on the page with the “Read more…” link. The link would then take you to the full article. If “Show Intro Text” is set to show, then when the user gets to the page with the full article, the introductory text will show on this page. If set to hide, it will not show.

The advantage here is that you can have an introductory article that is not necessarity the leading paragraph in your article, and then you can hide it on the full article page.

Section Name This parameter lets you determine if the section name should show at the top of the screen. Hide
Section Title Linkable If you set the above Section Name to Show, this parameter lets you determine if you want the Section Name title to be a link to all the articles in that section. No
Category Title This parameter lets you determine if the category name should show at the top of the screen. Hide
Category Title Linkable If you set the above Category Name to Show, this parameter lets you determine if you want the Category Name title to be a link to all the articles in that category. No
Author Name This parameter lets you indicate if you want the author’s name to show below the article title. Show
Created Date and Time This parameter lets you indicate if you want the created time and date to show below the article title. Show
Modified Date and Time This parameter lets you indicate if you want the modified time and date to show below the article title. Show
When the user is viewing a group of articles, the Show Navigation feature allows you to turn on forward and back links between the articles. Hide
Read More… Link When linking to a group of articles using the Read More feature, this parameter lets you determine if the Read More link should show. Show
Joomla has a built-in rating system for articles. If you set this to Show, users will be able to vote on articles using a 5-start system. Login is not required to vote unless the article is set to be viewed only by registered users. Hide
Icons In the top right corner of your article (near the title), the system can show image icons for print, PDF and email-to-a-friend features. The Icon parameters lets you indicate if you want these icons to show or be hidden. Show
Print Icon The print icon allows the user to easily print the page. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
PDF Icon The PDF icon allows the user to generate a PDF of the screen. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
Email Icon The Email icon allows the user to email the page to a friend. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
Hits Joomla tracks how many people have visited articles and pages. If set to show, the Hits parameter will show the number of visits that have made to that particular article. Note that if you are working on your site, and previewing pages, your visits to specific pages will be counted as well. Show

Article Parameters

The following parameters are found in the Edit Article Parameters section of the article window.

Parameter Name description default
Author The name of the person who authored this file. If you are creating the file but did not author the content, you can switch the name in the drop-down menu. This information only shows up if you have Author Name set to show. Name of user who created the file.
Author Alias If the name in the system for the author is not what you want to show, you can put in an Author Alias. If the Author Name is set to show, the Author Alias will show instead of the Author’s system name. blank
Access Level This determines if the article is:
  • Public (anybody can view it)
  • Registered (only registered users can view it after they log in)
  • Special (anybody with editing capabilities in the system)
Created Date The system automatically inputs the date you created the article, but you can edit the creation date to any date in the past. Date article is created in the system.
By putting in a future date, you can control when an article will appear in the system. Created Date
By putting in a Finish date, you can allow the system to turn off your article when it has expired. Never
When using the multi-language feature in Joomla, this parameter allows you to indicate which article this article is. English
This parameter only comes into play if you have set up a help documentation system on a remote server. By putting in a key reference, you are telling Joomla which help file to pull from that remote server. blank
Alternative Read More Text If you are setting up articles with read more text, the default button link will say “Read more…”. If you want it to say something different, such as “continue >”, you can enter that alternate text here.