Let's B U I L D a Healthy Kid!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Did you know some social scientists believe that EVERY SENTENCE we say to a child impacts his or her development? Wow, pretty heavy stuff. Fostering a kid’s self-esteem needs to be a goal for all of us. It is one of the best and most important gifts we give a child. Self-esteem is a person’s core belief about himself/herself. A healthy self-esteem will help a child make good decisions throughout a lifetime. (We should acknowledge that self-esteem is a life-long process that may fluctuate throughout one’s life.) Professionals agree that parents/caregivers can foster children’s self esteem by nurturing these 3 areas: 1. Helping them feel that they belong within their family. 2. Helping them feel that they can accomplish things. 3. Helping them feel they can contribute/cooperate in the family, in worthwhile ways. Becoming a healthy individual doesn’t happen overnight. Getting a good start during childhood is important. It’s one of the most vital gifts we give our kids…healthy self-esteem.
Taken in part from: webmd.com/guide/helping-your-child-develop-healthy-self-esteem From: Carol Cochard Pool, MSW, PCAIN Prevention Education Specialist

January is National Mentoring Month

Monday, January 23, 2012

A mentor is a caring, adult friend who devotes time to a young person. Although mentors can fill any number of different roles, all mentors have the same goal in common: to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths. Mentors should understand they are not meant to replace a parent, guardian or teacher. A mentor is not a disciplinarian or decision maker for a child. Instead, a mentor echoes the positive values and cultural heritage parents and guardians are teaching. A mentor is part of a team of caring adults. A mentor's main purpose is to help a young person define individual goals and find ways to achieve them. Since the expectations of each child will vary, the mentor's job is to encourage the development of a flexible relationship that responds to both the mentor's and the young person's needs. By sharing fun activities and exposing a youth to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas. In joining a formal mentoring program, you will probably be asked to go through an application process. As part of that process, you will need to supply personal and professional references, perhaps have a background check performed, and complete a personal interview. Also, remember that the role of a mentor comes with substantial responsibilities so you will be required to take part in an orientation and training. Throughout the duration of your mentoring relationship, be sure to seek support from the program coordinator. Mentoring Settings Each mentoring program is different. So are the locations and settings within which a mentoring relationship can develop. Mentors and young people may find that their relationship begins by participating in a variety of activities. Depending on the type of mentoring program — and the program's rules and regulations — a mentoring pair may go to the park or a museum, participate in sports or do some other activity where they can get to know each other better. Mentors and mentees might also meet at the child's school once a week where they could talk, play games or work on school assignments together. Take a look at some of the different settings where mentoring occurs. In the community • Community-based mentoring offers young people the chance to develop a relationship with one or more adults. • Takes place outside of specific sites: going to the movies, going to a park, etc. • Can include tutoring, career exploration, life skills development, game playing and going to sports, entertainment or cultural events. • Typically asks the mentor for a commitment of at least one year. In schools • Mentoring in schools can have a significant impact on the dropout rate among high school students. • Offers young people the chance to develop a relationship with one or more adults. • Takes place at school, either during or immediately after school hours. • Can include tutoring, game playing and sports. • Typically asks the mentor for a commitment of at least one school year. In the faith-based community • Faith-based mentoring has a long tradition of instilling spiritual values and moral strength, putting faith into practice. • Offers young people the chance to develop a relationship with one or more adults. • Takes place in a house of worship and reflects the values and beliefs of that religion. Typically occurs after school hours and/or on weekends. • Can include career exploration, life skills development, game playing and going to sports, entertainment or cultural events. • Can serve young people from the congregation and/or from the local community. In businesses • Today, more and more companies are starting mentoring programs to help the young people who live in the communities where the companies do business. • Offers young people the chance to develop a relationship with one or more adults. • Takes place at the work site. • Can include tutoring, job shadowing, career exploration and role playing. • Typically asks the mentor for a commitment of at least one school year. E-mentoring • E-mentoring takes place via the Internet and allows mentors and mentees to develop their relationship by exchanging messages online. • Makes mentoring available to mentors and young people who otherwise might not be able to meet easily because of time or travel constraints. • Helps young people learn more about high-tech communications and improve their writing skills. • Offers young people the chance to develop a relationship with one or more adults. (Some programs have a group of adults who mentor a group of young people. For instance, a group of engineers might advise an entire classroom of students.) • Offers young people a great way to find out about potential careers. • Enables young people to work with mentors on special projects. A mentor may help a young person: • Plan a project for school; • Set career goals and start taking steps to realize them; • Make healthy choices about day-to-day life, from food to exercise and beyond; and • Think through a problem at home or school. To be a mentor, you don't need special skills, just an ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance and encouragement to a young person. And you'll be amazed by how much you'll get out of the experience. For more information about mentoring resources, visit mentoring.org.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

