July Difference Maker: Boys & Girls Clubs of NW Indiana

Each day, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana provides young people – especially those who need them most – with the support and affirmation to help them reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Every child deserves the opportunity to be successful. Currently operating six Clubs in Lake County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana (BGCNWI) has been offering hope and opportunity to local youth since 1954 by providing a safe place for kids to learn and grow through life-enhancing after-school and summer programming.

Through an innovative, outcomes-based model, and with the support of highly trained professional staff and adult mentors, BGCNWI offers fun and engaging programs to nearly 10,000 youth ages 6 to 18 that impact both academic and social success. When schools are out, Clubs are in!

BGCNWI recently announced a new initiative called the High 5 Challenge to raise money and awareness in support of their efforts to create possibilities, and GREAT Futures! Join the movement and take the High 5 Challenge today!

Visit or text High5 to 71777.

Listen to Shine.FM this month to find out more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana at You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @BGCNWI.

Sleepy Sheep and Daniel

Sleepy Sheepy and Daniel had an opportunity to speak with children’s author and Olivet Nazarene University Graduate Dan Holom and Disney lead animator and illustrator Mark Henn about their new book “Sleepy Sheepy and Daniel.”  The entire interview is below.

Listen to the entire interview with Dan Holom and Mark Henn below

If you would like more information about Sleepy Sheepy and Daniel, or would like to purchase a copy click HERE! on the Amazon link below.  Plus, if you would review Sleepy Sheepy and Daniel and let Amazon know that this kind of book is great for families that would be great too!




The Poop on Potty Training

Dear Dr. Bill,


I need some information on how to get our son potty-trained.  We’ve been trying since he turned two-years-old.  He seems afraid of sitting the regular toilet even though we try using a training seat for him.  He is just a bit over 2|1/2.  What should we do?




Dear George,


Potty training is a messy subject, but it’s something a lot of parents get stressed out about.  One of reasons for the stress is pressure from family and friends.


You should know that the AVERAGE age for mastering toilet training is three.  That’s just an average, which means a lot of kids are trained closer to two, while others don’t reach this milestone until age four.


The toddler who succeeds in potty training is the one who WANTS to be trained.  Kids forced into potty training before they’re ready may develop a negative attitude that will only delay success.  Here are a few signs that can help you figure out if your son is ready:


Does he know when he is about to go?  This awareness will help him get started.


Are his bowel movements predictable?  Don’t laugh…regularity can help you figure out the times of day when potty training attempts are most likely to succeed.


Does he want to wear “big boy” underwear?  This is a sign of wanting to be independent.  Underwear can also serve as a reward for your son’s interest in toilet training.


Can he pull his pants down and pull them back up by himself?  This is important skill…it allows for easy access when he feels the urge to go.


You can find more potty training advice at


Thanks for writing, George.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.


Can Your Child’s Drawings Predict Their IQ Later in Life?

Can your child’s drawings predict his intelligence level later in life?  Researchers in England say “possibly.”


United Press International reports on a new study done at King’s College in London.  Researchers there followed 8,000 pairs of identical and non-identical twins over a period of 10 years.


When the kids in the study were 4-years-old, they were asked to draw a picture of a child.  Those same kids were given an IQ test 10 years later.


The study found that kids who drew more accurate and detailed pictures at 4 had higher scores on the IQ test at 14.


The quality of the 4-year-olds’ drawings was based on details, not how artistic they were.  The researchers looked to see if the kids had included features like a head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, body, arms and so on.

Dr. Rosalind Arden, the lead author of the study says: “The correlation is moderate, so our findings are interesting, but it does not mean that parents should worry if their child draws badly.”

Dr. Arden points out that drawing ability does not determine intelligence, and that there are numerous other factors, both genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence later in life.

By the way, the researchers also found the quality of drawings and intelligence were more closely linked in the identical twins than the fraternal twins, which seems to suggest a genetic component.

I have to admit, I was VERY relieved to hear that the quality of your drawing doesn’t indicate your level of intelligence.  Because when I draw pictures for my kids, they just look at me and say “what is that, Dad?”


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.


Good News: 14 Year Old Genius Attempting to Stop Cyberbullying

Trisha Prabhu, an 8th grader at Scullen Middle School in Naperville, Illinois is determined to find an effective way to help prevent cyberbullying. Prabhu was a finalist in this year’s Google Science Fair with her project, “Rethink,” in which she looked into behavioral mechanisms behind online nastiness. Her idea was to create automated reminder causing users to pause before posting a hurtful comment. She hypothesized that if kids had to read the comments again before pressing send, they might retract their insult. And guess what? She was right. A whopping 93.43 percent of the group presented with a message about their mean comment changed their minds about sending hurtful words after receiving the alert. Click here to see what’s next for this young inventor and her great project!


