Archive for the ‘Healthy Relationships’ Category

I was intrigued to read new research from Microsoft that found employees report not having enough uninterrupted focus time during the workday. One of the major factors relating to this lack of time was the 192% increase in the number of online meetings and calls held now versus pre-Covid. When I look at my own calendar, I see groups who used to meet once a month or even quarterly, now meeting every month, many even more often. During my typical week I probably have 3 in-person meetings and at least 4 online meetings. That doesn’t include the teaching I often do – online. A large study of over 30,000 employees held in early 2023 found that inefficient meetings are the number one distraction that impacts productivity, and too many meetings is number two.

So, what can we do about meeting fatigue? Several companies have tried meeting free months, selecting one meeting-free day each week, or just shortening the length of meetings. In these cases, productivity and satisfaction increased, and stress levels were reduced.  Another idea is holding walking meetings. Walking meetings allow you to promote a healthy lifestyle while accomplishing work. An bonus benefit, walking meetings are usually shorter! If you want to try a Walking Meeting, here are a few tips:

  • Avoid noisy areas, so everyone can be heard.
  • Consider scheduling your meeting to avoid times when walking routes are busy (at lunch or right after school lets out).
  • Designate or include stops to ensure everyone is ok and to allow slow walkers to be included.
  • Consider note taking – will you record the meeting, or will someone write-up notes later?

While you are taking steps to reduce the number or length of meetings at your workplace, consider that “Happy Workers are More Productive.” Find ways to bring happiness to your workplace like:

  • Listening
  • Celebrating successes, birthdays, work anniversaries, etc.
  • Recognizing contributions of all staff to projects.
  • Leading by example using positivity, smiles, and humor; and avoiding office gossip.
  • Providing healthy treats every once in a while, like fresh fruit or vegetables, dark chocolate, or popcorn.

Consider ways you can cut out a meeting or two and improve the happiness of those with who you spend your time at work.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County.

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In the original television series Star Trek, Mr. Spock would sometimes give the Vulcan salute, making a ‘V’ with his fingers and saying, “Live long and Prosper”. Fifty plus years later I have a better understanding that healthy aging is doing just that.          space

It seems that if there are behaviors that can be changed to remain healthy it would be ‘logical’ to explore those heathy habits that maintain human life.  Some of the universally recommended strategies by groups like the Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, and the Ohio Department of Aging to live longer are:

Be proactive, get those routine health screenings, annual checkups of vision, hearing, dental, emotional health most health plans encourage them. Most diseases if caught early can better managed or cured in their beginning stages. Maintain a healthy weight and watch those numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C levels. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep.

Maintain social connections. Conversation exercises most of the brain using, speech, vision, hearing, social ques, and memory. Do something that is meaningful to you. Relationships are important.

Keep moving, regular exercise and physical activity is good for the heart and what is good for the heart is good for every system. Moving outside also reduces stress and strengthens the immune system.

Good nutrition is important to keep your body fueled up. Include: fruits, veggies, and whole grains; good fats from nuts, olive oil, and lean protein; and limit sodium. These are included in the DASH and The Mediterranean MIND diets.

On the ‘illogical’ side of health are major health risks like smoking and drinking alcohol in excess both of which are known to shorten lives. Smoking on average shortens life by ten years.

To ‘prosper’ a financial plan is important. Managing income and spending are important for a financially healthy future. Spending less or making more are the only way to change the bottom line in a personal balance sheet.

 What steps can you take to “Live Long and Prosper?”

Written by: Ken Stewart, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Monroe County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Alzheimer’s Assocation, https://www.alz.org/help-support/brain_health/10_ways_to_love_your_brain 

American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/habits 

Ohio Department of Aging, https://aging.ohio.gov/about-us 

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Two people cleaning living room


Ahhh, spring has sprung, well at least it HAD sprung for a few weeks here in Ohio and hopefully it will return soon! With spring’s arrival, many people take advantage of the warmer temperatures and longer days to begin sprucing up their houses and yards. While I love getting out in my yard and garden as soon as possible to start preparing for the blossoms and blooms of spring and summer, I am not nearly as excited about tending to my house. Luckily, my husband is more likely to help me with the inside than the outside and, working together makes spring cleaning easier than tackling it alone.

