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Child Safety Tips

June is a fun and busy time of year for children. School is out and summer activities are starting up. Neighborhoods are full of children’s laughter, scooters and bikes zooming down sidewalks, and chalk art on display for all to see. With children spending this much time outside, it is important to remind them of the very real dangers out in the world. June is Safety Awareness Month, and the Crisis Nursery has some tips for you to share with your children about being safe, at every age.

Toddler Safety Tips

  • Does your toddler know your name?
  • Teach them to stay within site when playing
  • Proper names for body parts and how private parts are different than the rest of the body
  • When it comes to his/her body, no means no
  • Uh-oh feeling: always tell a caregiver when you are feeling scared or confused

Preschool Safety Tips

  • How to use 911: your child should know their address and phone number
  • Say “No!” to uncomfortable of confusing touch
  • Yell “Call 911! I need a grown up!” when in trouble
  • Remember, adults don’t ask kids for help, always stay where other people can see you

Elementary Safety Tips

  • Have a family password when someone other than Mom or Dad will be sent to pick up the child
  • Create a list of trusted adults and phone numbers to call in case of an emergency
  • Buddy system when playing
  • Online safety
  • It’s not okay to keep secrets from parents
  • Age-appropriate information about sex

Middle School Safety Tips

  • How well do you know your child’s friends?
  • Don’t put personal information online
  • Difference between mentor vs relationship
  • Cell phone and texting guidelines: think before you send
  • Rules and responsibilities when at home alone
  • Respect is a basic right in all relationships

As parents, it is always a scary thing to think of that heart stopping moment when you don’t see your child in a public place or you see an individual looming near your home. These types of situations can happen anywhere and at any time of the year. It is important to speak to children about their safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

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Healthy Kids, Happy Parents!

By Alivia Boddie, WCCA Community Engagement Specialist & Food Security Programs Coordinator

As a mom of a 2 year old, I understand the challenges of maintaining a healthy eating habit all the time, but I know the importance of it as well! Even though family schedules can be hectic, and it is MUCH easier to pick something up from a fast food drive thru- maintaining a healthy eating style will be beneficial to both you and your kids.

Here are 3 helpful tips for eating healthy with a child:

  • Have regular family meals: This one can be difficult to maintain, but it’s crucial to your family’s well-being. When parents and children create a ritual of eating meals together, relationships improve, likelihood of eating healthy foods increases, unexpected/troublesome behaviors are less likely and everyone is happier once they get a chance to catch up on each other’s day to day lives. If you are short on time, make an easy meal, but try to maintain consuming food at the dinner table.

 

  • Stock Up on Healthy Foods: Having a variety of healthy foods on hand will give your child the option to choose what they want to snack on, but limit their options. Things like low-fat yogurt, grab and go fruits (apples, oranges, and pears), peanut butter and celery, whole grain crackers and cheese are all good go-to options for a snack. By working healthy foods into daily routines, children are less likely to have an adverse reaction to eating fruits and veggies, you may even find that they are choosing these types of foods over others once they get accustomed to eating them regularly!

 

  • Eliminate the Battles over Food and Eating: If you haven’t noticed, I am all about creating a routine or maintaining specific habits in order to help integrate healthy foods. When children have a predictable expectation of when they are going to eat, they will be less likely to overeat, eat unhealthy or beg for sugary foods throughout the day.
  1. Eliminate the clean the plate rule. Forcing overeating can create negative stigmas associated with certain foods and also will lead to obesity.
  2. Food shouldn’t be used as a reward or punishment. I am guilty of this, but avoiding using dessert as a prize for eating their plate of food is a no-no.
  3. Don’t use food as a form of affection. That means that if you want to show love, praise, gratitude or any other positive affection, make sure that you are doing so with hugs and kisses instead of cookies and candy.

Creating healthy habits for your kids will ultimately create healthy adults, and that leads to healthy and happy parents. Now as a parent, sometimes it is not always feasible to find healthy food when you are on a strict budget. Here are some great cost-effective resources to save Money and still be able to provide healthy foods for your children

  1. Fare For All: Fare For All is a great way to save money on quality, nutritious food. The program buys fresh fruits, vegetables, and frozen meat in bulk to save you up to 40% off grocery store prices. They select the best food from their shipments, pre-packaging it to give you the greatest deals. Fare For All is community supported and open to everyone. The more people who participate, the better. For more information please check out this link:

https://fareforall.org/directory/listing/buffalo-zion-lutheran-church

  1. FYCC runs a power of produce program where kids will receive a special POP club tote bag and each week they attend the Farmers market, they will receive a $2 token that they can spend at select vendors throughout the market. Kids are encouraged to make their own food choices from the wide array of fresh, vendor-grown produce including fruits, vegetables, or food-bearing plants.

The POP program runs every Thursday from July 6 through August 31, and there is no cost to participate. Parent/guardian signature is required at registration.

