How to Set Boundaries in the Digital Era
Minecraft. Pokemon. Snapchat. Digital media dominates childhood. That time youngsters used to spend playing with friends, being with family or sleeping has been zapped. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8-to-10-year-olds are daily exposed to nearly eight hours of on-screen media and heavy media users are twice as likely to report poor grades. (read more…)
How to Mindfully Love Little Ones
Being a grandparent can be magical; an opportunity to create both lifelong memories and formative experiences for grandchildren. However, it can also pose challenges that need to be managed mindfully, say experts.
For more than 25 years, Patricia Salem, of Louisville, Kentucky, a licensed and board-certified art therapist, has taught mindfulness practices and art therapy in such diverse settings as hospitals and schools. Aiming to help kids and adults learn to harmoniously ease life’s challenges, (read more…)
Creating the Best Start for New Life
“A woman’s body is exquisitely designed to conceive, nurture and give birth,” says Dr. Carol J. Phillips, an Annapolis, Maryland, prenatal chiropractor, doula and author of Hands of Love: Seven Steps to the Miracle of Birth.
Judith Lothian, Ph.D., associate editor of the Journal of Perinatal Education, professor of nursing at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey, and a natural childbirth educator, knows the significance of women’s deep intuitive instinct. “Women who feel supported and encouraged can tap into their own wisdom and find deep satisfaction in giving birth naturally. The process itself perfectly prepares mother and baby to continue on their journey together.” (read more…)
Kids Organize to Save Our Oceans
Earth’s oceans shelter more than a million species, employ millions of people and feed billions more. Their complex ecosystems increasingly face critical challenges, including acidification, overfishing and pollution. Inspiring us all, youths nationwide are stepping up with bold, creative actions benefiting present and future generations to show us how we too, can do our part. (read more…)
How to Defuse Bad Actors
Whether it’s a damaging rumor posted on Facebook, a humiliating photo shared on Instagram or a threatening text, cyberbullying is increasing among today’s youth. A 2015 Cyberbullying Research Center study of middle school students found that 43 percent had been targeted, while 15 percent admitted to being online bullies. Meanwhile, students, parents and teachers are combating cyber-aggression with initiatives to make the phenomenon socially unacceptable in schools. (read more…)
Kids Do Best with Holistic Dentistry
According to a 2012 New York Times story, “Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities,” more dentists nationwide are recommending that children be administered general anesthesia at hospitals due to the severity of decay.
Such extensive dental work on children is largely preventable. Wise parents encourage their children to develop healthy habits such as brushing teeth at least twice a day; eating fewer sugary snacks and brushing afterwards; limiting fruit juice intake to four ounces a day; and sucking on bacteria-killing xylitol lollipops. (read more…)
What Kids Need from Us to Grow Wise
Peer pressure and body consciousness are universal challenges facing teens and their parents. Experts find that by modeling healthy habits and maintaining open lines of communication, adults can help foster healthy independent thinking and responses to inevitable situations. (read more…)
Sugar-Free Treats Kids Love
When sugar was a commodity only the wealthy could afford, “visions of sugar-plums” danced in the heads of children ensconced in Clement Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Now, cheap candy is everywhere and not all that special. What is special is making memories aligned with contemporary traditions while enjoying naturally sweet, healthy treats that kids will remember helping to create. (read more…)
Natural Remedies Help Kids Heal
The household is settling for the night when the 5-year-old cries out, “My throat hurts!”
“There’s no need to panic,” says Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, in Pecos, New Mexico, an integrative physician and chief medical officer of Weil Lifestyle. “It’s pretty easy to figure out if it’s strep throat, which requires antibiotics, or something you can treat at home.” (read more…)
Kids Thrive to Rhythms of Head and Heart
A resounding chorus of research shows that the traditional three R’s of essential early education should also encompass an M for music. Playing instruments prior to and during school years can put children on a tuneful path to lifelong benefits. (read more…)
Ways to Spark a Child’s Creativity
Whether it’s playing dress-up, making forts from sofa cushions or drawing pictures, creative moments can define and distinguish a happy childhood. Yet it’s not all just fun and games, according to experts. Childhood creativity, nurtured both in the classroom and at home, is crucial for developing qualities such as sound decision-making, flexible thinking and mental resiliency.
