Image by Pixabay
By Jenny Wise
Do you ever wonder how to keep your kids occupied on rainy days when outdoor activities are impossible? If so, then this post is for you. We’re going to show how the Internet, used wisely, can turn shut-in days into wide-open opportunities for education and enrichment.
Have a Science Quest
Hands-on learning is a great way to help students master new concepts. For example, let’s imagine that your kids are interested in knowing more about volcanoes. You might start out by having them watch a video about volcanoes, follow it up with a quick question-and-answer session, then top the activity off with an experiment in which they make their own lava. In addition to being really cool, this activity engages the student on visual, auditory, and tactile levels, helping them to not only remember but to comprehend the facts they’ve learned. You can continue your hands-on learning with some of these real-world math activities from HomeAdvisor.
Have a “Go” at Learning a New Game
Games that teach strategic thinking are ideal for spurring mental development. In Western societies, the classic example is chess; and for many good reasons. But did you know that the East has a pastime that develops many of the same skills? It’s simply called “Go” and has existed for at least 2500 years, according to The Economist. You’ll find plenty of information online, from basic tutorials to tournaments. This is a fun and innovative way for your kids to build critical-thinking skills while learning more about our multicultural world.
Sample the Riches of Music
Listening to your favorite tunes is one thing. Playing them yourself is quite another. Learning an instrument offers a world of intellectual and social benefits, according to Inc. Here are some tips for making the experience both enjoyable and educational:
- Music teachers advise parents to consider their child’s personality and physical traits when picking an instrument. For example, kids who love being the center of attention may prefer the flute, since the flutist usually stands in front of the band. On the other hand, large hands are helpful when learning the piano.
- When choosing an instrument, quality is extremely important. If you buy an instrument, you’ll have to decide whether or not to go new or used. Either way, the instrument needs to be easy to play, durable, repairable, and have a warranty. Consult an instructor in your area or just ask a seasoned musician to recommend a trustworthy vendor.
Get Up and Get Moving
Not all online-based activities are sedentary; go on YouTube and see for yourself the many exercise videos available. Joining in on the workout yourself is a great way to not only get fit but to model healthy behaviors for your kids.
Explore the World of Art
The Internet offers a wealth of drawing, painting, and even sculpting lessons for learners of all ages. Many are free, though some are fee-based. Art materials are available at very reasonable costs online or at brick-and-mortar retailers. Some online options even provide instructor feedback and certificates of completion.
The Opportunities Are Endless
In this post, we’ve only scratched the surface of our topic. The Web offers limitless learning resources for both your kids and yourself. Here are some examples of the topics you can explore:
- Social sciences
- Spirituality studies
And the list goes on and on.
You might want to plan activities ahead of time and download the materials, just in case the weather makes your online connection finicky.
The next time the elements keeps your kids inside, use the Internet to open up a whole new world of learning and discovery. The opportunities are right there at your fingertips. You may actually find yourself wishing that foul-weather days came more often.
Photo via Pexels
By Daniel Sherwin
Through a combination of TV, films, advertising, and the internet, teenagers these days are exposed to even more images of what a perfect body looks like than past generations. Social media, in particular, has been extremely damaging, providing a constant feed of “aspirational” images that can give teens a skewed view of their own bodies. As a parent, what can you do to help your teenager navigate this world and develop a healthy body image?
Focus on Health, Not Weight
In an age where 17.4 percent of American children are obese and 2.4 percent are morbidly obese, many parents are naturally worried about their kids gaining weight. Obesity comes with a variety of health issues, and it is normal for parents to want their children to grow up healthy.
However, there are a few factors to consider. To begin with, the measure which is most commonly used to measure obesity, the BMI, can be unreliable, particularly in children. Make sure you get the opinion of a medical professional before making any drastic changes in their diet. Secondly, being too strict with their diet now could lead to backlash later as your teen starts getting access to junk foods.
Teach them about health from a young age, and avoid words like “fat” and “skinny.” Encourage exercise as a family and promote a balanced diet — which includes the occasional treat — within your household. Place the emphasis on how food and exercise can make them feel, not how it can make them look.
Value Their Other Qualities
You think your child is beautiful, and you tell them every day. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, and your kid will probably understand that their parents don’t have a very objective opinion. However, as your kids grow older, make sure you are praising their skills, interests, and personality.
