Photo by Unsplash Tong Nguyen van
- Talk to your child about “private parts” and teach her not to accept “bad touching.”
- Teach children to stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street.
- Start teaching them how to swim. Discuss water safety and ice safety (i.e. no walking on frozen ponds). Teach them never to swim without an adult present.
- Practice fire drills. Check smoke and carbon monoxide monitors regularly. Identify a safe meeting place outside.
- Seat belts for every ride. Children should be in a booster seat until 4 foot 9 and at least 8 years old. Children should be in the back seat until age 13.
- Helmets should be worn every time for riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, skiing and snowboarding.
- Keep a child’s environment smoke-free. Second-hand smoke can increase the number of colds and the severity of asthma. Let us know if you want help quitting.
- If guns are in the house, they should be unloaded and locked up separately from ammunition. Consider trigger guards.
- Supervise online activities. We advise a max of 2 hrs a day of TV/electronics.
- Be a role model for a healthy lifestyle.
- Encourage regular exercise, and exercise with the kids. Active kids become active adults.
- Help your child brush her teeth every day.
- Ensure adequate sleep.
- Teach your child to wash her hands after the bathroom and before eating.
- Some experts advise checking cholesterol at age 9-11. Discuss with your provider about this option especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol.
- Make mealtimes pleasant and friendly. Turn the TV off during meals. Offer healthy foods and eat them yourself to model good eating habits.
- Encourage breakfast as an important meal.
- Limit candy, chips, soda, juice, and sweets.
- Let your child help plan and prepare meals.
- Meet your child’s teachers; keep in touch. Find out early when there is an issue before it becomes a big problem.
- Help your child to be organized.
- Provide a study space.
- Use a calendar to help your child remember important dates.
- Help him organize clothes, homework the night before instead of in the morning.
- Help your child relax after school.
- Have some unstructured activities like playing with friends or sports after school.
- Talk about school each day.
- Continue to read with your child.
- Help your child with homework.
- Be available and encouraging.
- Set a fixed time each day for homework.
SPOTLIGHT – POSITIVE PARENTING
It is important to encourage high self-esteem. This is shaped by messages from parents and other adults.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR A WELL-ADJUSTED CHILD...
Parents must be a good role model - Healthy parents produce healthy kids. Feel good about yourself as a person and a parent. Try to model confidence, curiosity, and creativity in your own life.
Praise the effort not just the outcome - Acknowledge good effort and improvements. Congratulate her on a good save or catch in her game, not just when they win. Be specific with praise. “You did a good job completing your homework today” rather than “you are a good girl”.
Value your child as they are - Realistic expectations lead to successes which lead to building high self-esteem. If you have overly high expectations of your child, you may be setting him up for failure. Even children who do well still need praise; don't take the successes for granted.
Acknowledge the fact that children are different - Do not compare your children with each other or other children.
Avoid negative comments - Never call your child stupid, lazy or a bad person. Say “It was wrong to throw the glasses on the floor” not “ You are a bad child.”
Show confidence in your children’s abilities. Build on their strengths.
CHILDREN ARE SPONGES AND ABSORB WHAT THEY HEAR AROUND THEM.
HELP THEM BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE!
- Food Assistance WIC 1-800-WIC-1007 and SNAP www.mass.gov/snap
- CDC Vaccine Page www.cdc.gov/vaccines
- www.healthychildren.org Site by pediatricians about a variety of health topics
- App: Pediatric Symptom MD – a variety of pediatric advice
- The Picky Eater Project. N. D. Muth
- Chop Chop: the kid’s guide to cooking real food with you. S Sampson. (Also a magazine)
- www.triplep-parenting.com Parenting and discipline modules for a minimal fee.
- Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)