Spring cleaning has taken on an entirely new meaning for us this year. My husband and I just moved out of our 4 bedroom, 3 bath 2,700 sq. ft. home of 8 years and into my son’s 1 bedroom, 1 bath 625 sq. ft. apartment this past weekend. Our house was in contract 2 days after we listed, needless to say, we were in a bit of a scramble to find a place to live for a couple months. Thankfully, my son graciously offered to let us stay in his apartment until our house is completed in July and he is staying with his grandparents. While I am incredibly grateful to have a place to stay, my husband and I are quickly learning what a luxury it was to have the extra space.

We have been preparing for this move, or so we thought, for several months. We had already moved some of our belongings into a storage unit to prepare for selling our house. And while my children are all grown and mostly out of the house, we still housed a ton of their “stuff.” As we were sorting through stuff, it became clear that we have TOO MUCH! But as the deadline to be out of our house approached, we realized we did not have time to sort all of the stuff right now, so we just focused on getting everything packed up and moved. Now our 32 x 40 pole barn and the large storage unit are pretty much filled, and we are left with the task of sorting and reducing over the next couple months.

As stressful as it has been, it is good to see what we have so we can more effectively determine what we REALLY want and/or need to move into our forever home. Mental Health America’s national campaign for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, is “Look Around, Look Within” emphasizing how our surroundings impact our mental health. Though at times it can be stressful, spring cleaning can have mental health benefits. Some of these include improved mood, increased productivity, decreased stress, and increased creativity. In this article Erin Michel, Graduate Assistant, reminds us “Spring cleaning your mind is similar in practice to spring cleaning your house: de-cluttering the things that are holding you back, reinventing or refining your values, and then maintaining that sense of mental cleanliness and self-awareness moving forward.”

Other areas you may want to consider spring cleaning include: finances, digital accounts, medicine, make up, and food storage areas. As my husband and I adjust to our new accommodations, I will try to focus on the positives and remember this is short-term. And when one or both of us is frustrated with the situation or each other, you may just find me in the yard communing with nature for my health AND his!

Written by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Ryan Kline, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, kline.375@osu.edu


Can spring cleaning make you happier? Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.wakehealth.edu/stories/can-spring-cleaning-make-you-happier

Mental health Month 2023 “Look around, look within.” (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://mhanational.org/sites/default/files/MHM/Toolkit-2023/MHM-2023-Sample-Proclamation.pdf

Robbins, J., Williams, T., & George, Z. S. (n.d.). Ecopsychology: How immersion in nature benefits your health. Yale E360. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health?nav=F4tE-518336

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People enjoying a county fair on swings.

As the final school bells ring across the country, many kids head home to spend their summers at camps, baseball games, on vacation, or even in front of the TV. However, finding ways to have fun and spend time with friends and family can really bust the budget. Exploring different ways to save or free options in your local community are a great way to start turning summer fun into summer savings.

Tips and Tricks to Save on Summer Fun

Hunt for Online Ticket Discounts

From resorts and amusement parks to zoos and hotels, hunting online for discounts that reward you for planning ahead are great options for people on a budget. Always check to see if they have discounts for buying your tickets online. Many zoos, theme parks, and museums have discounts for planning your trip ahead of time and purchasing tickets online. Don’t forget to check if you’re a member of different groups for a discount, Veterans  and AARP Card holders often get discounts at hotels and at other attractions.

Plan Early & Do Your Research!

It can take some to investigate and find the best deals on flights, amusements parks, and hotel stays. There are great comparison websites and by doing your independent research you are able to weigh the costs and the benefits of trips. Because research can take some time, planning your travel early is never bad for your pocket! Buying tickets, hotel stays, or camping spots early often allows for cheaper prices, more seating options, and better lodging accommodations. The early bird not only gets the worm, but they can get the worm cheaper!