According to the Guardian, this is particularly important for girls. It turns out that repeatedly telling young girls that they are pretty is a very easy way to teach them that the most important thing about them is their appearance.
Be a Good Example
Your children will tend to emulate the behaviors they see in their parents. This means that if they see you talking negatively about your own or other people’s bodies, they are more likely to grow up being critical of their appearance.
It’s not just about body talk. You should set a good example by eating how you wish your child was eating, as kids pick up the food habits they see at home. This also goes for the ways in which you try to lose weight. According to the New York Times, children can develop unhealthy ideas about dieting by seeing their parents follow strict or fad diets. With over half of teenage girls and one-third of boys engaging in unhealthy weight control behaviors, it is definitely worth watching whether you are setting a bad example by looking for shortcuts.
Learn To Spot An Eating Disorder
Even if you do everything right, your teenager can still develop an unhealthy body image due to factors out of your control, such as bullying at school. Make sure you know the signs to watch out for so you can get them the help they need. These include obvious things like skipping meals, controlling portions, and obsessing over calories, but there are other more subtle cues. Watch out for them leaving the table early, as this could be a sign of purging, and avoiding social situations that involve food.
Being a teenager is hard for most people. You grow increasingly self-conscious, and the pressure to fit in with your peers is overwhelming. The best thing you can do is teach them to value things about themselves other than their appearance and combine this with a good education about healthy lifestyles. The rest may be out of your hands, but you can keep a close eye on their relationship to food and exercise so you can address any unhealthy behaviors.
I am a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, my goal is to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.
Ashley and her husband both have disabilities, so they knew planning for parenthood would take extra consideration. They have learned some valuable lessons and tips in their preparation for parenthood. They now have two amazing kids and maintain a website to help other disabled parents.
Many of the young people who come to Huck House have children of their own and Ashley’s blog below goes through some good questions to ask any soon-to-be parent.
Photo By: Pixabay
We might be able to skip naptime or even a bath, but when it comes to meal times, kids are constantly growing, and nutritious food is the fuel they need to do so. However, as a single parent, time is rare, and you might find yourself heading for the drive-thru rather than the kitchen. Eating right is not only an important part of taking care of yourself, but it could be the foundation you need to start making healthier choices. Before you place your order, check out these simple tips to make mealtimes easier and stress-free.
September was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Just because September is over does not mean the conversation is over!
Suicide and suicidal ideation is a worldwide epidemic that affects a large number of young people and adults daily. Suicide does not only hurt one person — it also affects family, friends, acquaintances, and people whose names you might not even know.
Suicide prevention is the responsibility of all people. There are many warning signs present in suicidal individuals that, if noticed and acted upon early enough, can save their lives. The majority of people that are suicidal may show signs long before having suicidal thoughts. It is important to pay attention to your friends and family members and recognize changes in their behavior. The following are signs that you or your friend may need immediate help.
- Significant change in sleeping habits
- Feeling like life would be better off for everyone if you are no longer around
- No longer interested in friends or social activities
- Running away from home
- Feeling like the pressure of life is too much for you to handle
- Thinking or talking about death
- Feeling as if nothing will ever improve in your life
If you suspect someone you know to be suicidal or has expressed suicidal ideation, make sure to take the correct steps.
- Never leave someone who is actively suicidal alone, encourage them to keep talking
- If someone tells you they want to kill themselves take the threat seriously and reach out for help
- Tell a parent, teacher or someone you trust
- Contact Huckleberry House staff at 614-294-5553 (24/7)
- Contact The Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death
Nearly 1 million people complete suicide each year
For every 1 person who completes suicide, approximately 20 more attempt suicide
- Suicide is preventable
- World Suicide Prevention Day was first recognized in 2003
- Recognize suicidal behavior
- Reach out to someone who may be struggling
- Reach out if you need help
By Logic Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Available 24 hours everyday
Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat:
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This month the Huck House Blog will focus on suicide and mental health statistics, risk factors, warning signs and what to do if you, or someone you know, needs help.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in people ages 10 – 24
90% of people who die by suicide had a mental illness
20% of youth ages 13-18 have mental health condition
Mental health issues are burdened with unwarranted stigma and misconceptions. Ending the stigma could help so many teens and young adults who are contemplating suicide.
The first step to ending the stigma is educating yourself and others. Visit https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions for an overview of the most common mental health conditions.