Today’s 38.5 million kids in this country between the ages of 2 and 18 are part of the digital generation at home, day- and child-care centers, and in schools. They play computer games for at least 20 minutes daily and spend 2.5 or more hours in front of another screen–the television. Kids play computer games at friends’ and relatives’ houses and in their own houses. Their computer playmates include friends, siblings, parents, and child-care providers. Visiting with grandparents has become a computer event too, as the senior generation is becoming computer-literate almost as fast as the digital generation.
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One of the most important facts that parents need to understand is this: Children who practice healthy habits early in life are much more likely to continue those habits through their teen years and into adulthood. According to the American Association for Health Education a key reason for that reality is that a child’s brain is more impressionable than an adult’s.
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When I grow up, I want to be a grandpa!” announced our 3-year-old Daniel in a recent conversation. Though his goal for life seemed a bit unusual at this age, it was easy to understand his choice. After all, in Daniel’s eyes a grandpa was the best kind of person to be-unhurried, attentive, strong, generous, playful, knowledgeable . . .
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Confiding to a trusted friend, a father expresses concern over his 9-year-old son. “He’s a `forgetter.’ He can’t seem to remember anything I tell him. Assign him a chore, and he `forgets’ to do it. Give him a message for someone; it never gets there. If I ask him to do two things, maybe one will get done. His `forgetfulness’ is causing a lot of conflict in our family.”
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If you are a parent, then you are probably already familiar with the impact of children on your personal life. Even in the most functional families, parents who juggle rearing energetic children with careers and other commitments often tell of feeling burned out. Maybe your personal experience with burnout began the week after you brought your newborn home from the hospital and she got her days and nights mixed up. Perhaps it started the day your employer informed you that because of company downsizing, your job was history, and the pediatrician informed you the same day that your child needed his tonsils out soon.
Whatever the monumental interruptions are that you face juggling kids, career, and other responsibilities, I want you to remember one necessity of life: be kind to yourself.
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A young woman named Cynthia vividly recalls one of the high points in her life. It took place when she was 12 years old. Her father promised to take her with him on a business trip to San Francisco. For months the two of them talked about the trip.
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Stand by for change! Free Spirit Publishing empowers kids and teens with the power of service in The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects. From animal safety to environment issues, this well-designed book lets kids flip to services areas that appeal their natural gifts and quickly implement programs to change a whole community. Kids can do […]
Every day Jose looks forward to coming home. At 3:00 p.m. school is out, and he and his friend Michael can play computer games for at least three hours before Mom gets home from work.
Every day Jose’s mom dreads coming home. With feelings of frustration and even a little guilt, she arrives to find her son has wasted yet another afternoon in front of his PlayStation.
Seem familiar? As parents struggle to balance busy work schedules, their children are often being shaped by a number of less-than-ideal influences. Children are constantly exposed to advertising, media, and peers; and the consequential sedentary lifestyle has resulted in children struggling with adult medical problems, including obesity,
diabetes, and heart disease.
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So, what I told you last week came true. Our family road trip/vacation was a disaster! It never fails; we have the worst luck.
Let me share my drama. First of all, we were supposed to leave on Tuesday which then turned into Wednesday, so it was a late start to begin with. Then to beat it on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning baby Zachary (who’s now 9 months old) woke up sick with a cough. I have to admit I was a little concerned just because his cough had a very deep and wet sound to it. The nurse in me thought well, it’s just probably a cold; he’ll be sick whether we stay or go. However, the mommy in me had a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing. Something just didn’t feel right to me.
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Asthma, for all the problems it causes, is a readily controllable condition, provided children take their medications, limit exposure to allergens, and visit their doctors regularly. Nonetheless, Asthma Action America—an education organization composed of 21 health groups including the American Lung Association—reports that more than half of all asthmatic children experienced a severe attack in the past year, and 27 percent feared they were dying.
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