Everyone is Talking
About the Occupational Therapist who says there is a ‘silent tragedy affecting our kids.’
Why do I care?
According to the OT’s research, 1 in 5 children have mental health issues, there has been a 43% increase in ADHD, a 37% increase in teen depression and a 100% increase in suicide among kids aged 10-14. All of these figures come from sources like the National Institute of Mental Health, the Center for Disease Control and The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Tell me more.
While the above information is alarming, it doesn’t have to be a part of your family’s reality. If you need a re-set in some areas, it is completely possible. She offers helpful suggestions for how to make it happen.
- Keep devices away from the dinner table to encourage real conversation. This rule applies to parents as well.
- Make sure your kids get outside for play at least an hour a day to avoid a sedentary life.
- Balance nutrition and keep snacking minimized. Fruit and veggies for the win!
- Enforce a proper bedtime. Sleep = a happier kid.
- Tune in and give your kids undivided attention. Unplugging and connecting with your kids is key.
- Be firm and set boundaries that work for your family. The kids should not be running the show.
- Add responsibilities into their daily lives which contribute to the family like laundry, dishes, and/or dusting.
All of the above, according this expert, make for a healthy childhood.
In The Trenches
Two professors who specialize in the study of school violence are spearheading a Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States.
As reported on NPR, this call to action encourages a community health approach to gun violence, “A public health approach to disease means, instead of waiting for people to be rushed to emergency rooms with heart attacks or the flu, you go into the community: with vaccinations, screenings, fruits and vegetables, walking trails and exercise coaches. You screen and regulate environmental hazards, like a nearby polluting factory. You keep watch on reported cases of illness, to stop a new outbreak in its tracks.” A public health approach to gun violence would fall along these same lines.
Matthew Mayer, a professor at Rutgers School of Education and Shane Jimeson from the University of California, Santa Barbara are proposing three levels of prevention in this public health approach to school and community violence.
- Level One: Conduct school climate assessments while instituting a ban on assault style weapons.
- Level Two: Ensure adequate community support staff such as counselors, therapists and psychologists to assist with community and school related needs for mental health. Implement reform of school discipline to alleviate exclusionary practices and facilitate positive social, emotional and academic success for all students. Institute comprehensive background checks before allowing the purchase of a weapon.
- Level Three: Assemble school threat assessment teams. Allow for easier sharing of information across schools, health and law enforcement agencies when it comes to a person of concern. Remove weapons from possession of those deemed potential threats.
Hack it Up
Anyone else struggling with completing homework with their kids each day? It can be such a battle. Especially after the kids have spent the whole day working already. Add in multiple kids and it can be a sanity tester, for real. Some handy-dandy ideas that we plan to try in the immediate future include:
- An organized divider for shared spaces. This idea comes from a homeschool blog, but would be amazing for a table filled with multiple kids after school. We plan to have our kids help make them because, craft project! Each divider includes a pencil pocket, magnetic ruler, cork board for displaying tips, tricks and hints. We don’t know about you, but we’ve got our recent subtraction tip going up on that bad boy. “More on the floor, go next door and grab ten more” because they’re always forgetting to go next door you guys. Always.
- Our kids hit us up for mermaid and gymnastics apps, time to balance them with some back-up for their school skills. This list, created by teachers, of 12 Math Apps is where we plan to start (seeing a trend here for the Trending Parent family?). If you need some reading remediation, Teach Thought has a list of 15 Of The Best Education Apps For Improving Reading Comprehension ready to roll for you.
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And, TGIF. For real.
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