Create Meals on the Go

Food is one of the most expensive parts of a trip, vacation, and even everyday life. When planning your summer fun, be sure to account for food costs, even if it is just an ice cream cone at the local pool, be sure you budget for snacks. One way to lower your food costs is to pack or bring food with you! When packing think of portable healthy foods like fresh and dried fruits, cheeses, yogurts, veggies, and drinks. Even when you are headed somewhere farther away, bringing lunches, or preparing meals in your hotel room can help make a more expensive trip, budget friendly.

Make a Budget and Stick to it

Before the summer has even started, map out your budget and stick to it! By setting limits, budgets help to reinforce financial control and anticipate costs. Determining the maximum amount of money you have for transportation, hotel, food, and entertainment helps establish financial boundaries for you and your family. For a sample budget plan, America Saves has tools that can help to build a spending and savings plan.

Low cost or free options for Summer fun on a budget:

  • Attend minor league sporting games
  • Visit a local, state, or national park
  • Head to your local county fair
  • Visit museums, parks, and community pools
  • Lake Erie Light House Tours
  • Check out the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, or Columbus Zoos
  • Enjoy local water parks or lakes

As long as you plan ahead and remain financially conscious, your summer plans can be a great time to reconnect with friends, family and other loved ones.

Written by: Ryan Kline, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, kline.375@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu


Schmidt, Judy. 5 money-saving tips for traveling on a budget, Illinois Extension. https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs/connection-corner/2023-04-05-5-money-saving-tips-traveling-budget

Vacationing on a Budget. Family Financial Management. University of Kentucky Extension. https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/2016-05-moneywise-newsletter.pdf

Summer family fun on a budget, University of Minnesota Extension. https://extension.umn.edu/spending-and-saving/summer-family-fun-budget

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Simply put, life is complicated. Whether your kids have basketball practice at 6pm or a dance recital at 7pm, often evenings come and go before you know it. With this goes the chance to help your child spend dinner time building a healthy relationship with their food. All meals, especially dinner, are great learning opportunities for parents to teach children what a healthy plate looks and tastes like. While it may seem like one extra task on your do-to list, the benefits of encouraging your children to participate in meal time will outlast any evening life hustle and bustle. To help family meal time run smoothly and relieve some of your stress, here are some quick and simple tips to get your children in the kitchen!

Child helping mix
  • Allow children to help build the week’s menu. Take into account your child’s food preferences by allowing them to have input in what is made. If you need inspiration, consider looking through cook books and online recipes together. Kid-friendly examples to try include these turkey quesadilla and pita pizza recipes.
  • Take children to the grocery store or local farmer’s market when shopping. Once there, let them choose a new fruit, vegetable, or meat to try with meals for the upcoming week.
  • Provide children with age appropriate utensils and assign them tasks that develop their kitchen skills! Examples of this include allowing toddlers to measure ingredients, knead dough, and place pizza toppings. As children get older other responsibilities such as washing fruits and vegetables, whisking eggs, filling muffin trays or cake pans, and helping with clean-up may be right for them. Keep in mind that children are more likely to try a new dish that they helped prepare so any task that they can lend a hand with will be beneficial.
  • Taste test together. Just like helping with preparation, children are also more willing to try new foods that they see others eating. Therefore, adults should model healthy eating behaviors such as filling their plate with fresh fruits and vegetables and trying ingredients they have never eaten before.
  • Don’t be discouraged, even if a child does not like a new ingredient the first time. Research shows that it can often take a child 10 exposures (or even more) to a new food before they accept it. Continue offering the ingredient in small portions with well-liked foods to increase chance of acceptance.
cooking together

Take some time this week to involve children in the kitchen by encouraging them to try new tasks and sample new ingredients. Not only will this help them develop a well-balanced diet and healthy relationship with food, but allowing them to prepare their own food strengthens self-esteem, teaches them life skills, and gives children a sense of accomplishment!