Analyzing more than 150 studies across the fields of psychology, neuroscience, education and business management, the Center for Childhood Creativity, in Sausalito, California, found many important life skills are affiliated with a creative upbringing. The resulting white paper, Inspiring a Generation to Create, underscores that rather than simply being an innate trait, creativity can be taught. (read more…)
Kids That Learn to Cook Grow Up Eating Healthier
Envision walking the supermarket aisles and picking up a favorite pasta sauce and breakfast cereal, then adding favorite fruits and vegetables to the cart. When we think about the grocery brands we buy or our go-to recipes, they tend to begin with one common thread—the influence of our mothers—our first teachers about food and cooking.In their Project EAT study, University of Minnesota researchers found that Mom has the biggest impact on the family’s eating habits and continues to play a significant role in our food choices, brands and how we cook, even influencing our ideas about health itself by their example.
Most of us learn about cooking from our mothers, and one way moms have a tremendous impact on their children is by collaborating on recipes and cooking meals together. The idea of an at-home “kitchen counter cooking school” doesn’t focus on a hard and fast course on cooking; instead, it’s a place where family members gather around the counter and cook together. This almost guarantees that meals will be healthier and more fun, affording a sense of ongoing adventure where kids can explore ingredients from around the U.S. and even the world. Consider creating a “United States of My Plate” project by preparing a recipe from each state during the summer, and then rating the recipes based on taste and flavor (startup tools are at ChooseMyPlate.gov). (read more…)
How to be the Father Kids Need
American fatherhood has evolved considerably in the last 50 years. While dads used to be kept out of the delivery room, today, more than 90 percent of new fathers are present for their children’s birth, reflected in MenCare Advocacy’s State of the Worlds’ Fathers. However, being there early on does not necessarily define the scope of future involvement. Overcoming obstacles that might keep men from being the “high-five” dads they and their family need them to be is key.
Involved fathers benefit children. Most research on child development has focused on how mothers influence their children, but in recent decades, society has “discovered” fathers. In many studies, pioneering Psychologist Ross Parke, Ph.D., professor emeritus of University of California, Riverside, and others have conclusively shown that children of more-involved dads are better at solving puzzles, score higher on cognitive skills tests, do better in school, are more likely to go to college, are more empathetic, manage their emotions better, have fewer behavior problems, are less likely to suffer from depression or mental illness and are less likely to break laws or become teen parents. (read more…)
by Armin Brott
For parents serving in the military, some of the biggest barriers to involvement are inevitable and often repeated deployments. Dads returning home often struggle to reestablish both their family role—which changed while they were away—and their relationships with children they haven’t seen for months and who may not even recognize them. Here are practical tips to counter any estrangement. (read more…)
Enriching Programs Unite the Generations
In intergenerational programs throughout the U.S. and in Europe, thousands of “youngers” and “elders” are building bridges that were forged naturally before family members spread out and many retirees departed for warmer climes.
Based on a U.S. adult population of 41 million people 65 years and older and 74 million youths up to the age of 17, the current generation gap is already unprecedented. By 2030, those numbers will increase to 72 million and 80 million, respectively, according to the international nonprofit Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Along with Generation Waking Up, Wiser Together and others, it’s working to foster better social cohesion in ways that help individuals of all ages lead richer and more rewarding lives. (read more…)
New Generations Put Earth First
By Randy Kambic
Baby boomers inspired in their youth by Earth Day are now supporting a new generation’s enthusiasm for sustainability through educational and employment opportunities. A 2015 Nature Conservancy survey of 602 teens from 13 to 18 years old revealed that roughly 76 percent strongly believe that issues like climate change can be solved if action is taken now; they also hold that safeguarding important lands and waters should be a priority, regardless of ancillary benefits or the economy. This represents an increase in awareness since a 2010 Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication survey of 517 youths 13 to 17 years old showed that just 54 percent believed global warming was even happening. (read more…)
Host a Halloween that’s Natural, Healthy and Cost-Conscious
Slipping masks, sagging costumes and sugar hits can all contribute to cranky kids at Halloween. Healthier, greener and safer options will up the ongoing fun factor.
Hooray! Princesses and superheroes are more popular than witches and devils these days. With encouragement from parents, kids can enjoy a greener Halloween with tiaras, wands and capes made from recycled cardboard and hobby shop items. Thrift stores offer up hats and jewelry for added bling. The Internet overflows with inspiration. Also, many public libraries host costume swaps this month; find other swap locations at Tinyurl.com/CostumeSwaps. (read more…)