Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Fling

This coming weekend is the Christan holiday of Easter.  Without getting incredibly religious here, Easter can be a wonderful time to teach your children the reason it's celebrated and the history of the Easter Bunny and eggs!

I know Wikipedia is not the most reliable source, but it is certainly a great place to get quick information.  Wikipedia has a great, short article on the history of the Easter Bunny and why we use eggs as symbols for Easter.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Bunny

For those throwing Easter gatherings or want to make crafts with your children; here are just a few great ideas found on the web!  While you are on the following sites, explore a little more and see what other fun things you can do with and for your loved ones.

Have a "Hoppy" Easter!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parents Teach By Example

Many parents don't realize, but everything you say, your child will pick up.  This concept even stays true with body image.  Did you know that girls as young as five years old worry about what they look like and diet?  Our society is worrying about these superficial things at too young of an age.  Children mimic what is talked about in their homes, and if the parents are worried about weight, dieting, and body image, then children will worry about the same things.  These ideas come from the media and pressures from other outside influences, such as the media.  "WebMD" has a great article on this topic and offers some great suggestions, as well as warning signs to look for in your children.

"Media images and messages can be the springboard for discussing healthy body images in children. Parents can discuss media messages that are inaccurate and unhealthy as well as positive media images, such as Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," which urges consumers to "be happy with who you are." The popular ads feature curvy, full-bodied, women -- not traditional waif-like models."

Here is a list given by WebMD to look for in your children:
  • Signals that a girl views herself only in terms of her physical appearance.
  • The language your daughter uses to describe herself and her physical development and attractiveness.
  • Excessive dieting
  • Frequent comments about the weight of other girls
  • Worries about sexual attractiveness
  • Depression and low self-esteem
Remember, these things are happening younger and younger and parents have the most influential opportunities to stop this behavior and to promote healthy body image at every age.

Please reference http://children.webmd.com/building-healthy-body-image-for-children to read more of the article and others with the same topic.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Local Family Events

Living in Utah County, there are many family-oriented activities to get involved with.  When involving the whole family, everyone feels accepted, appreciated, and that they are contributing to the family.  Here are a few ideas of things that you can do as a family...whether it be going to an organized event or just being at the local park together.

Color Me Mine Family Night

Color Me Mine Family Night
January 4, 2010 - December 31, 2011
Days of the Week: Mon The Shops at Riverwoods
4801 N. University Avenue, Provo, UT 84604
Price: $3.00 studio fees 

Enjoy Events at Brigham Young University; including plays, dance recitals, musical concerts, sports, and more!

Storytime at the Orem Public Library

Storytime at the Orem Public Library
January 5, 2010 - December 31, 2011
Days of the Week: Tue, Wed, Thu Orem Public Library - Storytelling Wing
58 North State Street, Orem, UT 84057
Hours of Operation: 10:30am
Price: Free 
Play Soccer at the Local Park

Swim at the Community Pool or Waterpark (this is great exercise for kids as they run up and down the stairs to the slides and from one side of the park to the other...they don't even realize what a great workout it is for them!!!)

As the weather gets warmer and there is more interaction outside, think of all the neat things that you and your family can do together.  This not only is great for exercise, but bonding with your children and creating memories that will last a lifetime.  

For more ideas in Utah County, please visit http://www.utahvalley.com/things-to-do/default.aspx.  Everyone else, check your local community websites to see what entertaining things are in your neighborhoods.  Get creative too!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

How Does Your Body Image Affect Your Child?

A while ago I was sitting with my three sisters discussing the fat around our thighs. As many women do, we each thought that our legs were SO much bigger than the others'. Now, my sisters and I are far from fat, yet we still found a way to complain about our bodies. My five year old sister was with us and decided to join in on the conversation. When I heard her say, "no, my legs are so fat!", I knew that what we had said affected more than just the three of us.

There are 7 million women in the US and 1 million men that have an eating disorder. Could the cause of eating disorders partially be caused by the way women talk about themselves? Kids hear a lot of what we say, whether it is good or bad. If we are constantly bashing on our bodies, what chance do they have in creating a positive body image? Prevention starts young, and it starts with us.

I  found a great article written by Michael Levine called 10 Things Parents Can Do to Help
Prevent Eating Disorders
. Below are a few examples of the tips Levine gives in preventing eating disorders.

2. Examine closely your dreams and goals for your children and other loved ones. Are you overemphasizing
beauty and body shape, particularly for girls?
  • Avoid conveying an attitude which says in effect, “I will like you more if you lose weight, don’t eat so much, look more like the slender models in ads, fit into smaller clothes, etc.”
  • Decide what you can do and what you can stop doing to reduce the teasing, criticism, blaming, staring, etc. that reinforce the idea that larger or fatter is “bad” and smaller or thinner is “good.”
4. Make a commitment not to avoid activities (such as swimming, sunbathing, dancing, etc.) simply
because they call attention to your weight and shape. Refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or
that you don’t like but wear simply because they divert attention from your weight or shape.

Eating disorders are deadly not just to the body, but to the soul as well. Click HERE to read the rest of the article by Michael Levine.

*Took info from: