When my young son came home from school on April 15, I had to share with him the sad news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I was gentle and only gave the information a nine-year-old needed to hear. I had the TV on and he walked into the room and saw the cleared scene of the crime. He immediately said, “Mommy, that’s exactly where we stood.”
I knew that the moment the news broke, my husband did, too. But it didn’t quite sink in until our child was impacted by the closeness of this terrible event. The second time I ran Boston, my son and husband stood under the international flags and cheered for me as I finished. My son’s world changed on April 15, 2013. It changed in a way that broke my heart.
Erin Kreitz Shirey also had a similar sad moment with her little girl on April 15. Instead of being able to report the winning times, she had to tell her about the tragedy and how the race was stopped.
“What about the kids cheering on their parents? Mom, are they OK? Are the kids hurt?”, innocently questioned Shirey’s daughter that night. Her daughter, like my son, had cheered for her mother at many races as well.
We and many other parents struggled to talk to our kids about this event, especially our fellow running parents. We’ve all had our kids at races, standing on the curbs, hanging on the fences cheering. Now what are we supposed to tell them?
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We’ve all been fed bad diet advice at some point in our lives, usually with negative consequences. But what about the diet advice we feed our kids? Is it healthy, constructive, inspiring? Are we setting them up for nutritional success or failure?
These are questions we should be asking ourselves when raising a child. The diet examples we set for our kids and the words we use to guide them will no doubt affect their relationship with food. Unfortunately, just one poor example or one piece of bad advice can cause a flurry of negative results.
While there’s a descent amount of truth out there regarding kids and diet, there’s also a lot of bogus advice. This is especially sad considering this is such a crucial time for our nation amidst a childhood obesity epidemic.
A recent study suggested that kids should simply eat off smaller plates to avoid obesity. This isn’t terrible advice, per say, but eating off a smaller plate isn’t going to solve the problem. Kids need to develop a healthy understanding of food as nutrition instead of learning little “tricks” to hopefully divert them from health disasters.
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I’m a bit of a neuropsychology nerd. I find it fascinating and so helpful to truly understand people. While I already understood that yoga can be helpful in treating trauma and PTSD, Dr. Bruce Perry, whom I greatly admire, introduced me to the idea that yoga can also be helpful in helping the brain develop in an organized fashion, especially for children who have been traumatized.
As a result, I routinely recommend adoptive parents practice yoga with their children. Whether your child has been adopted, traumatized, has other struggles or not, yoga can help him or her develop physical, emotionally, and neurologically; here’s why:
- Learning to control breath and body can help children feel more in control of themselves, which can be extremely powerful for children that have been traumatized, children that have been adopted, and children diagnosed with ADHD.
- Yoga has been known to enhance concentration and attention span, while teaching focus.
- Children can increase confidence by successfully attempting new poses and developing new skills.
- Flexibility can prevent injuries, and children can increase strength through yoga with little risk of injury.
From the crib to the coffin, our bodies crave activity. Whether you are a newborn, a young child or a nonagenarian, see how yoga can be a mainstay for a healthy and happy quality of life.
We are natural born yogis.
Babies are natural yogis. We are all born with an innate ability to breathe, move, stretch, and rest; yet many of us quickly forget about these inherent qualities. Not only are yoga poses such as the happy baby pose appropriately named, babies are great yoga teachers because they remind us how exciting and exhilarating it is to move our bodies generously. Whether we believe it or not, it seems we are born to practice yoga. Just watch happy babies grab their toes and kick their legs up in the air and you may soon realize what you might be missing. Have you been neglecting your own mind and body over the years?
If you are one of the many stiff, tense and tired individuals who don’t get enough exercise, please keep reading and let the following examples inspire you to get moving.
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Eradicating the ever-present problem of bullies may lie in establishing proper sleeping habits for children. The New York Times reported that a new study of over 300 elementary students in Michigan revealed a correlation between sleep-disturbances and behavioral instability. Louise O’brien, the study’s lead author, cautions that the findings don’t prove lack of sleep causes bullying but it certainly implies a relationship between the two.
Other studies have yielded similar findings. We’ve known for a long time now that proper sleep habits affect both mental and physical health. Fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, weakened concentration, memory loss, and impaired immunity can all be caused by insufficient sleep. What to do if your child isn’t sleeping well:
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