As we just celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King, we think about the messages he imparted on a generation. These messages are valuable to children, families, and communities. As we were contemplating the title of this blog, the word “tolerance” was suggested. A co-worker correctly pointed out however, that we should not just be “tolerant”, but rather appreciative of others…their differences, their uniqueness, their strengths, and their foibles. Now that the holidays are over and the “winter” doldrums have really arrived, it’s more important than ever to remember families and remember that there are many who continue to need support and appreciation. Those attributes should not just occur during the holiday season, but most especially now, as we celebrate a man who believed in justice, forgiveness, peace, and most importantly…appreciation.

Getting Organized

Monday, January 9, 2012

Millions of people choose “Getting Organized” as a New Year Resolution. We all know that most resolutions are logical but usually die a slow, quiet death. It is not the resolution that’s at fault – it’s the follow through that we just can’t handle. As January winds down, so do motivation, energy and the desire for change. In my opinion, if you are going to get organized, the first thing to think about is organizing your ‘time’ Successful people know that to get ahead, they must plan, set priorities and always follow through. In the process they develop systems that work for them. The reward is some peace of mind and some extra time to do other things you want. Determine whether you are really disorganized or just have a unique style of organization that looks messy to other; for example, there may be piles of files covering your desk, but you can find any item you need in a moment. If you spend more than five minutes looking for the things you need, (your keys, the remote control, books, etc) then, your disorganization is interfering with your productivity. 1. Have a goal. Take personal charge to change. Translate your resolution into small daily steps. Distinguish between your goal and the acts necessary to reach the goal. It’s the step-by-step changes each day, each week, that carry a resolution to fruition. 2. Write down your priorities. Resolutions evaporate because they’re not written down or shared with an accountability partner. Ask yourself “What is the best use of my time right now?” 3. Become accountable. Share your resolution with a trusted friend or family member. They can help you celebrate, analyze failure, and provide a hefty dose of motivation. 4. Tap to Online-Resources or use a Computer Program for references. There are several resources to help and inspire with any kind of resolution, whether it’s diet, or clutter. In your quest for organization, if all else fails, hire somebody to help you through the process!! Submitted by Dee Mazza, PCAIN Prevention Presentation Coordinator

New Year's Resolutions

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It’s that time of year again. New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. It’s a time when we make a commitment to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change which is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned, and is one example of a rolling forecast-method of planning. According to this method, plans are established at regular short or medium-term time intervals, when only a rough long-term plan exists. Are These Your Top Ten Resolutions for 2012? Spend More Time with Family and Friends - 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with them. 1. Exercise More Consistently - Reduces stress, and a risk to some diseases, increases longevity, and helps maintain weight loss. Make sure you check with your doctor prior to starting any exercise regimen. 2. Tame the Bulge - Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors. 3. Quit Smoking - Smokers try about four times before they quit for good. So, don’t give up! Check with your doctor about safe and effective methods 4. Enjoy Life More - Get a hobby, enjoy the theatre, or just try something new…important steps to a happier and healthier you! 5. Quit Drinking - Use New Year’s as an incentive – but quitting cold turkey Is hard to do. Taper off or use other programs for support or help. 6. Get out of Debt - Big source of stress, but it’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead. There are resources out there to assist people who are in over their heads 7. Learn Something New - Education is one of the easiest resolutions to keep. 8. Help Others- Popular, non-selfish resolution, volunteerism can take many forms, whether it’s helping, mentoring, and building – there are many non-profits that can use your help. 9. Get Organized - Organization can be a very reasonable goal to simply reduce the clutter in your life and find peace in your home or office. Recent research shows that whole 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals; only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”) while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from friends. We wish you the best in accomplishing your New Year’s Resolutions in 2012!!