Brickley, L. (2020). Cooking tasks kids can help with at every age. Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids/best-cooking-tasks-kids-every-age

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Turkey quesadilla. Nutrition. https://www.nutrition.gov/recipes/turkey-quesadilla

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Pita pizzas. Nutrition. https://www.nutrition.gov/recipes/pita-pizzas

Author: Samantha Farnsworth, Marshall University Dietetic Intern at Ohio State University Extension, Washington County

Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

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Sometimes we get so consumed or caught up in the daily grind that we don’t give much thought to what drives us. Being intentional and living life with purpose can bring a sense of direction, meaning and contentment.

Surprisingly, only about 25% of American adults say they have a clear sense of what makes their lives meaningful, according to one study in The New York Times. Another 40% either claim to be neutral on the subject or report they don’t have a clear sense of purpose.

Why Do You Need a Sense of Purpose?

Feeling like what you do matters can contribute to life’s happiness. Purposeful living can also be good for your physical and mental health. A study published in Applied Psychology reported that individuals with a sense of purpose live longer and have better health outcomes, such as better sleep, stronger immune system and reduced risk of strokes, heart attacks and dementia.

Finding meaning and purpose is good for your brain! Living out your purpose can help encourage new cells and pathways in your brain. Having purpose can keep you motivated to take steps to improve other aspects of mental health.

When is the last time you gave thought to your purpose? Have you ever written it down?

One way to find your purpose is to ask yourself: What drives you? Have you experienced something that touches you so deeply that it drives you? Often, a powerful purpose is borne from powerful pain.

Steps to finding purpose:

  • Find what drives you
  • Find what energizes you
  • Find out what you’re willing to sacrifice for
  • Find out who you want to help
  • Find out how you want to help

Perhaps a purpose can be found where you already donate time, money or talent. This could include volunteering for a nonprofit organization, donating money to causes you care about, or simply helping out the people around you on a day-to-day basis. Listen to feedback from others around you for insight about your passion. You might already be displaying your passion and purpose without even realizing it.

Keep in mind your purpose doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change what you’re doing already. Finding your life purpose is a lifelong journey. Your purpose may change over time and that’s okay! If you want to explore some more, check out this worksheet with additional questions to help you discover your passion.

Writer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

Reviewer: Christine Kendle, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Tuscarawas County, kendle.4@osu.edu


Davis, T. “Five Steps to Finding Your Life Purpose.” Psychology Today. Dec 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201712/five-steps-finding-your-life-purpose

Morin, A. “7 Tips for Finding Your Purpose in Life.” Very Well Mind. Dec 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-for-finding-your-purpose-in-life-4164689

Scott, E. “The Link Between Happiness and Health.” Very Well Mind. Mar 2020. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-link-between-happiness-and-health-3144619

Smith, J. “How to Find Your Purpose in Life.” The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Jan 2018. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_find_your_purpose_in_life

Winona State University. Nov 2016. https://www2.winona.edu/resilience/media/questions-for-purpose-worksheet.pdf

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In a poll conducted by Forbes Health in 2022, 59% of respondents felt that since the pandemic it has become harder for them to form new adult relationships. Pandemic aside, there are many other life events, such as moving or changing employment, which can leave your social circle slim. If you are feeling the same, there are a few ways that you can work on meeting new people and reestablish existing relationships.

Why can’t we just stay home forever? We are social creatures, and socializing does not just improve our mood, but also our health. The Mayo Clinic shares that having positive friendships can:

  • Help combat feelings of loneliness and depression, which can cause isolation
  • Increase happy feelings and decrease stress
  • Good relationships can be a support system for negative times
  • Can encourage you to make better lifestyle choices
  • Give you a sense of belonging or purpose
  • Can help to lower blood pressure and body mass index.

University of Maryland professor, Marisa Franco, gave an interview in 2022 on why as adults we struggle making new friends.  She states that the organic nature in which we gained friends as a child changes with age. With busier schedules and more strict boundaries, making new friends must be intentional. She reports that we tend to be too hard on ourselves as we age, and it is easier for us to feel unliked by new people despite evidence of the contrary. This is when loneliness can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You might be wondering where or how to start meeting all these awesome potential friends? Psychiatrist Roxanna Namavar shares some tips to keep in mind:

  • Approach new people and activities with positivity, focusing on what feels good.
  • Create your circle of friends around the parts of your life you enjoy.
  • Take some time to research groups that may interest you. This might require you to update your social media skills to groups and community activities you may not have been aware of.
  • Ask questions about your new friend. This will help build a relationship better than just talking about yourself.
  • Is there a casual acquaintance you can get to know better?
  • Do not be afraid to say ‘yes,’ initiate activities, or be vulnerable.