Back to School Anxiety

Are your kids looking forward to the first day of school, or could they be feeling a bit anxious?

Along with going to bed earlier and doing homework, some children stress about a new school year because it means adjusting to change. Some kids love change, but for others it can create fear and worry.

“Will I like my new teacher?” “What if the work is too hard for me?” “What if I don’t make any friends?” Clinical psychologist and mom Juli Slattery says questions like these can keep can keep a 6-year-old — or a 16-year-old — up at night in the weeks leading up to the start of school.

Dr. Slattery says we can help our kids with “new school year anxiety” by validating their feelings. Encourage them to express their feelings about the school year starting.

You might ask them what they’re most excited and most nervous about. Then, explain that its normal to feel jitters before school starts.

Juli says we can also help to reduce the number of “unknown” factors leading up to the school year. Find out what you can about a new teacher, a new school and what friends will be attending school with your child.

If your school offers an open house to meet teachers and organize lockers, take advantage of it. If you have children just starting junior high or high school, walk through their schedule for the day.

Finally, when school starts, provide your child with displays of your confidence and affection. You might give a kindergartner a teddy bear to carry in his backpack as a reminder that “Mom and Dad are praying for you.” For older kids, leave notes of encouragement hidden in their notebooks or lunch sacks.

You can find more back to school tips by going to and entering “back to school” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s’ audio.


Good News: ‘Apparently’ This Kid at the Fair Needs His Own Talk Show

WNEP reporter Sofia Ojeda was reporting at the Wayne County Fair when Noah Ritter walked up and stole the show. Noah had never been on live television before and was really excited to chat with the news team! He also had lots to say about the fair ride he had just ridden minutes before talking to Sofia. Click here to see this little man with the mic!


Could Your Child Be Overweight & Not Even Know It?

Could your child be overweight—and not even know it?  According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most children and teens who are overweight think that they are actually the right weight.

Live Science is reporting on the study, in which researchers asked kids ages 8 to 15 whether they considered themselves to be “fat or overweight, too thin, or about the right weight.”

Overall, about 30 percent of the children had misperceptions about their weight.  Some kids who normal weight thought they were overweight or too thin.  Other kids who were overweight or obese thought they were underweight or about the right weight.

The overweight kids had the most had misperceptions about their weight.  81 percent of overweight boys and 71 percent of overweight girls thought they were about the right weight. In addition, about half of obese boys and a third of obese girls thought they were the right weight.

According to the report, more children from low-income families had misperceptions about their weight, compared with the children of high- and middle-income families.

Previous studies have shown that parents also misperceive their children’s weight. Dr. Ihuoma U. Eneli, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital says one reason for the misperception may be inadequate knowledge about what a healthy weight looks like.

Dr. Eneli points out that as the prevalence of obesity has increased over time, our perception of what is a normal weight has also changed.  She says “If people look heavier, then heavier starts looking like the norm.”

For some advice on helping your child stay healthy and fit, go to

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.


Kids and Listening

Dear Dr. Bill,

My son is having trouble listening to instructions and following directions. He gets very focused on the TV, a book or videogame. It seems like I have to repeat myself over and over again. How can I teach him to listen to me?


Dear Shawna,


The best way to get your son to listen is to change the way you communicate with him.


First of all, you need to make sure you have his full attention when you’re speaking to him. Never, ever ask your child to do something or give them instructions when they are watching TV, playing a video game, or engaged in some other kind of activity. Turn off the TV, tell your child to look into your eyes, and then give them a clear, unambiguous command.


Secondly, make sure your command is backed up by a time deadline and a consequence. For example, instead of simply saying: “Johnny, I want you to turn off that TV and clean up your room,” do this:


Turn off the TV, get your son’s full attention, and then say: “Johnny, it’s 5 o’clock—I want you to put away all of your toys by 5:30. I’m going to set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes and when it rings I’ll be inspecting your work. If you do a good job, I’ll allow you to have 30 minutes of video game time after dinner tonight. If you haven’t completed your work by 5:30, you won’t be able to play video games at all this evening.”


Then make sure you follow through. If you don’t, you’ve just taught your son that you don’t mean what you say.


Dr. Russell Barkley, one of the nation’s leading experts in parent training, coined a phrase that every parent should remember: “Act, don’t yak.”


Thanks for writing, Shawna.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.


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