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Archive for August, 2012

Helping Your Child Cope with Divorce

Dr. Kyle Pruett AUnfortunately, half of American families face the likelihood of divorce.  Most of these families have children who will be affected, though it is hard to tell exactly how.

Here is what parents should know to help their children cope with divorce:

  • Although the stigma of divorce stings less these days, children almost never think it is as good an idea as the parents who seek it.  Don’t insult them by trying to talk them into agreeing with your point of view.  Children love having their families together and feel anxious when they start to come apart.
  • Most parents work at separating and divorcing without traumatizing their children.  With your support, children will recover from this loss without emotional scars or their ability to trust in relationships.
  • Perhaps the most difficult aspect of divorce to children, besides a change in family income and lifestyle that may accompany a divorce, is the threat to or end of their parents’ friendship with each other.  This particular loss may leave children feeling pretty alone and worried that they might be next.
  • Boys and girls typically respond differently to divorce; boys show their distress more obviously with behavioral, school, or social troubles.  Girls may seem okay at first with few outward signs of distress, but may suffer the effects later when they enter their first close relationship and feel overwhelmed by self-doubt, suspiciousness, and fear of abandonment.

Children who handle divorce best are the ones whose parents honor their children’s needs above their own, are able to work out good and fair financial arrangements and parenting plans, and most importantly – help the other parent be the best parent they can be.  In other words they are the children who don’t lose their families – just their parents’ marriage to each other.  This may be the most selfless and difficult thing parents ever do.

 

Healthful School Lunches

Not sure what to pack your little one each day? Here are five easy lunches to help you out!

1.            Whole wheat pita pocket, favorite veggies (sliced), low-fat cheese, strawberries, and water

2.            Whole grain pasta & cheese, cherry tomatoes (cut in half), orange wedges, and water

3.            Lean turkey on whole grain bread, sugar snap peas, apple wedges, and low-fat milk

4.            Hummus on whole grain bread with veggies, banana slices, and low-fat milk

5.            Ham & low-fat cheese pinwheels, whole grain crackers, small yogurt cup and water

Remember, if using an insulated lunch bag, be sure to remove all lunch items and place them in the refrigerator when you drop your little one off at school. This will ensure that your child’s lunch stays at the proper temperature until it’s time to eat. If your child’s school does not have a refrigerator, make sure you use a well-insulated lunch bag with plenty of ice packs.

Back to School Prep

Starting school or going back to school can be a stressful time.   Allow children time to adjust. Remind them that everyone feels a little nervous about the first day of school and that it will all become an everyday routine in no time.

Writing - Teacher & Kids BIt’s also important to talk to children about what worries them and offer reassurance. Are your children afraid that they won’t make new friends or get along with their teachers?

Consider adjusting your own schedule to make the transition smoother. If you are a working parent, taking some time in the morning and afternoon so that you are not rushed and can help with the transition.  Try to arrange your evenings so you can give children as much time as they need to share, talk and decompress, especially during those first few days.

To help ease back-to-school butterflies, try to transition children into a consistent school-night routine a few weeks before school starts. You can also prepare them for school with the following tips:

  • Make sure your children get enough sleep. Establish a reasonable bedtime so that they will be well-rested and ready to learn in the morning;
  • Serve them a healthy breakfast.  They will be more alert and do better academically if they eat a good breakfast every day;
  • Have them organize and set out what they need the night before. Have them lay out their clothes in their bedrooms.

To help keep your child healthy at school, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have your children received all the necessary immunizations?
  • Have you filled out any forms that the school has sent home, such as emergency contact and health information forms?
  • Do the school operators, directors and teachers know about any medical conditions your child may have, particularly food allergies, asthma, diabetes and any other conditions that may need to be managed during the school day?
  • Have you made arrangements with the school administrators to dispense any medications your child might need?
  • Do the teachers know about any conditions that may affect how your child learns?

To ensure children get the most out of school, maintain an open channel of communication with the teachers by talking with them frequently.

Most importantly, whether it’s the first day of school or the last, make sure your children know you’re there to listen to their feelings and concerns.