March 2018
The Children_s Trust Parenting Our Children Newsletter Header
Girl eating strawberries
Eat Better, Feel Better, Live Better!
Hop on the get-healthy bandwagon
Written by Beryl Meyer

It's National Nutrition Month, a great time to revisit what's on the menu at home and make simple adjustments to ensure that everyone's eating for their very good health. Even when you're squeezed for time, healthy fare is possible, and making informed choices can help protect your family from packing on the pounds and reduce their risk of disease, including diabetes and high cholesterol. Here's how:

Change Your Mind(Set)
Instead of thinking about your choices as either "good" or "bad," think "nutrient-rich," advises the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Foods dense in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients are typically lower in calories, bad fats and sugars. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products, as well as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts top the recommended list of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.   Read More

Photo:  Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Thinkstock
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Raising Practical, Positive Kids 
Encourage Them to See That the Glass is Always Half Full!
Written by Laura Markham, Ph.D.

The world needs optimists, now more than ever. Optimism, or the conviction that things will work out in the end, is a cornerstone of resilience and an asset in achieving any kind of success. In fact, research shows that optimists - simply by believing that they can reach their goals - are in fact more likely to do so. They're also less likely to get depressed, contract fewer illnesses, have longer relationships and live longer. 

Evidence indicates that optimism is an inherited trait, and it's known that just as there is a biological basis to depression, there are those who possess an innate tendency to be upbeat. But when it comes to determining whether optimists are born or made, the great news is, it's both.   Read More
Photo: matthewennisphotography/iStock/Thinkstock
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From Naysayer to "No Problem!"
Written by 
Beryl Meyer

Role modeling techniques and go-to resources can help parents transform little pessimists into bright-eyed optimists. "Children mimic their parents' emotions as early as six days old; it's one of the primary ways they learn and grow," says Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of  Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. "This is why parents who explain things optimistically tend to have kids who mimic their explanatory styles." To help foster a more hopeful attitude in your child, follow Carter's simple strategies:

Be open with affection. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, children with demonstrative, caring parents are more hopeful, notes Carter. "Parental affection and care is - no surprises here - essential for kids to develop trust in the world. When kids have a secure base in their parents, they tend to believe the world is a good place."    Read More

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Boy helps with laundry duty
Create Clutter-Free Kids
Stop messes where they stand!
Written by Beryl Meyer

Organizing your home can take a village of helpers, and putting your kids in charge of their rooms is the perfect place to start. With order comes a great lesson in valuing what's important - and letting go of what's not.

Set Limits
Professional organizer (and Oprah Winfrey favorite!) Peter Walsh believes that limits and routines are fundamental building blocks that enable children to grow into adults who are accountable, considerate and caring. 

So when the toy box starts to overflow and the bookshelves are becoming jam-packed, that's the perfect time to pare down. Help your child figure out just how much space they have for the things they love, and begin to weed out those items that have lost their appeal into two piles, one for donating and one for discarding.   Read More

Photo: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Thinkstock
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