Additionally, older adults may have added anxiety about returning to social gatherings. AARP shares that some people may feel more confident about spending time with others who may be vaccinated. But having those conversations with friends and family may lead to more stress. It is okay to tell other’s that you are not ready to join large gatherings yet. Coming up with alternative activities that would make you more comfortable will help others to know that you still value time with them. Likewise, be patient with others who are not comfortable with your own invitations to gather.

As stated earlier, positive friendships are the key. When working on friendships aim for quality over quantity. Keeping friendships takes time and effort, but they are worth it.

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letter blocks that spell the word stress

For the past 31 years, the month of April has been recognized and promoted as Stress Awareness Month. Health professionals had noticed that there is a correlation between stress and the wellbeing of the body, mind, and on our behaviors. Stress can affect the body negatively with symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, anxiety, constant worrying, substance abuse and having angry outbursts.

Stress can be positive or negative. Positive (eustress) stress happens when you are trying to meet a deadline or preparing to take a test, it can improve your focus and motivation. Examples of positive stress could also be getting married or having your first child. Negative (distress) stress happens when certain situations overwhelm our ability to cope. Negative stress can result from financial worries, illness, or having high expectations in the workplace. The problem with stress is when the small, manageable amounts start to build up on each other to create big problems, which can affect your health. A few different techniques that may help with decreasing stress levels are:

a green cup filled with coffee and words  for journaling and a pen
  • Journaling– Track your stress and how you reacted and coped with it.
  • Healthy lifestyle- Eating healthy while also getting in regular amounts of sleep and exercise.
  • Relaxation techniques- Practice methods such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or getting a massage.
  • Setting time aside- Finding the time within your day to “simplify” and enjoy the little things.
  • Healthy relationships– Continue to build and strengthen interpersonal connections that will have a positive impact in your life.

Don’t let stress continue to negatively impact your body, mind, or behaviors. Start using stress relief techniques to help manage the stress in your life.


Healthy Lifestyle: Stress Management. Mayo Clinic, Published 3/24/2021. Accessed 3/4/2023. Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior – Mayo Clinic

What is stress? My Brain Co. Published 11/21/2019. Accessed 3/5/2023. What Is Stress? Positive vs. Negative | Fight or Flight | Resilience (mybrainco.com)

Ohio State University Extension (2015) Have you tried “Journaling” your Stressors?? at Have you tried “Journaling” your Stressors?? | Live Healthy Live Well (livehealthyosu.com)

Ohio State University Extension (2012) S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y- In Recognition of Stress Awareness at S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y. – In Recognition of Stress Awareness | Live Healthy Live Well (livehealthyosu.com)

Bilodeau, K. Fostering Healthy Relationships. Harvard Health Publishing. Published 7/1/2021. Accessed 3/6/2023. Fostering healthy relationships – Harvard Health

Written by : Amy Cleland, BGSU Dietetic Intern working with Wood County Extension and Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County

Reviewed by: Casey Bishop, MACP, Paulding County Extension Educator, FCS

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It is finally spring and my favorite time of the year! I hope you are celebrating that not only has spring has arrived, but so has National Nutrition Month. This is a yearly celebration during the month of March to create awareness about making informed food choices as well as developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

March is also a great time to enjoy springtime foods! Have you noticed the beautiful color of food this time of year? What are your favorite springtime foods to cook and serve? There are many to choose from including strawberries, spinach, and my personal favorite are the bright orange “bugs bunny” carrots! If you need a little inspiration for spring holiday dinner ideas here are two videos (3 minutes each) of my favorites green bean recipe and a cucumber dill appetizer recipe. Quick, easy and healthier!

