Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Posts tagged ‘holidays’

ARRGGHH, Help Me!

December 1, and the countdown begins!  I can’t get everything done I am stressing, and Christmas is supposed to be fun.  What can I do?  Don’t feel alone, according to About.com  80% of their readers feel the same way.  What can we do to relieve some stress, to bring the Happy back to Happy Holidays?

Here are some tips to maybe help:

Don’t try to make everything “perfect”.  As parents, moms especially, we want our children to experience the perfect holiday.  Let’s be honest, does your child really care that all of the packages are wrapped in matching paper and bows.  Do all of the candy canes have to face the same way?  Decide a couple of things that are really important to you and stick to perfecting those items.

Use shortcuts.  Simplify experiences that you want to include in your celebrations .  Want to still send Christmas cards?  Try sending e-cards that can be sent out all together.  Want to host a holiday party?  Consider hiring help (catering, cleaning, etc) or make it a potluck.

Make a plan.  Does spending too much cause your stress?  Make a budget and stick to it.  Do you and your spouse disagree about where to spend the holidays?  Make a plan well ahead of time, so everyone knows what to expect.

Just say NO!  This is a hard one!  Who wants to miss out on anything this time of year??  But, we really don’t need to attend  everything we are invited to, every activity in the community.  Once again, make a plan and choose what is really special to you.

Hopefully these ideas will give you a few strategies to make yours a Holly Jolly Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ Celebration!

Nutrition at School and Home.

School lunches have changed dramatically over the years since I was in school.  There were no offers of salad bar or fresh fruits and vegetables, wheat or whole grain products, baked rather than fried foods and 1% milk instead of whole milk.  I think you get the picture.

Healthy eating is tied to improved classroom performance.   Providing nutritious hot lunches is a challenge and an ongoing process of providing better nutritious meals in schools.  Many schools have risen to the challenge and are continuing to find new ways to achieve this.

Almost one out of three children has weight issues.  All of us need to work together (school, community and home) to achieve healthier eating habits in our kids.

So what can parents do at home?

1)      Focus on good health.  Teach and model healthy eating habits.

2)      Change the whole family’s eating patterns.  (The whole family may lose weight and become healthier)

3)      Have healthy foods on hand at home.

4)      Don’t force a child to “clean his plate”.   Let him decide when he’s full.

5)      Make healthy lifestyle changes not changes based solely on weight issues.  Forgo that slice of cheese on your hamburger. 

6)      Let children help in planning, shopping and preparing meals.  They’ll learn from your example.

7)      Help children understand that sweets such as candy, cookies, cake etc. can be eaten in moderation-just not every day, like everything-moderation is the key.  If you deprive children of occasional treats they will likely overeat.

8)      Plan healthy snacks.

9)      Don’t overdo on fruit juices.  They provide calories but not as many nutrients.

10)   Encourage exercise alone or with the family.  Make it a family affair where everyone benefits from increased quality time, potential weight loss to decreased health issues. 

11)   Become knowledgeable about healthy eating and exercise. 

Any other suggestions that I may have missed? What do you think about the timing of this post, is healthy eating at school even realistic during the holiday months?

Holiday Celebrations in School

Betty Carmon- Parent to Parent Coordinator- Powell Region

Most of my childhood was spent in Europe as my father was in the military, one of the greatest memories I will always cherish were the holidays in school, it was the only place that always depicted my home land the USA, so for me those celebrations always kept me grounded to American traditions and the pride in my country. What were the celebrations like while you were growing up? Did your parents engage in school run activities assisting with field trips, bringing various cultural materials to your class? What about your own children- do you join in on the events or topics covered leading up to the holidays? Would you prefer that the school didn’t have holiday themed activities or do you think we have gone too far in not allowing some things? For example, how many schools still do a Thanksgiving play/ celebration? If your school was contemplating doing one would you have any objections? Betty

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