  1. For the local food shelves:

https://www.co.wright.mn.us/documentcenter/view/7126 or check out the WCCA website at http://www.wccaweb.com/Program/Food_Shelf

 

Responding to Your Child’s Anger

April is Child Abuse Prevention month, all humans experience anger, and your child is no different. How we deal with these overstimulated moments and how we react can make all the difference. A child’s brain often cannot process their emotions, especially during a stressful time. That can result in an emotional or behavioral outburst. Parents typically resort to one of two reactions when their child is acting out. A parent might “bring down the hammer” as Kim Abraham, LMSW and Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, puts it, trying to stop the anger/outburst through intimidation and punishment. Or, a parent may do everything in their power to change the situation and get rid of the child’s adverse behavior.

Neither method is wrong, but they often don’t diffuse the situation, nor do they create a positive learning experience for your child.

Changing how you speak to your child during these situations can help them develop the tools to properly deal with anger and other emotions.

Remember these tips the next time your child has an emotional outburst: (From empoweringparents.com)

  1. Don’t try to control your child’s emotions. You can’t expect someone to control their emotions. You can only ask that they control their behavior. It’s okay for a child to be angry, as long as that anger is expressed appropriately.
  2. Control your own emotions. If you start to feel your emotions getting away from you, take a breath and a mental step back. It may help to picture your child as a neighbor’s kid to provide some emotional distance.
  3. Make sure your responses don’t escalate the situation. Just because you choose not to argue with your child doesn’t mean that you’re giving in. If your child needs space to cool down, give it to them. The time to discipline your child is not in the middle of an emotional or behavioral tornado. Address these things later, when things have settled down.
  4. Help your child recognize when anger is building. Physical signs of anger, such as stomach clenching, tension, feeling flushed, or jaw clenching, are all things your child can recognize. If they begin to notice these things happening, they can dial down and hopefully begin to control their anger.
  5. Brainstorm with your child. Many kids experience or express true remorse after having an emotional meltdown. If your child is open to talking and willing to learn some anger management skills, you can help them work backwards to understand the incident. Ask questions like, “What happened right before you got angry?” “What was said?” “What other things were you feeling, i.e. embarrassed, frustrated, anxiety?” Learning to recognize underlying emotions is a powerful tood your child can use throughout life. Many kids may not be willing to go over the issue. If they resist, drop it, and see if you can make progress another time.
  6. Remember that emotion is different from behavior. The problem isn’t the anger; it’s the behavior that follows. You can validate your child’s emotions while addressing the behavior that is a concern: “I understand you were angry when I said you couldn’t go to your friend’s house. Sometimes there will be rules or limits that may frustrate you, but breaking things won’t change that rule and will only end in a consequence for that behavior.” Then help your child identify more positive ways to express their emotions.

Source Articles

 

Responding to Anger in Children
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201402/reponding-anger-in-children

How to Respond to your Child or Teen’s Anger
http://www.empoweringparents.com/child-rage-how-to-respond-to-your-child-or-teens-anger.php

10 Rules of Dealing with an Angry Child
http://www.empoweringparents.com/the-10-rules-of-dealing-with-an-angry-child.php

Helping your Child Learn to Manage Anger
http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/raise-great-kids/emotionally-intelligent-child/angry-child

 

Tips on Positive Parenting

The Crisis Nursery serving Wright County works to prevent abuse and neglect through offering families support services to help nurture health and safety for their children. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, we’d like to offer 10 tips for positive parenting that can help you and your family build strong and healthy relationships. Continue reading “Tips on Positive Parenting”

Nurturing Family, Community, and Growth

With the warm weather finally rolling in, you and your family are probably itching to get outside and get into the community. Channel your fresh enthusiasm into Volunteer Appreciation Month this April! Gather your family and jump into volunteering to build your child’s appreciation of other’s efforts and make some great family memories while giving back. Continue reading “Nurturing Family, Community, and Growth”

Great Ways to Donate your Time in 2016

It’s that time to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions, and one surefire way to feel better about yourself is through giving back! As a volunteer-driven organization, the Crisis Nursery serving Wright County has tons of opportunities for individuals and groups looking to help the community. Continue reading “Great Ways to Donate your Time in 2016”

Teaching the Importance of Giving

The holiday season is a magical time for most kids, filled with gifts and goodies. And, even though it’s good to make the holidays special for your little one, it’s also important to show them that giving back is what truly makes the season wonderful.

Continue reading “Teaching the Importance of Giving”

A Month-Long Contradiction

Woman holds in her hand a terrified Halloween pumpkin

The month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month throughout the United States to create an awareness of this issue with the general public and to identify support services and resources for victims of domestic violence. This 30-day campaign lets victims know they don’t have to hide behind masks to protect themselves, but to seek help because there are supports out there waiting for them to speak out.

Continue reading “A Month-Long Contradiction”

Creating Positive Routines at Home

Providing structure for your child helps encourage healthy growth and development. Much like in school, having a schedule alleviates the fear of uncertainty, which often lessens the chances of behavioral outbursts. Creating these positive behavior routines (schedules) can often be challenging for parents to do at home. Even though it may take some time to get a routine setup, once it is in place, families typically experience less stress, see less meltdowns and have children who are in a better place emotionally.

Continue reading “Creating Positive Routines at Home”

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