National Nutrition Month is a great time to learn about different food choices and educate your family as well.  This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future” and include the following messages:

Theme 1: Eat with the Environment in Mind

  • Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks.
  • Purchase foods with minimal packaging
  • Buy foods in season and shop locally when possible.
  • Start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.

Theme 2: See a Registered Dietician

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN.
  • Find an RDN who specializes in your unique needs.
  • Learn how nutrient needs may change with age.
  • Received personalized nutrition information to meet your health goals.

Theme 3: Stay Nourished and Save Money

  • Plan your meals and snacks.
  • See what food you have at home before purchasing more.
  • Use a grocery list and shop sales when purchasing food.
  • Learn about community resources.

Theme 4: Eat a Variety of Foods from All Food Groups

  • Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions.
  • Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried.
  • Avoid fad diets that promote unnecessary restrictions.
  • Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs.

Theme 5: Make Tasty Foods at Home

  • Learn cooking and meal preparation skills.
  • Try new flavors and foods from around the world.
  • Find creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them.
  • Create happy memories by eating with friends and family when possible.

I hope you find time to enjoy a few springtime foods and don’t forget to get outside and soak up some sunshine!

Happy Spring!


  1. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2023). National Nutrition Month. https://www.eatright.org/national-nutrition-month-2023.

Written by:  Shari Gallup, Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Licking County, Ohio. gallup.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Laura M. Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60.osu.edu

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When working in the field of early childhood you get many questions from parents regarding child development. I can’t tell you how many times a parent has asked me a question that began with the words “is it normal”. Generally, the answer is “yes”, followed by an explanation of how all children develop at their own pace. However, it is also important to recognize that early intervention, when needed, will lead to better outcomes and may have lasting implications. This is especially true with speech issues, including stuttering.

adult smiling at child
The most important lessons are learnt with love

Stuttering is a speech problem where the normal flow of speech is disrupted. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency and according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are several types of stuttering. 

  • Developmental stuttering. This is the most common type of stuttering in children. It usually happens when a child is between ages 2 and 5. It may happen when a child’s speech and language development lags behind what he or she needs or wants to say.
  • Neurogenic stuttering. Neurogenic stuttering may happen after a stroke or brain injury. It happens when there are signal problems between the brain and nerves and muscles involved in speech.
  • Psychogenic stuttering. Psychogenic stuttering is not common. It may happen after emotional trauma.

Many children (about 5%) experience disfluency between the ages 2 ½ and 5. It is during this time their vocabulary is growing rapidly and they are starting to put words together to form sentences. While most disfluency resolves on its own, some children may need additional support.

Although the exact cause is unknown, Craig Coleman, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD suggests the following may be risk factors associated with stuttering.

  • Family history is the biggest predictor of whether a child is likely to stutter.
  • Gender. Young boys are twice as likely as young girls to stutter, and elementary school-age boys are 3 to 4 times more likely to stutter than girls.
  • Age of onset. Children that start having difficulties at age 4 are more likely to have a persistent stutter than those who begin stuttering at a younger age.
  • Co-existing speech and/or language disorders increase the likelihood a child may stutter.

Children stutter in different ways so Katrina Zeit Purcell, MHA, MA, CCC-SLP of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, recommends your child be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering if you have a concern about your child’s speech, if they struggle during talking, if they avoid situations in which he or she will have to talk if they express concerns about their speech or avoids saying certain words.

As with most childhood issues, early intervention may lead to better outcomes. The Stuttering Foundation offers free resources, services, and support. Learn more by visiting https://www.stutteringhelp.org/.

Written by: Heather Reister, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County

Reviewed by: Roseanne Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Darke County.


Coleman, C., (2016). Stuttering in Toddlers & Preschoolers: What’s Typical, What’s Not?, Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Stuttering-in-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx

John Hopkins Medicine, (2023). What is stuttering in children? Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/stuttering

The Stuttering Foundation, (ND). Home page. Retrieved from https://www.stutteringhelp.org/

Zeit Purcell, K., (2017). Stuttering in young kids: When to be concerned. Retrieved from https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/healthy-living/child-development-and-behavior/stuttering-in-young-kids-when-is-it-concerning/

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