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Want to better comply with dietary guidelines, and save money? Cook dinner at home

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The best culinary paths to better health are not always paved with cash, new research shows, and cooking at home can provide the best bang-for-the-buck nutritionally as well as financially. A study by Arpita Tiwari, a health systems researcher at Oregon State University, and collaborators at the University of Washington confirms what many mothers and grandmothers have said for decades: that habitually eating dinner at home means a better diet and lower food expenditures compared with regularly dining out.”(more)

Let your child learn about manipulation

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Manipulation is rampant in the digital age. It is easy for young people to be sucked into toxic personal relationships, political and social causes that are fronts for individuals and/or corporations that are attempting to gain power and money, and job situations where bosses or coworkers take advantage of them.

Most parents want to shelter their kids from these situations. Sheltering kids, however, may not be the best strategy. Instead it is better to empower kids, so they are not victims.

First, parents need to make sure their kids are confident, since it is harder for self-confident kids to be manipulated. Self-confidence is earned, not given, so is important to encourage children to explore many things and urge them to continue the activities that they enjoy and do well. In addition, it is essential that they learn the value of hard work. Also, it is imperative that the activities they selected are building self-confidence. Sometimes kids need to change activities as they grow to maintain healthy self-confidence.

The next step is to teach children how to identify a manipulative person, how to keep an emotional distance from such a person, and how to avoid personalization and self-blame. Then children need to learn how to turn the tables by asking probing questions and using time as a delay.

Finally parents need to allow controlled exposure. As counterintuitive as it sounds, kids need exposure to manipulators in safe environments, so they know when someone is trying to control them. In addition, kids need practice disarming a manipulator.

This means parents need to create learning opportunities. For example, a parent could consciously avoid speaking to school officials when a child’s classmate is “mean” on the playground, and instead help their child figure out how to handle situation him/herself. This playground practice should help prepare the child with more insidious manipulation that occurs when he/she is older.

As the child becomes more skilled at detecting and diverting manipulation, parents can gradually provide more exposure. By the time kids reach the teenage years, parents should expect them to discuss absences, homework, performance, and goals with coaches and teachers. In these conversations where will be many opportunities for the child to experience subtle and overt manipulation and to learn ways to remain in control.

Obviously there will be times parents have to step in, especially as when kids beginning interacting with adults, but parents should not be so protective that kids do not have an opportunity to learn.

Little kids’ regular bedtimes and ability to regulate emotions may lessen obesity risk

Medical X-Press – Misti Crane

“Family structure including regular bedtimes, mealtimes and limited screen time appear to be linked to better emotional health in preschoolers, and that might lower the chances of obesity later, a new study suggests. “This study provides more evidence that routines for preschool-aged children are associated with their healthy development and could reduce the likelihood that these children will be obese,” said lead author Sarah Anderson of The Ohio State University.”(more)

Parents’ mobile use harms family life, say secondary pupils

BBC – Judith Burns

“An overuse of mobile phones by parents disrupts family life, according to a survey of secondary pupils. More than a third of 2,000 11 to 18-year-olds who responded to a poll said they had asked their parents to stop checking their devices. And 14% said their parents were online at meal times, although 95% of 3,000 parents, polled separately, denied it. The research was carried out by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.”(more)

Use the ‘2K rule’ to save for your kid’s college education

CNBC – Tom Anderson

“Saving for your child’s college education can seem like an impossible goal. Unlike with retirement savings, few clear guidelines exist. College costs vary widely depending on where your child goes to school and whether they qualify for financial aid. Fidelity Investments has tried to clarify college savings with a new rule of thumb: Multiple your child’s age by $2,000 to stay on track to cover half the average cost of a four-year, public university.”(more)

Pre-kindergarten effects – what the science says

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“How well are we preparing young children to enter kindergarten ready to learn? Educators in K-12 school systems are faced with wide disparities in skill levels of entering kindergarteners, which means many children are already far behind many of their peers. Findings in developmental science point toward the importance of early-life experiences in shaping brain development. These findings suggest that if we knew how to provide these experiences in our early education programs, we could have a lifelong impact on children’s success. The good news, according to numerous studies, is that children attending publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs are better prepared for kindergarten than similar children who have not attended pre-k.”(more)